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more about hexadecimal
## hexadecimal |

3 definitions found From WordNet r 1.6 [wn]: hexadecimal adj : of or pertaining to a number system having 16 as its base [syn: {hex}] From Jargon File (4.2.3, 23 NOV 2000) [jargon]: hexadecimal n. Base 16. Coined in the early 1960s to replace earlier `sexadecimal', which was too racy and amusing for stuffy IBM, and later adopted by the rest of the industry. Actually, neither term is etymologically pure. If we take `binary' to be paradigmatic, the most etymologically correct term for base 10, for example, is `denary', which comes from `deni' (ten at a time, ten each), a Latin `distributive' number; the corresponding term for base-16 would be something like `sendenary'. Decimal" comes from the combining root of `decem', Latin for 10. If wish to create a truly analogous word for base 16, we should start with `sedecim', Latin for 16. Ergo, `sedecimal' is the word that would have been created by a Latin scholar. The `sexa-' prefix is Latin but incorrect in this context, and `hexa-' is Greek. The word `octal' is similarly incorrect; a correct form would be `octaval' (to go with decimal), or `octonary' (to go with binary). If anyone ever implements a base-3 computer, computer scientists will be faced with the unprecedented dilemma of a choice between two _correct_ forms; both `ternary' and `trinary' have a claim to this throne. From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (13 Mar 01) [foldoc]: hexadecimal(Or "hex") {Base} 16. A number representation using the digits 0-9, with their usual meaning, plus the letters A-F (or a-f) to represent hexadecimal digits with values of (decimal) 10 to 15. The right-most digit counts ones, the next counts multiples of 16, then 16^2 = 256, etc For example, hexadecimal BEAD is decimal 48813: digit weight value B = 11 16^3 = 4096 11*4096 = 45056 E = 14 16^2 = 256 14* 256 = 3584 A = 10 16^1 = 16 10* 16 = 160 D = 13 16^0 = 1 13* 1 = 13 ----- BEAD = 48813 There are many conventions for distinguishing hexadecimal numbers from decimal or other bases in programs. In {C} for example, the prefix "0x" is used e.g. 0x694A11. Hexadecimal is more succinct than {binary} for representing {bit-masks}, machines addresses, and other low-level constants but it is still reasonably easy to split a hex number into different bit positions, e.g. the top 16 bits of a 32-bit word are the first four hex digits. The term was coined in the early 1960s to replace earlier "sexadecimal", which was too racy and amusing for stuffy {IBM}, and later adopted by the rest of the industry. Actually, neither term is etymologically pure. If we take binary" to be paradigmatic, the most etymologically correct term for base ten for example, is "denary", which comes from deni" (ten at a time, ten each), a Latin distributive" number; the corresponding term for base sixteen would be something like "sendenary". Decimal" is from an ordinal number; the corresponding prefix for six would imply something like "sextidecimal". The "sexa-" prefix is Latin but incorrect in this context, and "hexa-" is Greek. The word {octal} is similarly incorrect; a correct form would be octaval" (to go with decimal), or octonary" (to go with binary). If anyone ever implements a base three computer, computer scientists will be faced with the unprecedented dilemma of a choice between two *correct* forms; both ternary" and trinary" have a claim to this throne. [{Jargon File}] (1996-03-09)

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