Field Guide to Binary

Binary and all alternate numbering systems work in the same ways as the decimal system. In this course, you'll explore binary and hexadecimal, and transition through alternate numbering systems to strip away the magic.
Course info
Rating
(23)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 1, 2018
Duration
21m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Rating
(23)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Aug 1, 2018
Duration
21m
Description

Are you familiar with binary numbers but don’t know precisely what they are, or how they work? In this course, Field Guide to Binary, you'll dive into the fundamental concepts of binary using the math you’ve always known. First, you'll explore the decimal (base 10) numbering system. Next, you'll discover exactly how to translate from binary to decimal. Finally, you’ll learn why Unicode and RGB color values use those unique sequences of numbers and letters. By the end of this course, you'll have the fundamental knowledge necessary to demystify binary and hexadecimal in your everyday work.

About the author
About the author

Tod has been programming anything he can get his hands on since 1980 when he accidentally discovered an Apple ][ at Argonne National Labs.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi, this is Tod Gentille. I'm in sunny southern California. I don't know where you are, but I know you're watching the Field Guide to Binary. If you can give me 20 minutes, you're not going to just learn binary, you're going to learn that all alternate numbering systems work the same way as the decimal system that you've grown to know and love. So stick around. Investing some time in learning how alternate numbering systems, like the base 8 octal system or the base 16 hexadecimal system work, will help you more fully understand some surprising things. For example, aircraft transponders transmit a four digit octal number, while that might only interest air traffic controllers, a little closer to home, you'll find octal showing up in Unix-based operating systems, like Linux and Mac OS, when you set permissions for files. You'll see hexadecimal values in almost any program you use that lets you set colors. If you aren't a programmer, you won't likely come across binary in the wild, but knowing how it works will help cement all the alternate numbering systems that you will see. If you do program, having a good understanding of binary can be quite useful. In this course, we're going to start right in your comfort zone and talk for a few minutes about decimal, or the base 10 numbering system. Once we have some basic math under our belts, we'll transition briefly to octal, but only to help ease our way to binary. We'll translate from binary to decimal and even learn that adding binary numbers works the same as adding decimal numbers. If you do the exercises as we go through the course, you'll unlock the magic and demystify binary and hexadecimal. You won't need a potion or wand, your subscription to Pluralsight and 20 minutes is all that's required. Let's get started.

Introduction
Welcome to the field guide to understanding binary and hexadecimal math. If you know nothing about binary or why it's a big deal, I would like to suggest you first watch one clip in Simon Allardice's Pluralsight course titled What is Programming? Specifically, watch the final clip of the introduction module titled So What's the Deal with All the 1's and 0's? This bit. ly link will take you right there. Hurry back, I'll wait. You won't need to know a lot of math to understand this guide. You will need a few things you might have forgotten from high school algebra, but don't worry because I'll remind you about that. So, if you're comfortable with base 10 and can multiply 10 x 10, you'll be fine. Hey if you just got weirded out a little there when I said base 10, don't worry about that either. In fact, base 10 is a good place to start. Base 10 is the numbering system you've used your whole life. We use it all the time and we are such good friends with base 10, we give it the nickname of decimal. Confusingly in English, we also use the word decimal for a decimal point, which separates the integer portion of a number from the fractional part. In this guide, every time I say decimal, I am talking about base 10. There will be nothing about fractions or the decimal point in this guide. In this guide, you will be learning base 2, also known as binary, and since it's closely related, you'll also be learning base 16, or hexadecimal. But don't worry about any of that just yet. Right now, you can worry about the fact that it will help you understand all of this if you remember just a little about exponents. So, let's start in on that with the next clip. If you're a whiz at exponents and the positional notation system, just skip the next clip.