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09 August 2005

Binary, Ternary, Senary

First of all, I had to look up Senary, because I had no clue what a 6-based number system would be. Answers.com provided the following:
Positional systems

* b = 2: Binary, abbreviated bin.
* b = 3: Ternary (or trinary)
* b = 4: Quaternary
* b = 5: Quinary
* b = 6: Senary
* b = 7: Septenary
* b = 8: Octal or Octonary, abbreviated oct.
* b = 9: Novenary
* b = 10: Decimal or Denary, abbreviated dec. (a single system, but there are both long scale and short scale naming variants in widespread use)
* b = 12: Duodecimal (used in the Chepang language of Nepal)
* b = 13: Tredecimal
* b = 16: Hexadecimal, abbreviated hex. (properly sedecimal, but hexadecimal is standard)
* b = 20: Vigesimal (see Maya numerals)
* b = 25: Quinquevigesimal (see D'ni numerals)
* b = 26: Hexavigesimal
* b = 27: Septemvigesimal
* b = 60: Sexagesimal (see Babylonian numerals)
* b = 64: Quattuorsexagesimal
* b = 120: Centivigesimal


So, why was I looking up 6-based numbering? Well, I found that I liked Ternary better than Binary. I even wrote a Binary Tutorial and a Balanced Ternary Tutorial.

Well, the reason is that I am additicted to hexagons. I love hexagons. Hexagon grids, maps, games, etc... So, you might be asking why I am calling it Senary instead of Hexadecimal? Hexadecimal is base 16, not base 6.

Answer.com suggests that a Senary system uses the numbers 0-5 (easily represented by a fist of fingers on 1 hand)... Although that does appear very easy to type, I personally would prefer a hexagon-based solution... let me think...

I'll have to revisit this... but I have to think that a hex-grid based numbering would be kewl ;)