Binary 010: The Uses of Bit Shifting and Bitwise Operations


Computers only know one language: binary. Our many programming languages allow us to give instructions in a human-readable format, which are then translated into long sequences of 0s and 1s. Although this level of abstraction is essential to us humans, it can be useful and even much more efficient to manipulate bits directly, thanks to bit shifting and bitwise operations. We previously had the...

Binary 001: Counting and Calculating Like a Computer


As we all know, a computer only knows two things: 1s and 0s. Every letter in this sentence, every color, every second of a video or of a piece of music, every web page, every program is nothing other than a long string of 1s and 0s. This is binary, and if we hope to communicate efficiently with these machines as programmers, we must understand how this base 2 numbering system works. Why do...