Questions tagged [binary]

The tag has no usage guidance.

48
votes
3answers
66k views

Why is 2^16 a “special” number? [closed]

OK, I feel stupid asking this - but in Jeff's article: Getting the Interview Phone Screen Right and originally stated in the 5 essential phone screen questions: They shouldn't stare blankly at you ...
42
votes
13answers
5k views

Is there an alternative to bits?

Is there an alternative to bits as the smallest unit of data? Something that won't be only 0 or 1, but actually hold many possible states in between? Wouldn't it be more natural to store floats like ...
32
votes
3answers
12k views

Does storing plain text data take up less space than storing the equivalent message in binary?

As a web developer I have very little understanding of binary data. If I take the sentence "Hello world.", convert it to binary, and store it as binary in an SQL database, it seems like the 1s and ...
31
votes
3answers
61k views

What are binaries? [closed]

I see very often people using term binaries in different context. What are binaries? Collection on binary files, installation files, .dll files or what? Or is it just an general term for some ...
28
votes
22answers
21k views

Why learn hexadecimal? [closed]

I've taken quite a few intro programming classes in my day, mostly just to get my feet wet in every different kind of programming I find. Not surprisingly, just about every class runs through the ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

Why aren't “fat binaries” more widely used for cross-platform applications?

As far as I know, so-called "fat binaries"--executable files that contain machine code for multiple systems--are only really used on Apple PCs, and even there it seems like they only used them because ...
21
votes
6answers
22k views

Is machine language always binary? [duplicate]

I know absolutely nothing in low-level stuff, so this will be a very newbie question. Please excuse my ignorance. Is machine language - the series of numbers to that tell the physical computer ...
21
votes
2answers
837 views

Optimize a git repo, containing large binary files

Our project is about 11GB, 10 of which are binary data (.png images). Consequently, a git diff or git status operations take up more than a minute. Fortunately all data files are separated into a ...
16
votes
4answers
9k views

Why can't native machine code be easily decompiled?

With bytecode-based virtual machine languages like Java, VB.NET, C#, ActionScript 3.0, etc., you hear sometimes about how easy it is to just go download some decompiler off the Internet, run the ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

How do you debug a binary format?

I would like to be able to debug building a binary builder. Right now I am basically printing out the input data to the binary parser, and then going deep into the code and printing out the mapping of ...
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Compiling vs using pre-built binaries performance?

Will performance be better (quicker) if I manually compile the source for a software component for the actual machine that it will be used on, compared to if the source was compiled on another ...
9
votes
3answers
39k views

Is there something special about the number 65535?

2¹⁶-1 & 2⁵ = 2⁵ (or? obviously ?) A developer asked me today what is bitwise 65535 & 32 i.e. 2¹⁶-1 & 2⁵ = ? I thought at first spontaneously 32 but it seemed to easy whereupon I thought ...
9
votes
4answers
362 views

File naming convention for images stored in version control?

My application has an icon file which is stored in version control. Now tomorrow I might decide to change the icon. I'm debating between two possible naming conventions for the icon file: Keep the ...
7
votes
9answers
3k views

Is it any good to use binary arithmetic in a C++ code like “C style”?

I like the fact that the C language lets you use binary arithmetic in an explicit way in your code, sometimes the use of the binary arithmetic can also give you a little edge in terms of performance; ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it allowed to embed an LGPL command-line tool?

I want to sell a closed-application that depends upon a certain command line tool. Am I allowed to distribute my software including this command line tool? For example, as a separate binary ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Extracting color profile information from JPEG files

I'm trying to look up info about reading JPEG's color profile info and to my surprise there's very little open specific how-to information on that regard, but rather lots of general explanation on ...
5
votes
2answers
13k views

binary representation in Python and keeping leading zeros

I wanted to use the base64 Python library to encode a sequence of binary digits into base 64. Would it be possible to do it without converting to a string? If not, what is the best way to do it, ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Representing a number in 12 Bit 2's Complement Fixed Point

The original question is as follows: Consider a 12-bit two's complement fixed point representation, with 8 bits for the integer part and 4 bits for the fraction. What is the binary encoding of ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Binary data formats, how to make ensure you can read different format versions?

On our project we have this data format that we use to process and record data on. As of late our application changed so that many of the data formats parameters have become obsolete. Currently we ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do binary files load quicker than alphanumeric text files?

I've noticed that when I load/store large data files in a binary format, the program runs much faster than if I load data from an ASCII encoded file. Why is this the case? The data in my case is ...
4
votes
4answers
564 views

How much is modern programming still tied to underyling digital logic? [closed]

First of all: I've got no academic background. I'm working primarily with Java and Spring and I'm also fond of web programming and relational databases. I hope I'm using the right terms and I hope ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Data format for binary data transfer

I have to make an oscilloscope. Ideally, the oscilloscope connects to a probe. This probe should be another program, and could get the data locally or from a network. This data are numbers, floats and/...
4
votes
2answers
453 views

Understanding physical address

I'm reading this article, Low Level Programming of the Raspberry Pi in C, which explains how to access the raspberry pi on a low level. It states that the virtual gpio address is 0x7E200000. ...
4
votes
3answers
150 views

Restricted randomization of a binary vector

Suppose I have a binary vector of sample size N with each of the two possible values (e.g., 0 and 1 occurring equally often). For example, if N=10, the binary vector is: 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 Suppose ...
3
votes
1answer
856 views

How do you set and check a single bit in a programming language that does not support bitwise operations?

