Learn Binary Code

01001000, 01100101, 01101100, 01101100, 01101111

Oh that? that’s a 5-letter word you’ll be able to interpret by the end of this mini-tutorial.

Binary code is the language of the computer. It is a counting/coding system that uses 0 & 1 to represent a letter, digit or other character in a computer or other electronic device.

First I want you to know that you can learn this (I’m not ‘motivationally speaking’ by the way), you don’t have to be a science or numbers person to be able to grasp it. It’s easy to learn, it’s teachable,it’s interesting, just be willing to open your mind and you’ll see.

I don’t know if you remember but I think we were all taught binary numbers sometime in secondary school; how to convert whole numbers or integers to binary numbers and vice versa. In this case however, it’s binary to characters. So if someone says “oh 01001000, 01101001" you don’t go looking like;

That means ‘Hi’ by the way.

Let’s get to it shall we? Here’s the example we’ll be working on:

01001001, 00100000, 01110111, 01100001, 01101110, 01110100, 00100000, 01110000, 01101001, 01111010, 01111010, 01100001

Hehe don’t run, it’s only 3 words

First of all; you need to know that binary codes work in bits & therefore, 8-bits makes up a character(letter of the alphabet). For example 01001001=1 letter. So when you see a series of 1s of 0s, first thing to do is break it into a group of 8.

After that’s done, we can start the process of converting the 8-bits into letters. Let’s take the 1st group of 8 from the example above: 01001001.

As a standard, the 1st 3 numbers in every 8-bit code is used to determine whether a letter is in lowercase or uppercase (small or capital letter). That said, note that;

  • 010 = Uppercase (caps)
  • 011 = Lowercase (small)

And that means for 01001001, the letter is a capital letter (because 010) That leaves us with 5-bits which we’ll use to get our letter.

will be needed for reference later

…for 01001001, 3-bits gone, 5 left. As another standard, get that the 5-bits left represent 5 numbers 16, 8, 4, 2, 1 in that order.

Don’t worry, you’ll get it, just keep going

These numbers (16, 8, 4, 2, 1) are what we’ll be using as correspondents with the alphabets (A, B, C… Z).

…5-bits left yea? 01001 means that 0 = 16, 1= 8, 0 = 4, 0 = 2, 1 = 1. To interpret the 5-bit into a letter, what we’ll do is pick the 1s and ignore the 0s

…like this

Meaning, our 1st binary 1 is 8, 2nd binary 1 is 1. Therefore 01001 gives 0, 8, 0, 0, 1 which we’ll add together to give 9. 9 corresponds to alphabet I (check alphabet picture above to confirm). Voila! Our first letter is ‘I’.

Keep calm, we’ll do more and you’ll understand it better

Next 8-bit in the example: 00100000. This means ‘space’. When you see that the last 5-bits are zeros (0s) it means; leave a space.

Next: 01110111. Remember first, take note of the 1st 3-bits which is 011 meaning the letter is in lowercase. Remaining 5-bit = 10111 which matches 16, 0, 4, 2, 1 = 16+4+2+1 = 23. 23 corresponds with the alphabet W. 2nd letter is ‘w’.

Next: 01100001. 011 (lowercase). Remaining 00001 = 0+0+0+0+1 =1. 1 matches letter A. 3rd letter = ‘a’.

01101110. 011 (lowercase). 01110 = 0+8+4+2+0 = 14. 14 corresponds with letter N. 4th letter = ‘n’.

01110100. 011 (lwc). 10100 = 16+4 = 20. 20 matches T. 5th letter = ‘t’

00100000 = space. Recall last 5-bit with 0s = space.

01110000 = 011 (lwc). 10000 = 16+0+0+0+0 = 16. 16 matches P. Next letter = ‘p’.

01101001. 011 (lwc). 01001 = 8+1 = 9. 9 matches I. Next letter = ‘i’.

01111010. 011 (lwc). 11010 = 16+8+2= 26. 26 = Z. Next letter = ‘z’.

01111010. Same number as the one above so ‘z’

Last one: 01100001. lowercase, 00001 = 1. 1 = A. last letter = ‘a’.

I w.a.n.t p.i.z.z.a

All that trouble for ‘I want pizza’ no? Well what matters is you’ve learned something new.

And I actually want pizza, been craving it for the longest time.

Anyway, I hope this has been a good ride and you can now interpret binary codes. It’s a long conversion process though I’ll admit. I’ll leave you with a cheat sheet you can use for reference anytime:

cheat sheet for reference

Can you now try to decipher the code you saw at the beginning of this tutorial? 01001000, 01100101, 01101100, 01101100, 01101111

My work here is done.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe, stay sane.

Peace :)

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Designer 💻 Writer 📝 Artist 🎨 Advocate for humanity, quality TV shows 🍿 & sleep 💤

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Zainab Balogun O.

Zainab Balogun O.

Designer 💻 Writer 📝 Artist 🎨 Advocate for humanity, quality TV shows 🍿 & sleep 💤

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