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hexadecimal

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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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