Digital Counting

Who knew!
If chuck in the thumbs and both hand its …


My last few posts have been a bit serious so let’s have a little fun! It’s easy to count to 10 with your fingers, and you can count to 20 if you throw your toes into the mix. But how can you use your fingers to go higher than that? You could throw in your knuckles and count those, but that requires a lot of dexterity!

An easier option (once you get the hang of it) is to use binary. And it’s fun to see the confused looks on people’s faces when you hold your hand up with four fingers extended and tell them that’s fifteen :-).

Ready to try? First, you have to understand binary. There’s a PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) tutorial on YouTube for this, so rather than explaining it in my post, if you don’t already know binary I suggest you take a few minutes to go…

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One thought on “Digital Counting”

  1. Robert – well, of course counting in binary is old hat to anyone who has been into computers for 50-60 years. I saw right away that was what you were driving at, as soon as I started to read the e-mail.

    Here’s a related but trickier question that I came across recently: how many significant decimal digits does it take to represent a binary number exactly (i.e., ignoring exponents and non-significant digits for both bases)?

    \o/ /_\


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