# And I Even Speak Computer!

I'm a real old-time computer geek!   I can even read a binary dump!    Understanding how information is stored on a computer is really easy.   Take a cassette tape--the information on a cassette tape is stored in tiny bits of iron oxide (which is actually rust.)  The iron oxide particle is either charged, represented by a 1 or not charged, represented by a zero 0.   The zeros and ones are strung together and the raw information is stored like this:

010010010110011000100000011110010110111101110101001000000111010001101111011011110
110101100100000011101000110100001100101001000000111010001101001011011010110010100
100000011101000110111100100000011001000110010101100011011011110110010001100101001
000000111010001101000011010010111001100101100001000000110010001101111011001010111
001100100000011010010111010000100000011011010110010101100001011011100010000001110
100011010000110000101110100001000000111100101101111011101010010000001101000011000
010111011001100101001000000111010001101111011011110010000001101101011101010110001

Each distinct 0 or 1 is called a bit and if you string eight 0's and 1's together you get a byte and the data is read in bytes.

The data in it's 0 and 1 format is called binary.   We use a counting system called decimal--we count from zero to nine (10 numbers) and start over again--10 to 19 (another set of ten numbers) and so on.

Binary is base 2-- so you count two numbers and start over:

0
1
10  (said one-zero, equals two in decimal)
11  (said one-one, equals three in decimal)
100 (said one-zero-zero, equals four in decimal)

Binary is actally read by converting the bytes (eight 0's and 1's) into hexadecimal.   Hexadecimal (called hex for short) is a base 16 counting system:
Hex         Decimal
0       =   0
1       =   1
2       =   2
3       =   3
4       =   4
5       =   5
6       =   6
7       =   7
8       =   8
9       =   9
A       =   10
B       =   11
C       =   12
D       =   13
E       =   14
F       =   15
10     =   16
11     =   17
12    =    18

That's just an example of how to count.   All you really need to remember is 0-F.   It's really easy to convert binary into hex, you just need to know are powers of 2 (2 to the 3rd power, for instance, means you multiply two three times = 2*2*2 = 8)

2  to the 0th power = 1
2  to the 1st power = 2
2  to the 2nd power = 4
2  to the 3rd power = 8

So to convert each byte you break it in half and write 8421 over each half :
8421  8421
0100 1001

Then add together the numbers that have a one under them:

8421  8421
0100 1001
0400  8001
0+4+0+0  = 4      8+0+0+1 = 9
= 49  (read four-nine, because it's hex)

It only gets confusing when it adds up to a number bigger than ten:

8421  8421
0110 1111
0420 8421

0+4+2+0 = 6   8+4+2+1 = F  (it equals 15 decimal, but we are writing these out in hex so it's represented by an F)
= 6F

Then you take the hex numbers and look them up on what's known as an ASCII chart which translates the hex numbers to letters of the alphabet:
http://www.asciitable.com/

According to the chart, 49 = I
and 6F = o

And that's how the computer stores information

deleted
26-30
1 Response Apr 8, 2008

There are 10 kinds of people. Those who understand bianary and those who do not.