All the 1s

c: | f: /

When is a date not a date? When you find a computer science nerd to mis-represent it.

It’s not often that self-confessed geeks like me get to play with dates. Today, at eleven minutes past eleven and eleven seconds, the calendar — when written without the century — represents 4095 in decimal. At least, it does if we consider the date as a simple binary sequence.

To be absolutely accurate we’d have to declare beforehand that the value of 111111111111 was unsigned, otherwise this very moment would represent -4096 after converting the binary value to a 2s complement signed number (invert, sum and add 1 for the mildly curious).

Thus it appears my computer science teacher can be vindicated at long last: binary is actually really useful and I’ve applied it to a real-world situation, just like he predicted I would all those years ago.

First time for everything I suppose.

Scribe for me


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