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Hexidecimal. Other applications, and HTML, use a different number system to represent the numeric values of intensities. This number system is called hexidecimal, meaning base 16. Hexidecimal is used for a variety of reasons, one of which is that the 256 different levels of intensity can be represented using a two digit hexidecimal "number". We're using hexidecimal, or base sixteen, we need more than our familiar range of digits, since each digit in base sixteen needs to represent one of 16 different values. The digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9 give us ten of the values we need, and we use the letters A,B,C,D,E, and F give us the other six. Let's compare the three major number systems used in computers:

 

Number System

Binary

Decimal

Hexidecimal

Base

2

10

16

Possible values for each digit

0 or 1

0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9

0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F

 

Using this, we can take a look at the binary, decimal, and hexidecimal representations of the numbers zero through fifteen.

Binary

0000

0001

0010

0011

0100

0101

0110

0111

1000

1001

1010

1011

1100

1101

1110

1111

Decimal

00

01

02

03

04

05

06

07

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

Hexidecimal

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

A

B

C

D

E

F