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What is Octal?

Date: 11/30/1999 at 04:52:22
From: breda griffin
Subject: What is Octal in Math Terms?

i have been given an assignment to find out what octal is. I have to 
find out what the word means and give examples. I have looked in my 
a-level math books with no success.


Date: 11/30/1999 at 08:35:36
From: Doctor Jerry
Subject: Re: What is Octal in Math Terms?

Hi Breda,

Octal refers to a base 8 numbering system. So, instead of 

     0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, ...

you would have

     0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, ...

Of course you would interpret 12 as

     1*8^1 + 2*8^0 = 8+2 = ten.

Computer engineers sometimes find the octal and hexadecimal (base 16) 
number systems useful.

For more about number bases, see the Dr. Math FAQ:   

  Fraction/Decimal Conversion to Other Bases   

On the Web, see:

  Converting Numbers Into Binary, Octal, and Hexadecimal Values   

  Number System - Computer Methods in Chemical Engineering course   

- Doctor Jerry, The Math Forum   
Associated Topics:
High School Number Theory

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