IT Dojo pop quiz answers: Hexadecimal basics
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Hexadecimal is what type of numbering system?
Our pop quiz on hexadecimal basics was a hit with TechRepublic members. As of grading time, nearly 2,000 people tested their knowledge of hexadecimal math. If you haven’t had a chance to take the quiz, I encourage you to try your luck, before reading the answers below. Now, on to the answers!
The correct answer is: Base16 and 84 percent of those who answered the question got it right, as shown in Figure A. The hexadecimal numeral system uses sixteen distinct symbols. Usually, the symbols 09 are used to represent zero to nine, and A, B, C, D, E, and F are used to represent values ten to fifteen.
True or False: Hexadecimal values can use the numbers 1 through 10 and the letters A, B, C, D, E and F.
True or False: Hexadecimal values can use the numbers 1 through 10 and the letters A, B, C, D, E and F.
The correct answer is: False and 56 percent of those who answered the question got it right, as shown in Figure B. Of this quiz’s five questions, this one was probably the trickiest. As the answer to Question 1 indicates, hexadecimal systems most often use the symbols 09 to represent zero to nine and A, B, C, D, E, and F to represent ten through fifteen. However, it’s true that using symbols 110 and A, B, C, D, E, and F do give you 16 values. I’ll admit there might be a little room for interpretation of the question’s wording. If you answered True and can make a good case for the answer, I might reconsider and mark your answer correct.
Which of the following is a benefit of using a hexadecimal numbering system instead of a decimal numbering system?
Which of the following is a benefit of using a hexadecimal numbering system instead of a decimal numbering system?
The correct answer is: A hexadecimal system allows us to stuff more information in a smaller space and 94 percent of those who answered the question knew the correct answer, as shown in Figure C. Each hexadecimal digit represents four binary digits. This makes is a compact way to express binary values.
Eight binary digits (one byte) can be represented by how many hexadecimal digits?
The correct answer is: Two and 60 percent of the people who answered the question got it right. One byte contains eight bits. Each hexadecimal digit represents four binary digits. Therefore, one byte can be represented by two hexadecimal digits.
The decimal value 255 is 11111111 in binary and what in hexadecimal?
The correct answer is: FF and 85 percent of those who answered the question got it right. If you ever need to convert between decimal, binary, and hexadecimal, the calculator that comes with Windows is a handy tool. Just open the Calculator, click View and select Scientific. You can then enter a digit and move between the three systems.


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