# Learn How to Read Binary in 5 minutes

What is Binary?

• Binary is nothing more than a System of Counting
• Everything in a computer?s brain comes down 0?s & 1?s
• Binary existed before computers
• Binary is an ON or OFF counting system, all or nothing. ?1? represents ON, ?0? represents OFF.
• Because each digit in binary can have 2 values, the base is 2 (see the example below for clarification)

Don?t worry if it doesn?t make sense yet?

Let?s look at an example to clarify this..

1. Below is an 8 digit binary number
2. We calculate binary from right to left

3. Because it?s a base 2 system, each digit is 2 to the power of (n). (n) refers to the placement of the number.

4. A binary number is pretty much telling us whether or not we are using that value

5. The 1 value tells us we are using that value (represented by green checkmarks) & the 0 value tell us we are not using that value (represented by red X?s).

6. The first digit in this example is representing that the value 2 to the power of 0 is ON

7. The second digit (2 to the power of 1) is OFF so the value is 0.

Let?s represent those 2 values in our drawing..

Let?s calculate the rest of the values & add the ones that are ON together?

What we just did can be represented in the following equation:

If Binary is just a counting system, what do people mean when they want to write something in Binary?

• What they mean is how to spell things with ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange)
• ASCII is a way to convert a computer?s data (which can only be in numbers) & turn it in to letters.
• ASCII chart assigns a character to each value represented by a byte (8 bits/digits) of binary.

Let?s take a look at our previous example..

• This example represents an Uppercase Y
• Since 8 digits of binary can represent up to 255 values, the ASCII chart has 255 letters & symbols to choose from.

credit: AlfredState.edu

Let?s try another example:

Now that we deciphered the two letters above let?s take a look at the following example & read what it says:

01011001 01101111 01101100 01101111

Let?s evaluate?.

Since we already looked at the breakdown for some of these binary letters, we only have one 8 digit binary letter left ? the third one, which comes out to a lowercase l.

If you read the word it spells out?

?Yolo?

Hope this helped you learn how to read binary ðŸ™‚ Happy Coding!