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### Using a Calculator in Other Bases

```
Date: 05/16/2000 at 12:14:54
From: Gina Ames
Subject: Base 2 division

Dear Dr. Math,

Can a calculator be used to add non-base 10 numbers? For example, 27
base 8 + 65 base 8.

Gina Ames
```

```
Date: 05/18/2000 at 11:43:07
From: Doctor TWE
Subject: Re: Base 2 division

Some calculators are designed to do arithmetic in specific bases,
usually binary (base-2), octal (base-8) and hexadecimal (base-16),
because these bases are commonly used when working with computers.
Look for buttons marked [BIN], [OCT] and [HEX] - this is an indicator
that the calculator works in these bases. Calculators vary in what
they can do in those bases, and what button(s) you need to push to get
them to do operations in those bases.

Generally, if a calculator can work in those bases, it can add and
subtract in those bases, and convert values to and from decimal. Be
careful with negative numbers and fractions - most calculators only
deal with integer values in other bases, and represent negative values
as "complements." Some can multiply and divide, but most of them will
only give you the integer portion (the quotient) when dividing. For

Two's Complement
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/corbin.07.13.99.html

Negative Numbers in Binary
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/akella.8.19.99.html

One final note: You can always convert the numbers to decimal, do the
necessary arithmetic (in decimal), then convert the answer back to the
base desired.

I hope this helps. If you have any more questions, write back.

- Doctor TWE, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Number Theory

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