4.0418 Digital Computers and Binary Representation (1/7)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 23 Aug 90 21:17:47 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0418. Thursday, 23 Aug 1990.

Date: Wed, 22 Aug 90 16:08 EDT
From: John Lavagnino <LAV@brandeis.bitnet>
Subject: Beyond ones and zeros

Binary representation is indeed not the only choice for a digital
computer. Donald Knuth claims that the balanced ternary system, which
uses 0, 1, and -1, would really be a better choice (see his Art of
Computer Programming, volume 2). And Claude Shannon of Bell Labs once
built a computer that used Roman numerals internally; it was called