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# how can i get a better understanding of binary

how do i use the understanding of binary functions for programming ?

Binary functions are useful because many decisions made in a program have only 2 outcomes, like "yes" or "no". These are a special kind of binary also known as "boolean".

But if you're having trouble decoding binary numbers, here's one technique that might be helpful. Make a column for each digit, and starting from the right, put a "1" and then as you move left put double the value of the column next to it. Remember, right-to-left ( THIS WAY ). You'll get something like this, which is a horizontal version of the helper table shown in the quiz:

```128  64  32  16   8   4   2   1   <-- 8 columns for 8 digits
```

Then, put your binary number on the next line, spread into the columns. For this example, let's say you wanted to convert the binary number "`111`". Now below that, multiply each top number by the binary digit and put the result below. It's easy, since binary digits are either 1 or 0, so you either put the number on top again or zero.

Then finally, add up all the numbers on the bottom row and that's your answer. Like this:

```128  64  32  16   8   4   2   1   <-- starting columns
0   0   0   0   0   1   1   1   <-- multiply by your binary digits
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
0   0   0   0   0   4   2   1   <-- add these up:  4 + 2 + 1  =  7
```

Also, since zeros in front don't count you can skip them. So in this case we really only needed 3 columns.

please how did you arrive at the second column i.e the binary numbers "0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1''

The binary number shown here was simply chosen at random for an example. When you apply this technique, you would substitute the actual binary number that you want to convert.

I had trouble understanding binaries since 2013 while in college and gave up on learning more about it since then and you just helped me understand it in 5 mins. I can't thank you enough!

It's nice to know that the old answer continues to be useful!