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Do You Really Know Binary?

Question asked by Leo in #Coffee Room on Jan 27, 2011
Leo · Jan 27, 2011
Rank B3 - LEADER
“There are 10 types of people in this world, those who understand binary and others who don't.”.

You must have heard this phrase, isn't it? This is one of the most used phrase by computer geeks, the phrase signifies importance of binary language in computing. Sometimes when I ask people about what binary is, they reply its number system. Now if you are the one who also thinks in same way then following are my questions to you. Don't read their answers before answering yourself.

1. What actually binary is to computer ?

2. Why computer uses binary as base number system when there are much more better alternatives available to binary number system ?

3. Do you really know what binary is?

Please don't read further until you ask yourself answers to these questions. If you already know answers then you don't need to read further. If you are not sure about answers then read further.

[​IMG]Computer is noting but a complex circuit and circuit can understand only two things, first the circuit is ON, second the circuit is OFF. A circuit may be as small as a single switch or as big as fastest super computer of world, no matter what kinda circuit it is, it can understand only ON and OFF. This ON and OFF of circuit is known as binary. Practically there is no existence of something known to us as binary language, we created it, where 1 denotes ON and 0 denotes OFF. If you have 128 MB RAM it only means your RAM has 128 x 1024 x 1024 x 8 number of switches that can be turned ON and OFF, your RAM is nothing but a circuit with huge number of MOSFET or JFET type of transistors which act as switches.

Same applies to your hard disk, at very basic level we can say a hard disk is nothing but magnetic tape. In other words we can say hard disk is surface with large amount of tiny magnetic particles arranged in some specific order, where N denotes 1 and S denotes 0 or vise versa.

Now if you were unable to answer above questions before you may have understood binary is nothing but just ON and OFF of circuit to computer, why it uses binary just because it can't understand anything else than binary. So if you are the person who knows what 01 is then there is no doubt you know what binary is. Posted in: #Coffee Room

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