SparkFun Electronics will be closed in observance of memorial day on Monday, May 29th. We will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, May 30th. Any orders placed after 2pm Mountain Time on Friday, May 26th will process and ship out on Tuesday, May 30th.


Member Since: November 26, 2010

Country: United States



Assistive Technology Designer

Spoken Languages


Programming Languages

C/C++, Basic, Java, Python, x86 assembler


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

  • 0b and 0x are very widely-held convention to distinguish the base you are using. Many programming languages (C, C++, Python, etc.) and much of computer science in general follow this convention. <br />
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    For instance (you are on your private island or something), you could write numbers as 10101 (base:binary) or 66 (base:hexadecimal). The immediate problem is that as you read left to right, you automatically see 10,101 (decimal) or 66 (decimal) - neither one of which is right.<br />
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    To distinguish, a prefix is added because your eyes see the prefix first. 0x is used as a prefix for hex notation and 0b is for binary. The examples I listed then become 0b10101 or 0x66.<br />
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    If you see a number without a prefix, assume base 10 (decimal). 0b is binary (b for binary). 0x is hex (it has an x in it)<br />
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    Octal (base 8) has BAD prefix notation but fortunately octal is only rarely encountered. Octal is just prefixed with a zero. This is highly ambiguous and VERY prone to misreading, confusion, and error. For instance, if I wrote the number 067, the most common interpretation is to strip the zeroes in front, thus giving a decimal 67. If we were talking octal, this leading zero would mean it would be an octal number.<br />
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    The number fifty-five in binary, octal, decimal, and hex:<br />
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    0b110111 = 067 = 55 = 0x37

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