# 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

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

I see.