- Thread starter Accelerator
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I remember some animal rights people got mad when some conservationists starting shooting goats that were destroying an island ecosystem. Imagine that, only we're the goats!

Aliens have landed in various isolated points around the globe; Siberia, the Amazon, Central Australia, Antarctica. They seem to be constructing fortifications and static defenses wherever they touch down, with all operations seemingly coordinated from a large mothership in orbit. Based on their behavior, American and other governments conclude that they are the advance wave of a larger force, establishing beachheads for a future invasion, and launch a pre-emptive strike to dislodge them before they can complete their preparations.

The aliens were actually conducting a war-games exercise, designed to simulate establishing outposts on an undeveloped planet with limited resources. They assumed that by restricting their activities to isolated and sparsely populated areas, they would not cause any disruption in the behavior of the 'locals'. They're unprepared for real combat, even against 'primitive' forces, and their mothership is now desperatly trying to pacify the area so they can safely evacuate their personnel.

We've gone above 101. Should I... like, change the thread?

Nah. I think very few people around here take "101" to mean that exactly; most of us treat it like "a number that's cool but has no actual meaning".We've gone above 101. Should I... like, change the thread?

Just claim that you were using hexadecimal, and we're good.We've gone above 101. Should I... like, change the thread?

????Just claim that you were using hexadecimal, and we're good.

119) Bureaucratic error, they were supposed to invade the planet Earph.

118) They're going to get us to use their octadecimal number system, or else. Think about how passionate people get about the metric/imperial systems and increase that to incomprehensible alien fanatic levels.

To expand for those who have zero idea what hexadecimal is:hex 101 = dec 257

We count using base 10, "decimal". Each digit of a number can have ten possible values: 0123456789. Each place in a number has ten times the magnitude of the place to its right. So 101 is one hundred and one one. This works fine, but it is arbitrary. There's nothing special about the number ten.

Computers count using base 2, "binary". Each digit can have two possible values: 01. Each place has two times the magnitude of the place to its right. So binary 101 is b100 + b1; in decimal, those are d4 + d1 = d5. (Get used to seeing prefixes; they're necessary to prevent a lot of confusion.) On the other hand, d101 in binary is longer: d64 + d32 + d4 + d1 = b1000000 + b100000 + b100 +b1 = b1100101.

Computers can also count using more than one binary digit (bit) grouped together. If you take d4 (b100) bits, they have d16 (b10000) possible combinations. (d4 is a nice binary number, because it is d2 * d2. It also fits neatly into a byte of d8 bits if you put two of them together.) We call this base 16 system "hexadecimal", or affectionately "hex".

Hex has d16 (h10, b10000) digits: 0123456789abcdef. So d101 is shorter: d96 + d5 = six sixteens and five ones = h60 + h5 = h65. And as mpswaim point out, h101 = h100 + h1 = d256 + d1 = d257. (I can do that in my head quickly because I've memorised the first dozen or so binary powers. They crop up everywhere. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16384...)

Hex is cool because it offers more relationships between numbers. It has many factors compared to decimal. You can divide d10 by d2 and d5. What about d4? Nope, you get d2.5 and stuff starts to get clumsy. But hex lets you divide h10 (d16) by d2, d4, and d8. You get quarters easily: h10 / h4 = h4, and h1 / h4 = h0.4. Real neat.

But the real number enthusiasts will push for people to use base twelve, "duodecimal". I'll give it the prefix t for "twelve". It has digits 0123456789ab. t101 = one d144 and one d1 = d145; d101 = d96 + d5 = eight twelves and one one = t81. So far so many digits blurring together, right?

Except factors in duodecimal are amazing. You get d2, d3, d4, and d6.

There's this whole thing with factorial sequences that leads to base 42, but I digress.

Octadecimal, base d18, has some nice features. You've got factors of d2, d3, d6, d9. But it's missing d4. And this is why those octadecimal losers will never make inroads into duodecimal space. Our factoring power is deeper and-

But perhaps I've said too much.