Binary the way micros count



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Binary - the way micros
count

Unlike us, microprocessors have not grown up with the idea that 10 is


a convenient number of digits to use. We have taken it so much for
granted that we have even used the word digit to mean both a finger
and a number.

Microprocessors and other digital circuits use only two digits - 0 and

1 - but why? Ideally, we would like our microprocessors to do everything at infinite speed and never make a mistake. Error free or high speed - which would you feel is the more important?

It’s your choice but I would go for error free every time, particularly


when driving my car with its engine management computer or when
coming in to land in a fly-by-wire aircraft. I think most people would
agree.

So let’s start by having a look at one effect of persuading micro-


processors to count in our way.

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