# Binary

1. **Binary** is a **base 2** 8-bit number system represented by the numeric values of 0 or 1, also known as OFF or ON, and is the primary language that computers use to communicate.Today's computers still use binary because it is the easiest and most efficient method of detecting an electrical signal as being either off or on, detecting magnetic poles with magnetic media like a hard drive, and because it is the most efficient way to control logic circuits.

In the famous saying shown on many geek t-shirts and in the picture those who understand binary will realize this quote actually says "There are only **2** types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't." because '10' in binary is two and not ten.

Below is an example of the maximum 8-bit value of 255, which is 11111111 in binary. To get this value add each position (column), so 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 + 16 + 32 + 64 + 128 = 255.

Value: | 128 (2^{7}) | 64 (2^{6}) | 32 (2^{5}) | 16 (2^{4}) | 8 (2^{3}) | 4 (2^{2}) | 2 (2^{1}) | 1 (2^{0}) |

ON/OFF: | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |

Tip: Counting on a computer normally start with 0, instead of 1. Therefore, counting all the bits does equal 255, however, if you start at 0, it is really 256.

Below is another example of 10001101, which is 141 or 1 + 4 + 8 + 128.

Value: | 128 | 64 | 32 | 16 | 8 | 4 | 2 | 1 |

ON/OFF: | 1 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 0 | 1 |

Tip: When the computer reads binary it is reading from the right to left, so in the above example the computer is actually reading "10110001" and not "10001101" as shown above.

## Convert text into binary

Use the below convert tool to convert any text into binary.

2. While in a FTP session, **binary**, is a command that switches the file transfer mode to binary. See the how to use ftp help page for information about binary and other FTP commands.

**Also see:** .BIN, Base, BCD, Binary file, Bit, Decimal, Hexadecimal, Least significant bit, Machine language, Most significant bit, Native language, Negation, Nibble, Octal, OFF, ON, Qubit, Two's complement