Author Topic: What's the purpose of octal?  (Read 129 times)

Offline Daniel

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What's the purpose of octal?
« on: November 01, 2018, 10:06:09 AM »
I understand the situations in which binary is useful, and I understand the situations in which hexadecimal is useful. But what use is there for octal? Seems a lot of programming languages support it (from what I can tell, it's even more widely supported than binary). But why?
 

Offline Lynne

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Re: What's the purpose of octal?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2018, 12:41:37 PM »
Some older computers (UNIVAC) were built to use the octal system. I used to work at an insurance company in Boston and they migrated from UNIVAC to IBM, their programmers need to learn hexadecimal (IBM). This was back when the programmers needed to be able to read core dumps and calculate positions in the dump to find bad data and the like.  ::)
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 
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Offline clau clau

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Re: What's the purpose of octal?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 05:29:26 PM »
Would you like to shake hands with Pope 1 or Pope 2 - Dr Seuss

But when he's dumb and no more here,
Nineteen hundred years or near,
Clau-Clau-Claudius shall speak clear.
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: What's the purpose of octal?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 06:12:01 PM »
Ok, so I was just looking more into octal and it seems exactly the same as hexadecimal except using groups of 3 bits rather than 4 (which I guess makes sense, since 3 bits can hold half the amount of numbers as 4 bits, just as 8 is half of 16). Then it's not as mystifying as I previously thought... though it still seems a bit messy (8 bits in a byte, yet 8 isn't a multiple of 3...)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 06:15:34 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: What's the purpose of octal?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2018, 06:14:26 PM »


The purpose of octal is to be used in this pretty amusing joke!
Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth.

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