In addition to referring to paired stars and base-2 numbers, the word "binary" also refers to a computer file containing object code or executable code (for late-binding systems such as the Java virtual machine, these are the same). Proprietary software vendors provide their software only as binaries, and even then only under a disguised NDA known as a EULA.

Binary - the native language of every respectable computer nerd.

For starters, binary is a number sytem where instead of counting from 0 to 9, you count from 0 to 1. When you reach ten normally, you put two of the numbers next to each other (1 and then 0) and get 10. In binary, when you reach 2, you put them together and get 10 (2).

Well, anyways, in our decimal system every place is ten times the one before it (10, 100, 1000). In binary, it's two times the one before it (10 = 2, 100 = 4, 1000 = 8). In a computer, a low voltage means 0 and a high voltage means 1. You would be suprised how many ways you can use these two numbers, and how much you can do with them if you try. I could explain how all the data is stored, but that itself is probably a huge essay that I am not willing to write.

So if you really want to learn go read a book or ask you local comp sci major or something. (Chances are if your reading this you are a comp sci major). But binary is the greatest thing since sliced bread, if you ask me. I am trying to learn to speak it fluently (using ASCII of course). I think you should do the same.

Binary is a large gas giant planet, about twice the size of Jupiter, orbiting the star Sirius A as related by Larry Niven in several of his Known Space science fiction stories.

Binary is important only because it has an Earth-sized moon, the impossible planet Jinx, orbiting it.
Since the 80x86 works with groups of eight bits, we find it much easier to zero extend all binary numbers to some multiple of four or eight bits.

For example, 102 which is 2 in decimal will be converted to 0010 or 0000 0010.

In any case, a space is placed between every four digits to make it easier on the eyes (like commas between every decimal thousand), and to simplify converting to and from hexadecimal since each hexadecimal digit (i.e. F) is made up of four binary digits (i.e. 1111).
Interesting things about binary:
  • Without Binary the modern day computer would cease to exist. Everything entered into a computer is converted into Binary. If you type in the letter "B" it is converted to the Binary "01000010" by your keyboard which sends the information to the CPU. Binary is somewhat like morse code, it is sent to the CPU in a series of electronic pulses. High voltage pulses are consisdered 1's and low voltage pulses are considered 0's.
  • A single 1 or 0 is one bit. There are eight bits in a byte (That is why each letter consists of eight ones or zero's). This means that one 1.44 MB disk holds over 1 million letters or characters (Which means that it holds over 8 million 1's and 0's in total!).
  • CD-ROM's are based on Binary (whether or not a hole (Micropit) is present on the CD-ROM--the laser picks this up).
  • John Atanasoff was the first person to think of using Binary with computers.
  • Electronic circuits use Binary in logic decisions (True/False, etc.)
  • Binary was a counting system long before computers as we know them were even thought of.
  • There are only 10 kinds of people in the world --

    Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

    Source: Thinkgeek (among many others)

    Guide to converting decimal to binary.

    Binary is number base system, used by computers. It works on base 2, just as decimal works on base 10

    In decimal, numbers are sums of exponents of 10. For example, the number 2503 is (2*10^3)+(5*10^2)+(0*10^1)+(3*10^0)

    Which is 2000+500+0+3

    In binary, numbers are sums of exponents of 2. For example, the number 1101 is (1*2^3)+(1*2^2)+(0*2^1)+(1*2^0)

    Which is 8+4+0+1

    The easiest way to convert to binary is to take the largest exponent of two which is smaller than the number you want to convert, and write a table of the exponents of two, starting with that number, going from largest to smallest. For example, if we wanted to convert the number 72, the smallest exponent of two smaller than 72 is 64 (2^6). We'd write:

    64 32 16 8 4 2 1

    Then for each number, we'd write either a 1 or a 0 beneath it. For each number with a 1 beneath it, we add that number to our total. To decide whether to write a 1 or a 0, we check if (total + number) is greater than the number that we want to convert. If it is greater, we write a 0, if it's smaller or equal to the number we want to convert, we write a 1.

    So to start, our total is 0. 64 is smaller than 72 so we place a 1 beneath it.

    64 32 16 8 4 2 1

    The next number is 32, our total now is 64. 64+32 is 96, which is larger than 72, so we place a 0 beneath 32.

    64 32 16 8 4 2 1
     1 0

    Next is 16, our total is still 64. 64 + 16 is 80, which is too large. So we place a 0 beneath 16.

    64 32 16 8 4 2 1
     1 0  0

    Next is 8. Our total is 64. 64 + 8 is 72. Which is the number we want. So we place a 1 beneath it.

    64 32 16 8 4 2 1
     1 0  0  1

    Then of course, the rest of the numbers will be 0, since 72 + any positive number will be too large.

    64 32 16 8 4 2 1
     1 0  0  1 0 0 0

    So 72 in binary is 1001000. To convert back to decimal, you simply take all the numbers with 1's underneath them and add them together. So in this case, 64+8=72. So 1001000 = 72.

    Bi"na*ry (?), a. [L. binarius, fr. bini two by two, two at a time, fr. root of bis twice; akin to E. two: cf. F. binaire.]

    Compounded or consisting of two things or parts; characterized by two (things).

    Binary arithmetic, that in which numbers are expressed according to the binary scale, or in which two figures only, 0 and 1, are used, in lieu of ten; the cipher multiplying everything by two, as in common arithmetic by ten. Thus, 1 is one; 10 is two; 11 is three; 100 is four, etc. Davies & Peck. -- Binary compound Chem., a compound of two elements, or of an element and a compound performing the function of an element, or of two compounds performing the function of elements. -- Binary logarithms, a system of logarithms devised by Euler for facilitating musical calculations, in which 1 is logarithm of 2, instead of 10, as in the common logarithms, and the modulus 1.442695 instead of .43429448. -- Binary measure Mus., measure divisible by two or four; common time. -- Binary nomenclature Nat. Hist., nomenclature in which the names designate both genus and species. -- Binary scale Arith., a uniform scale of notation whose ratio is two. -- Binary star Astron., a double star whose members have a revolution round their common center of gravity. -- Binary theory Chem., the theory that all chemical compounds consist of two constituents of opposite and unlike qualities.


    © Webster 1913.

    Bi"na*ry, n.

    That which is constituted of two figures, things, or parts; two; duality.



    © Webster 1913.

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