what is binary code and why computers are using base 2? - Developer Tip of the Week

Binary code is the language that computers use to communicate with each other. It's a language that's made up of only two symbols: 0 and 1. You might be wondering why computers use base 2 instead of a more familiar base 10 system, which uses ten symbols (0 through 9). Well, let's dive into it!

First, let's talk about what binary code is. Every computer program, picture, video, or anything else you see on your computer is ultimately made up of binary code. At the most basic level, binary code is just a series of 0s and 1s. These 0s and 1s are used to represent everything that a computer does. For example, a 0 might represent the absence of an electrical charge, while a 1 might represent the presence of an electrical charge.

Now, let's talk about why computers use base 2. It might seem strange to use only two symbols when we have ten available to us. But, believe it or not, using base 2 is actually more efficient for computers. Here's why.

Computers use circuits to process information. These circuits can either be "on" or "off," which is similar to the 0s and 1s of binary code. By using base 2, we can easily represent the on/off state of these circuits using just two symbols. This makes it easy for computers to process information quickly and efficiently.

To illustrate this, let's imagine you're trying to explain to a friend how to turn on a light switch. You might say something like, "Flip the switch up to turn the light on, and down to turn it off." This is similar to how we might explain something in a base 10 system, where we have ten symbols to work with.

But what if you could only use two symbols to explain how to turn on the light? You might say something like, "Flip the switch to the left to turn the light off, and to the right to turn it on." This is similar to how we might explain something in a base 2 system. It might seem strange at first, but once you get used to it, it becomes very intuitive.

In addition to being more efficient for computers, using base 2 also has some other advantages. For example, it's easier to transmit binary code over long distances, since it's less likely to be affected by interference. Binary code is also easier to store in memory since it takes up less space than a base 10 system.

In conclusion, binary code is the language that computers use to communicate with each other, and it's made up of only two symbols: 0 and 1. Computers use base 2 because it's more efficient for them, and it allows them to process information quickly and efficiently using circuits that can be either on or off. So, the next time you're using your computer, remember that all of the amazing things it does are ultimately thanks to the power of binary code!