I have always been fascinated by binary, and would like to share my fascination with you. Lets start with this quote.

*“There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who know binary and those who don’t”*

You will understand this quote by the end of this tutorial!

## What are bits?

To understand bits is to understand binary. They coincide.

Bits is the abbreviation for binary digits.

Binary Digits

Binary represents two numbers since its a base 2 numbering system which uses electrical circuits. It uses the numbers 1’s and 0’s.

Each bit represents a single switch in a circuit.

*Think* of a light switch. There is on and off.

Same concept in binary.

1 would be on and 0 would be off.

If the gate is open (1) electricity can flow through.

If its off (0) then electricity is blocked.

Each bit is a binary digit. But eight bits equal a byte.

Half of a byte is a nibble which is four bits.

*Analogy: *

You have eight cookies in front of you. So you have a byte. But if you were hungry and ate four cookies. Then you would have nibble.

## But why not use the decimal numbering system in computers?

The decimal number systems use the digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.

Ten digits(numbers) for ten fingers and ten toes.

Computer does not have toes or fingers.

As you read above it has electronic circuits. On and off.

If you used the decimal number system there would have to be ten states instead of two. Which means its more complicated and less reliable to represent the numbers. Computers now don’t have the technology to create more then two states since the switches in the circuits are changing constantly. It is logical to have only two states because with more states the system would need to constantly convert between them.

*Think of this:* Ten light switches in your room with the option on and off. Now that would make for a hard time. It would make more sense to have two states. Just on and off. That would be less of a hassle.

Remember the saying: *Less is more*

## Reading binary

As you have learned binary is in the base of two. So you multiple two to each number.

1×2=2 2×2=4 4×2=8 8×2=16

Your getting the picture. You start from right to left.

128 64 32 16 8 4 2 1

For each number you use you put a 1(on). For a number you don’t use you put a 0(off).

*Example:* 13 in binary

1 1 0 1 – Would be 13 in binary.

8 4 0 1

1 + 0 + 4 + 8 = 13

For the number I did not used I placed a 0.

Another *example:* 21 in binary

1 0 1 0 1

16 8 4 2 1

1 + 4 + 16 = 21

Now you should you know what the binary quote means above.

*“There are only 10 types of people in the world, those who know binary and those who don’t”*

10 = 2 in binary

2 + 0 = 2

As you can understand for the quote, it’s saying…

*“There are only 2 types of people in the world, those who know binary and those who don’t”*

Soon there will be coming a lesson on how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide binary numbers. Also how to convert binary to hex and hex to binary.

You’d like the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “1011010” (or something like that) about a race of humanoids who communicate and exist using binary code. 🙂

I have seen that episode. 🙂

haha Nice. It’s my favorite show of all time. 🙂