So Much Binary

What is Binary?

So your first thought might be 1s and 0s dealing with a computer which you wouldn’t be wrong about. Computers see everything in terms of binary. In binary systems, everything is described using two values or states: on or off, true or false, yes or no, 1 or 0. A light switch could be regarded as a binary system since it is always either on or off.

As complex, as they may seem, on a conceptual level computers, are nothing more than boxes full of thousands of light switches. Each of the switches in a computer is called a bit, short for a binary digit. A computer can turn each bit either on or off. Your computer can be done as 1 and off as 0. In fact we binary numbers in IP addresses which I didn’t found out until 2 years ago when I taking a networking class. You know that an IP address is numbers that represent a device on a network, as a mailing address represents your home’s location. But in order to actually assign and use IP addresses, you must understand the format of these numerical identifiers and the rules that pertain to them.

Let’s first concentrate on how humans read and write IP addresses. To us, an IP address appears as four decimal numbers separated by periods. For example, you might use 204.132.40.155 as an IP for some device in your network. You probably noticed that the four numbers making up an IP are always between 0 to 255. Have you ever wondered why this reason is?

You may also have heard some other people referring to the four numerical values in an IP address as octets. Octet is, in fact, the correct term for describing the four individual numbers that make up an IP address. But doesn’t it seem odd that a word whose root means eight describes a number from 0 to 255? What does eight have to do with those values? To understand the answers to these questions, you have to look at an IP address from your computer’s viewpoint

Binary Arithmetic

So what this is like creating large numbers from groups of binary units. This can help you understand how your computer sees IP’s or any numbers greater than one. Each bit within a group represents a power of two. Here are some examples:

“This table represents the value for each bit in a byte. In binary mathematics, the values for the bits ascend from right to left, just as in the decimal system.”

https://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-resource-center/security-fundamentals/understanding-ip-addresses-and-binary

“So what does an 8-bit binary number like 0110110 represent? This is another example of how a computer uses 1 to mean on and 0 to mean off.”

https://www.watchguard.com/wgrd-resource-center/security-fundamentals/understanding-ip-addresses-and-binary

“In this table, you can see the values 64,32,8,4 and 2 are all turned on. You can add these numbers together and get the number 110. “

So this is just one form of binary which is used for networking purposes. If you are a network administrator then you must know what’s going on. That’s why we write IP’s in decimal so that its easier for us humans to understand.

Computers operate in binary, meaning they store data and perform calculations using only zeros and ones. Below is a list of many decimals or base 10 numbers represented in binary

Image from Techterms.com/binary

These values could be used in a way different characters in a text document, the RGB values of a pixel within an image file, or other types of data.

How is Binary Stored

Have you ever wondered how data is stored in so many different hardware? Like Hard drives, Solid State Drives, USB flash drives, and SD cards, etc. That’s right it's all in binary code. All data stored on storage media whether that’s hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs), external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc can be converted to a string of bits, otherwise known as binary digits. These binary digits have a value of 1 or 0, and the strings can make up photos, documents, audio, and video. A byte is the most common unit of storage and is equal to 8 bits.

Binary data is primarily stored on the hard disk drive. The device is made up of a spinning disk or disks with magnetic coatings and heads that can both read and write information in the form of magnetic patterns. In addition to hard disk drives, floppy disks and tapes also store data magnetically. Newer laptops, as well as mobile phones, tablets, USB flash drives, and SD cards, use solid-state or flash storage. With this storage medium, the binary numbers are instead stored as a series of electrical charges within the flash chips. Because all data is made up of a string of binary numbers, just one number out of place can cause a file to become corrupt, which is crazy.

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Dahveyea Cowan

Dahveyea Cowan

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