Programming Tips & Tricks: Binary and Data Systems

Forums Resources Programming Programming Tips & Tricks: Binary and Data Systems

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    Animation Pagoda Staff
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    Binary code is the simple language that computers use to compute. Think of binary as a bunch of on/off switches where 0 is False, 1 is True.

    Bits and Bytes

    Bits are tiny capsules of information. Each bit represents either a 0 or a 1. There are 8 Bits in 1 Byte, and 1,024 Bytes in a Kilobyte, 1,024 KB in 1 Megabyte, 1,024 MB in 1 Gigabyte, and 1,024 GB in 1 Terabyte.


    ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. ASCII is used to convert the characters on a keyboard into numerical data values that the computer can read. Without ASCII, people would have to try to decode a bunch of numbers on screen, but this system performs the conversions automatically.


    A matrix is an array of data values, sort of like a spreadsheet but without the border lines. Computers store trillions of data values, so theoretically the visualization of a matrix would be depicted as an endless string of numbers arranged in columns. The more accurate representation would be a layered 3-dimensional grid to indicate separate container folders. Sadly, this is all theoretical, since matrices don’t really look quite as cool as they do in the movies.

    WHITE LIGHTNING HQ: Hacker Fight

    Data Encryption

    Data encryption is used to ensure information stored on a computer is unreadable to outside parties. The information is safeguarded by a cipher, which consists of a long string of computer jibberish that would take a human millions of years to try and guess the correct password. Only certain computer devices can interpret the cipher key to translate encrypted data into plaintext people can read.

    Unfortunately, skilled hackers and shady government organizations like the NSA can sometimes circumvent ciphers and firewalls to steal information or tap your internet browsing history. Hackers can remotely access any computers and phones that are not protected by a secure network server. To truly be safe, it’s best to keep important records on a flashdrive in a hermetically sealed underground vault protected by lava moats and guard dragons. Also, make sure your administrator password isn’t 1234, your pet’s name, or your birthday date.

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