base 10 sucks

This is a discussion on base 10 sucks within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Or does it....? this authour gives sevreal reasons on why we should use hex as our counting base. I'm curious ...

  1. #1
    Registered User caroundw5h's Avatar
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    base 10 sucks

    Or does it....? this authour gives sevreal reasons on why we should use hex as our counting base. I'm curious to see the responses from this. What do you guys think, He has some pretty good reasons. Check it out here

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    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    a 43 year-old man is “in his forties”; a 43 year-old woman is “in her thirties”
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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    Personally I think he's one of these scientists that will be "persecuted for his beliefs", then recruit 3 disillusioned, homeless youth to spread his message. He'll call it something like the "Nation of the Five Eyes", and will encourage his 3 recruits to destroy the system that oppresses his people with their 10 fingers.

    Maybe in the computer world it would be useful. I mean, mixing metric and hex confuses a lot of people when they find out that kilobytes consist of 24 more bytes than they would've expected. But not only is the metric so easy to use in our daily life for finances, etc... (percentage rates would be an interesting conversion...) but it is already so integrated into our society. I mean we have ten toes, ten fingers - that's how children learn to count. Remember what happened when they tried to convert the entire US over to the metric system? Lets just say we still use miles highway signs.

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    and the hat of wrongness Salem's Avatar
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    The base argument is irrelevant - it doesn't matter whether you count in base 10 or base 16, the rounding argument will still apply.
    So "in his forties" will still be an expression of age whether you count from 40 to 49 in base 10, or from 40 to 4F in base 16.
    Mind you, that would make a bunch of the board members not yet even teenager's

    > why is ten a two-digit number?
    Well duh! what does he think base means?
    Does he really think anything's changed when you represent 'n' in base 'n'?
    16 in base 16 is well 10
    8 in base 8 is (big surprise) 10

    You've still got a '10' no matter what base you choose, and people will naturally round things to the nearest '10' of whatever base is in common usage.

    "What about base 60?"
    I'm glad you asked Dorothy, here is a link
    http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~his..._numerals.html
    Pretty obvious where things like minutes in an hour come from, as well as say degrees in a circle.

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    Pretty obvious where things like minutes in an hour come from, as well as say degrees in a circle.
    Ah... I always thought it was just an aproximation of the number of days in a year... This makes more sense...

    Though I'd have to say - their number system still smells a bit like base 10 - that chart on the right especially.

    edit:
    Now although the Babylonian system was a positional base 60 system, it had some vestiges of a base 10 system within it. This is because the 59 numbers, which go into one of the places of the system, were built from a 'unit' symbol and a 'ten' symbol.
    Nevermind then...
    Last edited by sean; 11-13-2004 at 09:38 AM.

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    Registered User caroundw5h's Avatar
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    "What about base 60?"
    I'm glad you asked Dorothy, here is a link
    http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~hi...n_numerals.html
    Pretty obvious where things like minutes in an hour come from, as well as say degrees in a circle.
    I'm actually glad you pointed out the sumerians and babylonians sexagesimal system I was about to point that out.
    I just thought the authour had some compelling reasons for learning hex - at least in terms of computers and such. But then again, i guess Engineers and the like already learn it and if they thought it was worthwhile would push for it to become the mainstream base. Still interesting read though.

    Tell me salem have you by any chance read "the earth chronicles" by zacariah sitchin? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that.

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    We use base 10 because we have 10 fingers (including thumbs, because I anticipate a pedantic bastard).

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    The only good reason for using hex that I've ever heard of is to represent large memory addresses (otherwise in binary, or even base ten, you need to use a large number of digits). 0-9, then a-f, is reasonable enough. Especially on a 64 bit computing system (which, I don't know if that will ever become mainstream...I tend to think 32bit will stay, because it's actually quite faster in most normal home computing scenarios)
    See you in 13

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    S Sang-drax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkness
    Especially on a 64 bit computing system (which, I don't know if that will ever become mainstream...
    Ever? You think that home computers will be 32-bit forever? Think again.
    Last edited by Sang-drax : Tomorrow at 02:21 AM. Reason: Time travelling

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    Umm, they aren't mainstream...most people still have 32bit computers for home computing. The 64 bit systems I have personally benchmarked (athlon) tend to only run a lot faster on software designed specially for 64 bit computers (under linux and xp 64bit), otherwise it is just a pain to get normal software working correctly on 64 bit systems. Maximum pc has done more tests, and there are some areas where the 64 absolutely spanks, but cost to performance ratio isn't worth it imo.

    I spoke with an engineer who was looking at designs for a 256bit vector processor designed to analyze matrix output from a ballistic missile simulation program, with the actual fabrication supposed to be done by IBM. Of course, I don't know much about it, or if it ever actually happened, but the point is the higher up in bit size you go, the more specific the application needs to be in order to be effective. The reason for this is that the size of a processor denotes the amoutn it MUST process every cycle. A 64 bit processor cannot process anything smaller than 64 bits, and anything that isn't 64 bits must be converted to 64 bits, and THEN processed. This is similar to using a C++ bool, whose actual size is only 1 byte...it must be converted to 32bits (4 bytes) before it can be processed (this is also why you should have the size of your class be aligned with a 32bit boundry, so it processes faster). Write two functions that return only true or false, but one returns a bool and one returns an int. Run each of them a couple of million times, and you will see that the one which returns int is actually faster because no converting is necessary. When you increase the bit size, normal applications force the processor to do more converting, which actually kills any possible performance gain, which is why the software must be very specially designed not to screw things up. The point I am ultimately trying to make (although not elegantly so) is that 64 bit is teh sux
    Last edited by Darkness; 11-13-2004 at 07:15 PM.
    See you in 13

  11. #11
    Toaster Zach L.'s Avatar
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    I think you missed the point just slightly.
    The word rap as it applies to music is the result of a peculiar phonological rule which has stripped the word of its initial voiceless velar stop.

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    yeah...

    *turd eating grin*
    See you in 13

  13. #13
    #include<xErath.h> xErath's Avatar
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    So you're saing that a 16-bit CPu is fast than a 32-bit when working with a 16 bit var?? Naaahhhh! I don't think so.... Converting isn't necessary! Any intel x86, or amd can work with 8, 16 or 32 bit registers... The difference is: 32bit register manipulations are faster.
    But considering convertion that can be done by the CPU itself, a VM, or god knows what..But 64 bit means evolution! Speed! Processing!

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