Tech

How to Read Binary Code Like a Pro

Reading a binary code is not as difficult as it seems to be. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to master this skill.

Fast Fact

If the last digit of a binary number is 1, the number is odd; if it is 0, the number is even.

Binary is a base-2 number system which represents numeric values through various combinations of bits. A bit can either be zero or one, only. A combination of 8 bits is called a byte, and every byte represents a single numeric value.

Binary is also popularly known as the machine language, since it helps detect an electrical signal’s on or off state. But how? The answer lies in the fact that 0 indicates the OFF state, whereas 1 indicates the ON state of an electrical signal. Here, we will learn how a computer decodes binary data into human-readable form.

How to Read Binary Code Text

Computers only understand the numerical ‘binary’ language. Then how is it possible that they can interpret alphabets and other characters too? The answer lies in the fact that every character, including alphabets and non-alphabetic characters like space, +, ×, etc., and numeric text 0 – 9, is internally represented with a numerical value known as the ‘ASCII’ value. ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Now, once the computer is aware which number is associated with a particular alphabet/character, it can easily manipulate the data after converting it into binary format. The following table depicts the ASCII value and its associated binary code for letters ‘A – Z’ and ‘a – z’.

Uppercase Alphabets
Lowercase Alphabets

LetterASCII ValueBinary
A6501000001
B6601000010
C6701000011
D6801000100
E6901000101
F7001000110
G7101000111
H7201001000
I7301001001
J7401001010
K7501001011
L7601001100
M7701001101
N7801001110
O7901001111
P8001010000
Q8101010001
R8201010010
S8301010011
T8401010100
U8501010101
V8601010110
W8701010111
X8801011000
Y8901011001
Z9001011010
LetterASCII ValueBinary
a9701100001
b9801100010
c9901100011
d10001100100
e10101100101
f10201100110
g10301100111
h10401101000
i10501101001
j10601101010
k10701101011
l10801101100
m10901101101
n11001101110
o11101101111
p11201110000
q11301110001
r11401110010
s11501110011
t11601110100
u11701110101
v11801110110
w11901110111
x12001111000
y12101111001
z12201111010

Let us see how to read binary code alphabets and letters with examples.

Example #1

Question: Decode the binary string 010010012

Answer: Begin decoding from right to left.

010010012 = 1 × 20 + 0 × 21 + 0 × 22 + 1 × 23 + 0 × 24 + 0 × 25 + 1 × 26 + 0 × 27
= 1 + 0 + 0 + 8 + 0 + 0 + 64 + 0 = 73, which is the ASCII equivalent of I

Example #2

Question: Decode the binary string 011001112

Answer: Begin decoding from right to left.

011001112 = 1 × 20 + 1 × 21 + 1 × 22 + 0 × 23 + 0 × 24 + 1 × 25 + 1 × 26 + 0 × 27
= 1 + 2 + 4 + 0 + 0 + 32 + 64 + 0 = 103, which is the ASCII equivalent of g

Example #3

Question: Decode the binary string 001101002

Answer: Begin decoding from right to left.

001101002 = 0 × 20 + 0 × 21 + 1 × 22 + 0 × 23 + 1 × 24 + 1 × 25 + 0 × 26 + 0 × 27
= 0 + 0 + 4 + 0 + 16 + 32 + 0 + 0 = 52, which is the ASCII equivalent of 4

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