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Decimal, Binary, Octal and Hexadecimal Number Conversion
(Page 1 of 4)
Humans are accustomed to dealing
with decimal numbers, while computers use binary digits. Octal and hexadecimal
numbers are short forms for binary numbers, where each hexadecimal
digit takes the place of either three or four binary digits. Since people
and computers speak different number languages, it is often
necessary to convert numbers from one of these systems to the other.
If you spend any amount of time dealing with computers or networks,
you will find yourself needing to do this on occasion, so it's worth
taking a quick look at how it is done.
First of all, let me say this: the
easiest way to convert between decimal, binary, octal and hexadecimal
numbers is to use a scientific calculator. This is what most people
do, and I highly recommend it. However, there are cases where you may
need to be able to do this by handwe don't all always have a calculator
on us. Also, understanding the manual conversion process will help you
comprehend more intuitively how binary, octal and hexadecimal numbers
work. So, let's take a look.
Note: If you don't have a scientific calculator, there is a reasonable facsimile built into most versions of Windows: the Calculator program, which can usually be found in your Accessories folder. Open it, go to the View menu, and change the setting from Standard to Scientific. Click the button next to a numbering system. Then enter a number, and if you click a button next to a different numbering type, the number will be converted for you. Easy. (I would bet Apple and UNIX machines have similar tools, I just have more experience with Windows.)
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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