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Here’s the number 10 in this sentence. My brain narrator reads that as “ten” in my secret voice. It’s probably ten. But it could also be 2 or 16. It depends!

Most1 humans count using a base 10 system: we have ten different glyphs to represent a single digit, and have to string together multiple glyphs to express anything higher than that. Binary is a base 2 system, numbers larger than 0 or 1 require additional symbols. There are several other common numeral systems used in software:

The number 10 is certainly “ten” in the decimal system, but it’s also legal notation in both the binary and hexadecimal systems:

If you pull the slider to the right you’ll see how binary and hexadecimal increment compared to decimal: 10 in binary is 2 in decimal, and 10 in hex is 16 in decimal.

Here’s some even more confusing trivia: the number 10 (decimal) can be expressed in binary as 1010. Except for this 10 on the screen, which is actually (well, probably4) 0011000100110000.

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