Ultimately, all data items that computers process are reduced to combinations of `0`s and `1`s. This occurs because it is simple and economical to build electronic devices that can assume two stable states—one state represents `0` and the other represents `1`. It is remarkable that the impressive functions performed by computers involve only the most fundamental manipulations of `0`s and `1`s!

The smallest data item that computers support is called a bit (short for “binary digit”—a digit that can assume one of two values). Each data item, or bit, can assume either the value `0` or the value `1`. Computer circuitry performs various simple bit manipulations, such as examining the value of a bit, setting the value of a bit and reversing a bit ...

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