In the first part of this book, I described the memory of a computer as a vast meadow of switches (billions of switches) that could be turned on or off. Each switch represents one bit, and we usually use 1 to mean “on” and 0 to mean “off.”
However, you never address a single bit. Instead, you deal with byte-sized chunks of bits. If you think of a byte as an unsigned 8-bit integer, each bit represents another power of two:
Figure 33.1 One byte representing the decimal number 60
As a side-effect of living with 10 fingers, people like to work with decimal numbers (base-10). Computers, however, like powers of 2. Programmers often ...