Barbie Goes Binary

In case you haven’t heard, Mattel® has created Computer Engineer Barbie®, based on popular vote. Here’s the laptop she is holding:

Binary Code on Barbie's Laptop
Binary Code on Barbie's Laptop

It spells “Barbie” — repeatedly, in ASCII code.


The screen shows six full lines of code — three copies of these two lines:

01000010 01100001 01110010
01100010 01101001 01100101

Those happen to be six ASCII character codes, written in binary:

01000010 = B
01100001 = a
01110010 = r
01100010 = b
01101001 = i
01100101 = e

I’ve overlaid the characters on the screen so you can see the correspondence better:

Barbie's Laptop Overlaid With Corresponding ASCII Characters
Barbie's Laptop Overlaid with Corresponding ASCII Characters

(Now if instead those were numbers encoded in IEEE floating-point I’d have been really impressed :).)



  1. I was looking this morning to see if my article had been indexed by Google yet and found this remarkably similar image of Barbie’s laptop, published in February: (To the author: I’m sorry for the similarity, but I did not see your article before writing mine! I wrote it after reading the WSJ article I linked to. And BTW, it looks like we might even have used the same image editor — Irfanview?!)

  2. Hello, don’t worry for the note, I do not claim the exclusivity on converting binary to ASCII. 🙂
    For image editing, being a code geek image editing is not part of my daily life, I just took the first image editor I had there – gimp (installed by default with gnome, which has my favourite application: gnome-terminal).
    Anyway don’t worry, and thanks for the (indirect) notice 🙂

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