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Gamersteve95

What is the use of Binary code?

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I've recently started learning it because I want to go into a profession in computers, and I've heard that binary code is very important in computers, so I'm curious what the true use of it is. Please enlighten me.

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The most direct answer to your question is that Binary code is how computers work on hardware level. So 1 for on 0 for off.

I have a suspicion that due to your freshness to this field this is not exactly what you are asking but I may be wrong.

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One area where people would actually work with binary code would be computer networking - i.e. to find the destination network for a given IP address, you perform a bitwise AND on the IP address and the subnet mask. Bitwise operations and bit shifting are also commonly used in encryption. Flags also work by turning a bit in a certain position on or off.

Generally, in most cases where you'd need to work with binary, you'd be given an explanation on how to use it in that specific instance. In general, it's not something you need to deal with.

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Please enlighten me.

You can count to 1023 on your fingers (or 1045875 if you use your toes as well).....

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Binary is the foundation of machine language used by modern digital computers.

Prior to the use of binary, computers used electron tubes and figured numbers by a system of cumulative voltages. For example, 2 volts might =1, 8v = 2, 12v = 3, and so on. However, this method is impractical because the larger and more complex the system gets (and the more information it stores), it requires exponential increases in power consumption, not to mention physical size. Short-term memory storage for a system like this is especially power-hungry.

For this and other reasons, binary mathematics were adopted as an alternative. Binary (base-2 numbering system) can be converted into any other numerical system, including decimal (base-10, the number system most often used by us humans). An entire system of logic has also been worked out for binary, and this logic forms the basis for the machine language used by microprocessors. The fundamental tasks of a microprocessor, called "instructions," are dictated by software programs specially engineered to make the microprocessor perform desired tasks.

In other words, computers operate as an extremely complex arrangement of numerous hierarchical systems which are all founded upon binary, the very simplest of all mathematics.

Edited by Colonel Panic
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Which out of the red pill and blue pill was the 1 and 0?

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Binary is at the heart of everything a computer does.

All the data your computer uses is stored as ones and zeroes. Whether that data be on a DVD or CD (where grooves/lack-thereof determines a 1 or 0), hard drive (magnetic properties determine 1 or 0), RAM, thumb drive, etc. As an example, each letter of this post is consuming 8 ones and zeroes in your computer's memory.

At the core of the chips in your computer are the changes in voltage levels that produce what's interpreted as ones and zeroes.

As a beginner, it's not something that you'll need to worry about.

edit: read Colonel Panic's post :P

Edited by Seal
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It's just a simple and efficient way to store data.

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In other words, computers operate as an extremely complex arrangement of numerous hierarchical systems which are all founded upon binary, the very simplest of all mathematics.

Surely in as much as the notion of a "simplest of all mathematics" has a meaning, and I'm not sure it does, it would be Unary, rather than Binary?

Edited by rainwater_stillicide
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If it were unary, there'd ONLY be 0. Binary (bi) from the latin (two) or language of two..

0 and 1 are two different values, hence "binary".

All data is stored in binary format. All ascii codes have there own binary equivilent. Same goes for hex, etc ad nauseam.

All code executes in RAM or Cache as binary.

All packets are formatted in binary at one layer or another, especially if you inspect such low level as ethernet frames etc.

IP addresses are binary (in the packet level).

As everything with a computer is deterministic, binary is what makes it so. The common thread, as it were.

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