Appendix C

Numeric Data

C.1 Numbers in Computing

In order to perform more efficient digital operations on numeric data, mathematicians have devised systems and structures that differ from those used traditionally. This chapter presents the background material necessary for understanding and using the number systems and numeric data storage structures employed in digital devices.

C.1.1  Counting

The fundamental application of a number system is counting. A Stone-Age hunter uses his or her fingers to show other members of the tribe how many mammoths were spotted at the bottom of the ravine. In this manner the hunter is able to transmit a unique type of information that does not relate to the species, size, or color of the animals, but to their ...

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