February 24, 2008

Do we really need to know this binary thing?

During the last two weeks I was teaching a basic networking course (CCNA Exploration 1) for the T-Systems Slovakia and when we have got into the binary numbers, students were a bit confused why do they have to learn all those binary things. To clear out the importance of the binary system I used a picture of a fancy T-Shirt at thinkgeek.com, which is a pretty good example explaining why is it better to use the binary system instead of the decimal system while counting on your fingers. While using a decimal system you can count on your 10 fingers only to 10 (ten). But when utilizing the binary system, you can count on your 10 fingers to 1023 (10^2-1) ;-)

Although to be honest, it could be really a bit confusing (if not dangerous) asking for 4 beers showing it with your fingers in the binary system ...

image

Wikipedia article about Binary Fingers.