All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Counting in Other Bases

[masked], 2102, 1001, 101, and 41 are all ways to represent the decimal number 65 in bases other than the standard base-10 numeral system we're most familiar with. As programmers, we sometimes encounter these other bases, learn just enough to get by, and move along to the next task. But what if we could think in these other bases? What if we could count in them?

In this talk, we'll learn how to count in other bases, and we'll learn how to convert a number in any base to its base-10 equivalent, without code or a special calculator. We'll explore the most common bases we encounter in our profession (binary, octal, hexadecimal), and we'll play around with some uncommon ones (unary, ternary, duodecimal, sexagesimal, etc.). By the end, all the bases will belong to you!

Ben Ramsey is a web developer, author, and speaker. He is a staff engineer at Skillshare, where he builds an online learning community with thousands of classes for creative and curious people. He enjoys organizing user groups and contributing to open source software. Ben blogs at and is @ramsey on Twitter.


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