The best way to gain an understanding of binary and hexadecimal numbering is to begin by examining the decimal numbering system. The decimal system is a base 10 numbering system. (The root *deci* means ten.) *Base 10* means that there are 10 digits with which to represent numbers: 0 through 9. Most likely, we work in base 10 because our ancient ancestors began counting their cattle and children—and enemies—on their fingers (in fact, the word *digit* means finger).

The use of place values allows the representation of large numbers with a few digits, such as the 10 decimal digits. The place values of all numbering systems begin at the right, with the base raised to the power of 0. Reading to the left, each ...

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