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Digit and Digital

Updated on May 1, 2019

  • A digit may stand for a finger. The use of ten fingers for counting may have given rise to the Decimal Number System.
  • A digit may stand for a symbol of a Number System.
  • A Number System has a Base (or Radix).
  • The Decimal Number System (Base 10) uses ten digits : 0, 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • The Binary Number System (Base 2) uses two digits : 0 and 1
  • An Octal Number System (Base 8) uses eight digits : 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • A Hexadecimal Number System (Base 16) uses sixteen digits : 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F
  • Most computers use Base 2 internally. Since binary numbers are long, they are expressed externally using Octal and Hexadecimal.
  • Some early computers and calculators use Base 10.
  • Computers and programs support easy Conversion between the Number Systems.
  • Computers may be digital, analog or hybrid.
  • There are converters from digital to analog (and vice versa).
  • Digital displays (read outs) are common.

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