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How to convert binary (in ASCII) to english in your head.

(From the dear-lord-I-have-too-much-free-time dept.)

First of all, you need to be able to covert decimal to binary, if you don't go there first. The way ASCII is laid out, it's actually not that hard. Lowercase letters start at 97 and Uppercase start at 65, which may not look significant in base 10, but it is in base 2. For lowercase letters you write 011 then a five bit number for the letter number ("a" is 1, "b" is 2...). The reason it has to be a 5 bit number is that ASCII is 8 bits per character, just get the number in binary and add as many padding zeros as you need (for example, “b” is 10 in binary, with padding zeros it’s 00010) So "b" would be 01100010. “g” is 01100111. For uppercase you just do the same thing, but with 010 instead of 011.

Now you just have to remember that 00100000 is a space and 00101110 is a period, and you can read and write whole sentences!

Here's some practice:
Convert “Hello World.” (without the quotes, duh) into binary. For the answer, go here.

While we normally deal with numbers in base ten, binary is base two. While this means that the n-th place in a binary number has value 2^n, you needn't be concerned with that: more importantly, it means that every binary string is composed of only two (the same number as the 'base') glyphs.

The first binary glyph is a sort of vertical bar, sometimes with a cute little angular serif at the upper end, and/or a short horizontal stroke at the base. For the purposes of this document, this glyph will be referred to as a one.

The second binary glyph is ovular. It is stretched vertically, often with a northeast-southwest slash describing a diameter through it. This glyph will be referred to as a zero.

Strikingly enough, "wuun" and "ZEE'roh" are both English words, making the conversion process remarkably straightforward: transverse the string (or matrix, array, vector, lump, globule, mishmash, plane, n-space...) of binary glyphs, mentally substituting the English word 'one' for each vertical-bar glyph, and the English word 'zero' for each tall-circle glyph.

If the situation calls for it, you can even vocalize the results of this process.

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