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 02-25-2015, 08:59 AM #12 Fully Optimized     Join Date: Mar 2011 Location: USA Posts: 1,584 Re: Binary Yes Root, I did some programming of an HP 3000 mini computer in a college class back in 1976 or so using only the front panel switches. However, the front panel switches represented Octal, not Binary, so we had to convert the instructions into Octal in order to set the switches. Once the program was completely entered then you had to hit the "Run" button. The front panel lights would flicker for a few seconds and then stop, if the lights then showed a result of 0 (return code of zero) then the program ran successfully, otherwise a non-zero return code meant your program failed. After that class, I couldn't understand why people were so awestruck by computers since I thought it was way too much work to set the switches for each instruction and then run the program only to attempt to get a return code of zero. It was another 8 years before I used a PC with a keyboard for input and a monitor for output where I could finally see the value of using a computer. In between, I took a programming class where we used punched cards for input, another method that I felt was way too complicated to be worthwhile. __________________
 02-25-2015, 10:24 AM #13 Site Team     Join Date: Mar 2004 Posts: 7,872 Re: Binary That's not really too different from using hex as an intermediary step. in hex numbers 0,1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,a, b, c, d, e, f represent numbers 0-15 (or 1 - 16 depending on where you start,) or a four bit binary number. in octal, number symbols 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 represent numbers 0 - 7, (or three binary bits). it's still sort of programming in binary, in so far as you can "see" electrical connections being made. - and yes, a hell of a journey to see a light blink! or to add two small numbers together that you could do in your head. I guess that the answer is still the same, (you can do something, but ordinary people would choose not to!)... HP3000 is a little before my time!! __________________ I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian… Im sick of people saying 'dont waste paper'. If trees wanted to live, they'd all carry guns. "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; The inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
 02-28-2015, 05:51 PM #14 Site Team     Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: England, UK Posts: 3,422 Re: Binary One thing I haven't seen mentioned (which is actually where I've had to drop down to raw 1's and 0's most) is reverse engineering of comms protocols (particularly serial protocols.) I've spent the best part of the last week in my day job reverse engineering an IR protocol used on laser tag guns... turned out to be a form of RS232 over IR, but with the start and stop bits backwards (don't get me started on the stupidity of that last bit!) That required an oscilloscope, logic analyser and many hours of staring at highs and lows on the scope (and translating them into 1's and 0's accordingly) before we figured out what was going on. Now that's figured out we're down to analysing the protocol at a higher packet based level, and the same applies - you still have to realistically work with the data at either a binary or a hex level to work out what bits are changing to what based on different parameters. Before that I was doing a similar task on a circuit board designed to drive ultrasonic rangefinders - same story. Before that I was doing the same thing on an atomic clock receiver with a UART (drivers were windows 3.1 only, not very useful today but the receiver itself works great!) Again, same story with dropping back to raw binary to work out the protocol. __________________ __________________ Save the whales, feed the hungry, free the mallocs.

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