Tuesday, 11 January 2022

What is 0xDECAF?

You'll start to catch a theme about your host. I'm an open source advocate and that makes me a bit of a source control nerd; one can't commit to open source without really groking source control, and I've been around the block with Star Team, SCCS (Sun), RCS, CVS, SVN, Mercurial, Visual Source Safe, even briefly tried ClearCase. I'm a homebrewer, always the RPG DM/GM/Referee, a hex-and-chit wargamer, lover of coffee, and twice Certified Java Programmer and Developer.

It is this last aspect that provides the clue to the category theme. It is hexadecimal, or base-16. To the base-10 majority, think counting by 16, e.g., 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F. Hexadecimal is  ubiquitous in computer science and programming, particularly in encoding algorithms. 

And there it is. Since can spell a lot of words with the six letters of hex, i.e, "10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15." DECAF is one of those words. The 0x is a convention, a way to signal to readers the value that follows is "hex." Hex values often are used as signals to an encoding of a file. For example, CAFEBABE are the "magic numbers" marking a Java class file. DEADBEEF was rumored to be a "magic debug number" or memory pointer on old Mac OS chips.

DECAF is 912,559. You can calculate this as follows: (13 × 16⁴) + (14 × 16³) + (12 × 16²) + (10 × 16¹) + (15 × 16⁰) = 912,559

This category is where I'll probably put lengthy computer and computer programming adjacent posts. I've got one in the wings that has me hot at work at the moment.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:14 AM in 0xDECAF


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