Big-Endian vs Little-Endian: How Do You Remember Which is Which?

If you need to read binary files or binary streams, you need to know whether the file you’re reading is big-endian or little-endian.

It’s about the order that the bytes are stored in the file. For example the number 1, stored as a 32 bit integer, is 00000001, occupying 4 bytes. That means you need a sequence of four bytes in the file to store the number. If you put the byte that holds the most significant bits first, then the bytes look like this: Continue reading “Big-Endian vs Little-Endian: How Do You Remember Which is Which?”

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A Strange Binary Pattern

While I was writing the Maths for Programmers course, I was constructing some examples to illustrate overflow and noticed a strange pattern. I was working with the number 255, which is the biggest number that can be stored in an unsigned byte, and is represented in binary by 1111 1111. The idea was to use the unsigned byte data type and show the results of calculating 255 + 255 and 255 * 255 – both of those will cause an overflow.

Now 255 + 255 gives 510. And 255 * 255 gives 65,025. Look at what these numbers look like in binary. Continue reading “A Strange Binary Pattern”