Chapter 8

Numbers? Who Needs Numbers?

In This Chapter

arrow Working with characters

arrow Dealing with “true” or “false” values

arrow Rounding out your knowledge of Java’s primitive types

I don’t particularly like fax machines. They’re so inefficient. Send a short fax, and what do you have? You have two slices of tree — one at the sending end, and another at the receiving end. You also have millions of dots — dots that scan tiny little lines across the printed page. The dots distinguish patches of light from patches of darkness. What a waste!

Compare a fax with an e-mail message. Using e-mail, I can send a 25-word contest entry with just 2,500 zeros and ones, and I don’t waste any paper. Best of all, an e-mail message doesn’t describe light dots and dark dots. An e-mail message contains codes for each of the letters — a short sequence of zeros and ones for the letter A, a different sequence of zeros and ones for the letter B, and so on. What could be simpler?

Now imagine sending a one-word fax. The word is “true,” which is understood to mean, “true, I accept your offer to write Beginning Programming with Java For Dummies, 3rd Edition.” A fax with this message sends a picture of the four letters t-r-u-e, ...

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