I'm using a programming language (more a scripting language) that does not support any bitwise operators like AND, OR, XOR, NOT (and shift as well). Common arithmetic and logical operations like + - *...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

Can we create a GPL application that has a payware advertisement on it?

We've been thinking of using GPL components to make a GPL application, and freely give it away. We then want to use that as a loss-leader. In that free application, where even the source code is ...
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Preferred way to put drawings into Git repo

In order to visualize some concepts in a Git repo for other developers, I want to put there some vector drawings. Of course they should not be binary. If minor changes occur, the file change should be ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What exactly is “Binary Form”?

I am asking in the context of the licenses on code that one sees all over the place. Typically, they say something along the lines of "if you release a product containing this in binary form, it must ...
3
votes
1answer
594 views

What is meant by binary compatibility? What is its importance during serialization/deserialization in a language like Java that deals in byte code?

In computing what is meant by binary compatibility? I read about it in context of serialization/deserialization that this process of serialize/deserialize should be binary compatible. What does it ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Best method for Pattern Matching on Binary String?

I need to search a long string of binary string data (couple of megabytes worth of binary digits) for patterns of binary digits. There are about 100 000 different patterns to search for. Each is a ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Benefits of Java ByteArrayInputStream vs byte array?

I have a scenario where my Java process will be receiving a stream of binary data: public class DataHandler { public void handleData(DATA data) { // TODO: Do something with data } } ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

What separates text files from binary files, considering they are stored in binary?

There are text files and there are image, video, and music files. Why are image, video, and music files considered binary files, and why are text files not?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I structure a C# application that reads & writes binary data?

I have to read and write binary "chunks" of approximately 1Mb each. The data can come in the form of a stream or a in-memory byte[]. Normally I would use a Struct with a fixed layout, but there are ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

What does “windowed streaming” stand for?

So I was asking around the Mercurial development mailing list about binary diffing and patch handling and I got the following examples: whole file approaches (classic diff, bsdiff, Mercurial's ...
3
votes
1answer
245 views

What's the best approach for using Git for a project containing a largish binary database (4 GB, 4000 files)?

The codebase consists of 190 Fortran 95+ source files, and directory of binary coefficient files required for the use of the code. The binary directory contains about 4000 files, some of which are ...
3
votes
1answer
381 views

Conveniently sorting and (binary?) searching an array of pairs of numbers?

So I have an array of distinct pairs of positive integers. That is, my array looks something like this (for instance): { (1,5) , (6,4), (5,3), (2,3), (2,4) } And my task is, for a given pair (a,b) ...
3
votes
0answers
74 views

Rounding floats after modf()

I am trying to make an effective modf() function that uses floats instead of doubles. An embedded application I am working on only supports the float type. My modf() function works as expected with ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How exactly does a program (executable image) and library (pre-compiled image) “link” together?

I know very well of the difference of static versus dynamic linking. What I want to know is, when linking statically (with a library like Winmm.lib on Windows), how does the linker "link" the pre-...
2
votes
3answers
847 views

Can you decipher this binary [closed]

Thought I post this to the best community of programmers I know. David Johnston, the new Governor General, has the digital world confused. Just what is the meaning of that 33 character-...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Understanding binary numbers in terms of real world objects [closed]

When I represent a number in the decimal system, I have an intuitive knowledge of what it amounts to. For example take the number '10': I understand that it means 10 apples or 10 people... i.e I can ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

Why does division and multiplication by 2 use the shift operator rather than division operator?

While looking at the code in C for division/multiplication by 2, it is found that shift operator is used rather than division operator. What is the advantage of using shift over division operator?
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Bitwise operation on uppercase ASCII character turns to lowercase. Why?

I came across this in the http_parser library of node.js implementation. When I bitwise-OR an ASCII capitalized character code, it converts into its lowercase version. The lowercase version remains as ...
2
votes
2answers
288 views

Which numeral systems are useful in computer science?

I am wondering which numeral system different programmers are using, or would use if their language has support for them. As an example, in C++ we can use: Octal by prefixing with 0 (e.g. 0377) ...
2
votes
2answers
529 views

Why directly edit binary files?

This may be a naive question, but I wonder when and why (non-research) developers would directly edit a binary file. It seems like the only good reason to use one is to create a kludge when you need ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to safely run random binary codes? [closed]

Okay, so I am looking for a way to safely run a randomly generated binary code. I also need to be able to decompile the code. Any ideas and all programming languages are welcome. BTW it most be ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

audio file processing in C++

I thought of the following project that I want to pursue: I want to create a C++ program, that can play audiofiles and visualize the amplitudes of individual frequency bands in real time (e.g. with ...
2
votes
0answers
538 views

Optimal data structure for binary data/Java

I have several input formats mostly restricted to geotiff and some proprietary binary formats. I import them into my program and then need to export them into various other data formats (also binary) ...
1
vote
1answer
441 views

How is this number calculated?

I have numbers; A == 0x20000000 B == 18 C == (B/10) D == 0x20000004 == (A + C) A and D are in hex, but I'm not sure what the assumed numeric bases of the others are (although I'd assume base 10 ...
1
vote
2answers
418 views

Different Number Base Systems

I am doing a summer assignment for AP Computer Science. For this I am learning about different number base systems and how to convert them. These topics led to me wondering about why programmers use ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is a Relocatable Binary?

What is a Relocatable Binary? I tried doing some search on Google, but I am still confused. Also: what is the difference between an Executable and a Relocatable Binary?