Sep8

Behind The Scenes of .digital

Posted by Kelly Kirkham

In the week that .digital goes on sale, Kelly Kirkham goes behind the scenes of the Internet to work out what makes the digital world possible…

This week sees the launch of the hottest web address ending since analog! .digital is now available for registration. It’s estimated that the current global digital economy is worth $20.4 trillion dollars. The new .digital can be used by anyone from a band wanting to promote the release of their latest digital EP, to an open-source company offering digital downloads.

So, to what do we owe the digital revolution that is happening across the world? One of the answers to this question is binary code.

Binary code is basically the language that computers speak and has been around since 1939 when Professor John V Atanasoff and grad student Clifford Berry came up with it at Iowa State University. The word binary means two, as in two options, which in this case are a ‘0’ and a ‘1’. All binary is made up of zeros and ones. It helps to think of them not so much as numbers, but as switches for on and off.

WhatIs.com describes digital as “electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data in terms of two states: positive and non-positive. Positive represents the number 1 and non-positive by the number 0.”

Thanks to this moderately simple idea the world was able to develop parallel processing, regenerative memory, and complex systems of arithmetic that founded what we know today as computer programming. The great thing about binary code is that you can make any number or letter simply by using zeros and ones, so really the sky’s the limit.

Binary is based on ASCII which stands for American Standard Code Information Interchange. ASCII represents between 0 and 127 numbers or letters by using a standard 7 bit binary code. Every string of zeros and ones can be added up to create any text you are looking for. Then a computer toggles between 0 and 1 at speeds we can’t imagine, quickly turning the positive and non-positive representations into email, web searches, and funny cat videos.

In a binary world 0 equals zero, but so does 00000000. The precise placements of the ones, or ‘on switches’, are the key to forming numbers.

For example…

0=0 1=1 2=10
3=11 4=100 5=101
6=110 7=111 8=1000

And so on, and so on… This continues for all numbers and letters too.  Letters of the alphabet are a bit more intense and include more ‘bits’.

For example…

A = 1000001 B=1000010 C=1000011
D=1000100 E=1000101 F=1000110

These can be added together in huge strings of data, and are used to type these words on the screen of my computer now.

(Just a note, this is a simplified idea of binary, the exact way that binary code is constructed is a bit complicated for one blog post, but if you are looking to learn there are a few really good video instructions onYouTube.)

Below are some examples of what messages translated into binary code would look like.

01100111 01100101 01110100 00100000 01100001 00100000 00101110 01100100 01101001 01100111 01101001 01110100 01100001 01101100 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101101 01100001 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110100 01101111 01100100 01100001 01111001

Translates to: Get a .digital domain today!

01001101 01101001 01101110 01100100 00100000 01000010 01101100 01101111 01110111 01101110

Translates to: Mind Blown.

01000010 01100101 01110011 01110100 00100000 01100010 01101100 01101111 01100111 01100111 01100101 01110010 00100000 01100101 01110110 01100101 01110010 00100001

This translation is a secret, but if you can figure it-out feel free to tweet me the hidden message @kellykirkham4.

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