Numbering Systems And Computers – Research Paper Example

Numbering Systems and Computers Table of Contents The relationship between numbering systems and computers 3 Benefits of knowing number system 4 References 5
The relationship between numbering systems and computers
Number systems are integrally related to computers. A computer is capable of understanding or speaking only ones (1) and zeros (0). The system that represents and looks at different values by using only ones and zeros is called binary system. This system is used by most of computer devices. As a computer is built of various electrical devices, it is not capable of keeping track of data on a paper. Instead of paper it uses voltages. A high voltage represent one (1) and a low voltage represent zero (0) (Anonymous. What is the binary number system). Now, users i.e. human beings generally use decimal system as all the figures from zero to ten are used in this system. Decimal system is known as base 10 numbering system. Computers convert a value from its decimal form to its binary form for its own understanding. In the process of conversion, a decimal number is divided by the binary base i.e. two and the remainder is then appended as the subsequent most significant bit and the process continues until the result of the division operation comes zero. For instance, if the figure 107 is to be expressed in binary form then the process of conversion will be as follows -
107/2=53 remainder 1
53/2=26 remainder 1
26/2=13 remainder 0
13/2=6 remainder 1
6/2=3 remainder 0
3/2=1 remainder1
1/2=0 remainder
As per the above conversion it can be said that the number 107 is equivalent to the binary number 1101011. In other words, the figure 107 is understood in its original form i.e. 107 by the users, whereas computer understands it as 1101011.
Benefits of knowing number system
Computers do not have the capability to perform any function on its own. It is the user who writes the software that makes the computer work. Now, since the computer understands only ones and zeros it is very important for the user or software programmer to know the binary and decimal number system very well. A program that is written in a very high level language has to be compiled as well as transformed into the intermediate language(s) and finally into the necessary form of ones and zeros (Illinois Institute of Technology, Number Systems). As a result, while writing a program, the programmer must have clear understanding about the number systems and about the conversion process between the decimal and binary system.
References
Anonymous. What is the binary number system?. No Date. Thinkquest. July 4, 2010. < http://library.thinkquest.org/3114/binary.html>
Illinois Institute of Technology, Number Systems. No Date. Intro to CS. July 4, 2010.