Articles in the ‘About’ Category
I’m reading Steve Wozniak’s 2006 book “iWoz” and this line got me wondering about my own Apple II:
“In every speech I give, I talk to people who are still running Apple IIs, and they say those machines are still running after this many years.”
So I got it out of the attic and powered it up. The dozen or so dead keys notwithstanding, it still works — after 30 years!
Today (November 7, 2011), exploringbinary.com received its one millionth view, according to WordPress.com Stats:
I recently noticed that my article end sign
looks like Eggland’s Best egg stamp
The image on Google’s home page today, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, matches the imagery of this site:
Well, it’s been one year! I’m very happy about how things are going, even if I didn’t meet any of my goals! (See below for how I did in 2009.)
This post was motivated by the article “What Are Your Internet Goals for 2009?”, by Daniel Scocco.
Since I am new to blogging (I just started this blog a month ago), my internet goals for 2009 are my goals for Exploring Binary specifically. I’d like to get this blog off the ground before I try anything else!
I’ve been maintaining a long list of things I want to accomplish with this blog, but I whittled it down to the most important goals — all challenging but realistically attainable:
After months of toiling with this site off-line I’ve decided it’s time to go live!
If you want to get an idea of what this site is about, you can read the following articles:
My name is Rick Regan and I am the author of this site. I have a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in computer science (and no, not from Binary University College ). All told, I have been using, studying, and programming computers for almost 30 years. OK, so that qualifies me to write about binary. But why do I want to?
This Web site is for anyone who wants to know more about the underlying technology of computers, which, in a word, is binary. It will cover three main topics: binary numbers, binary code, and binary logic. My hope is that it becomes a reference for beginners and professionals alike, a clearinghouse for binary if you will.
We will discuss binary as it exists both inside and outside of computers; for example, binary numbers. Binary numbers are what computers generally use to do arithmetic. There are all sorts of engineering issues related to their implementation in computers: how big to make them, how to represent negative numbers, how to approximate real numbers. etc. Binary numbers were invented long before computers were; they were just a mathematical construct. It’s enlightening to study them in this pure form, and that we’ll do.
To explore is to “investigate, study, or analyze” or “travel over (new territory) for adventure or discovery.” OK, so that part you knew. So what is “binary?”
Merriam-Webster defines binary as “something made of or based on two things or parts.” That follows from the word’s components: the prefix bi-, which means “two” (like bicycle, binocular, or biannual), and the suffix -ary, which means “relating to or connected with” (like budgetary, illusionary, or revolutionary).
This image is designed to remind you of space exploration (imagine a photo taken from the surface of the moon). The symbols “floating in space” are exemplary of the topics to be explored on this site. The black and white imagery is also symbolic of binary encoding, which is characterized by two opposing “states.”
(A reader proposed an alternate view of the image — that of a chalkboard full of mathematical symbols!)
What do the symbols mean?
Here is a brief explanation of each of the sixteen symbols in the image, from left to right:
The pictures below — of items around my house — should convince you of my fascination (obsession?) with binary numbers.
This 1970s-era light fixture adorns my bathroom: My wife sees burned out and missing bulbs; I see 10001001, or the binary representation of 137! (Update: we finally remodeled — no more binary lights .)