Your Name in Binary

June 24, 2024, 2:17 pm (PST)

Your name in binary !

See the funny world of what is inside every computer and how the computer sees you or at least recognizes your name. The following information is based on The American Standard Code for Information Exchange a very old and common standard for computers. This standard does not address more complex alphabets such as used by the Chinese so the following will only apply to computers speaking English only.

Inside our common English speaking computer, cell phone, or toy there are 256 different letters or characters in its alphabet. Why 256? We humans use only 26, but wait we really use another 26 because each one of our letters can be capitalized. Plus we commonly write out our numbers with Arabic numerals 0 .. 9 so as to not have to spell out tediously every number we wish to write. Of course the computer has some silly $%^&* type characters whose meanings generally rely on the context of what is written and the ever popular space ' ' and other punctuation marks between our words. Finally the computer literally has some letters for bells, whistles and the "lets start a new line" mark. There are even some characters that have not been used since the days they originally came up with this standard giving the grand total of 256 letters.

Below your name as it was entered is printed on the first line.

Then this program has put your name between some |b|a|r|s, just so it can print |65| as in the 65th letter of the computer alphabet and not to be interpreted as "six followed by a five."

In the third line I looked inside the computer to see which number it used for each of the letters in your name. What is funny is that you might think that for instance 'A' would be 0 or 1 as in the 0th or 1st letter of our alphabet. Its not. 'A' is 65! From here on however it does follow the English letter convention ( 66 is B, 67 is C, and so on) Small 'a' is 'A' + 32 or 97, but then computers can add and subtract very quickly so that when you tell a computer to change or ignore capitalization it can do so very quickly.

The fourth line is the same number, believe it or not. I have just translated human or decimal numbers to hexadecimal numbers. As you know there are quite a few ways of keeping track of your numbers from roman numerals (MCMLXXIV = 1984), to tally marks and so on. Hexadecimal is a method just like decimal if only you were to do your arithmetic using hands were you to have 8 fingers each instead of the traditional 5. The eight fingered hand may seem a bit unwieldy (just imagine the trouble of trying to find some 8 finger gloves), but as it happens it is easy to translate hexadecimal to and from binary. Hexadecimal is a lot more compressed as you see below than binary too. Inside of the computer all counting and arithmetic is done in binary. Binary is a wonderfully simple (though very tedious) way to do mathematics. Almost every computer ever created uses binary to do all of its tasks.

The final line is the 1's and 0's that the computer understands best and how the computer would recognize your name from that of someone else!

Chris D'Urso

|C|h|r|i|s| |D|'|U|r|s|o|<new line>




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