What is binary code

Binary code - what do you need the binary system for?

Finally, in the 20th century, digital technology developed - the first electronic calculating machines were produced. It was the task of the computer pioneers to translate numbers and letters into a system that computers could understand. The binary code is predestined for this precisely because one can use the abstraction of 1 and 0 in physical states can translate. In electrical engineering: If there is a voltage, 1 applies; if there is no voltage, 0 is assumed.

Also Punch cards work with a binary system to convey information: on such a card, a certain number of characters can be represented through an existing or missing hole. In this way, information can be stored permanently and still machine-readable. Punch cards were already in use before computers were invented, for example in looms or mechanical jukeboxes.

At first glance, binary code and binary system seem to be synonymous. But if you become aware of the properties of a code, the difference is noticeable: A code is a regulated translation of characters. Each character in the original is assigned a different character or sequence of characters. So it is possible to convert back and forth. A system, on the other hand, exists in itself and does not need to be compared to another system. For example, if you are calculating in the binary system, you do not need to refer to the decimal system to get results.

Both occur in the IT context: We find coding e.g. B. with the ASCII code. With seven digits and two states (1 and 0) all letters of the Latin alphabet as well as other characters can be represented. But since not all characters in the world are represented by this by far, one to four bytes are available with UTF-8.