This is a binary clock. As you’d probably expect, it uses just ones

and zeros to display time, though here they’re represented by these little lights: on for

one and off for zero. But how could you read something like this? And, is it at all practical, or does it just…

look really cool? In this video, I’ll teach you how to read

the binary clock, but I also want to touch on some other applications for binary. So, first things first, what is binary? Well, it all starts with the mathematical

concept of number systems. In short, a number system is a set of symbols

that represent numerical values. These are called numerals. The system that almost all of the world uses

is called base 10, or the decimal system, where we have… ten numerals to work with. So, here are our numerals, and here they are

placed in order of the values they represent. But, what if we want to represent values higher

than nine? Well, we just reset the digit in the ones

place and add 1 to the digit in the next place value over: the tens place. This cycle keeps repeating, continuing after

we surpass 99. I know – Obviously, we’ve been doing that

basically as long as we’ve been alive. But what if we weren’t using base 10. What if instead we were using, say, base 16? Now we have 16 numerals to work with. But, aside from the first 10, what would they

look like? We can’t just use 10, 11, 12, and so on,

because that would use multiple of our established numerals, and be way too confusing to write

out. So instead, to represent numbers higher than

9, we use letters! If we counted using base 16, it would sound

like this: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ten (which is represented by A), eleven (represented

by B), twelve, thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen. So for sixteen, just like last time, we go

to the next place value, increase the digit by one, and set the first digit to zero. Except, this time, 1-0 is not Ten; it’s

sixteen! A is ten. From there, we have 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22,

23, 24, 25, and then, *26* – Remember, we still have to get through all 16 numerals

– 27, 28, 29, 30 – you get the idea. By the way, Base 16 is called Hexadecimal,

and you’ve probably seen it used before to represent color. But, I’m not here to talk about hexadecimal. I’m here to talk about *binary* – base

2. Here, we only have two numerals to work with

– 0, and 1. Let’s try counting again, using binary. Alright, here we go: 0, 1. Umm, well, you see, we’ve already run out

of numerals to use, so… you know the drill: add 1 to the digit in the next place value

reset the previous. that’s *two!*. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Hopefully you can see what I’m getting at

here. However, even with this knowledge, binary

is really difficult to read. This is probably in part because – well,

for one, you just learned it – but also, the names that we have for numbers correspond

to the names of the symbols in base 10 – not base 2. That’s why it feels wrong to call this hexadecimal

number seventy one: it’s clearly comprised of a four and a seven – forty seven – and

not a seven and a one. So, without memorizing the base 10 conversions

of every single binary number, it would be impossible for me to tell you what, say, *this*

number was, at a glance. However, there’s a mathematical pattern

we can use to help us decipher it. Because we’re in base 2, every place value

represents a power of two rather than a power of 10 like in decimal. You see, another way we can find the value

of regular decimal numbers is by taking each digit, multiplying them by their place value,

in this case being 1, 10, 100, and so on, and adding them up. Obviously there’s no real reason to do this

for decimal since we all just, you know – *know* that this number is fifty-seven thousand,

six hundred sixty-eight – at least, I hope we do. But this method can prove very useful for

binary, since we don’t just – know that this number is eighty-three thousand, two

hundred twenty-four. So, let’s try it. Remember, because of the limited amount of

numerals in binary, we’re working with powers of two. In other words, the tens digit becomes the

twos digit, the hundreds digit becomes the fours digit, the thousands the eights, the

ten thousands the sixteens, and so on. Now we can do the same thing we just did with

that decimal number. First, let’s multiply each digit by its

place value. This is easy because we’re only working

with ones and zeros. One times anything is itself and zero times

anything is zero, so we can just cross out all the place values with zeros above

them. Because we’ve written the place values in

base ten, all we gotta do now is add the numbers together to get the “base-10-ified” version

of the binary. In short, binary can be used to visually display

numbers with as few symbols as possible. It’s like numbers, but on a budget. I’ll talk more about the utility of binary

later in the video, but for now, let’s take what we’ve learned and apply it to Binary

clocks. We’ll start by arranging our clock in three

rows of digits, represented with on-and-off LEDs: one row to display the hours, another

to display minutes, and one more for seconds. Since there are 60 seconds in a minute and

60 minutes in an hour, we’ll need 6 digits in both the seconds row and minutes row, which

will allow for values up to 64. For the hours row, we only 4 digits to be

able to count to 12 hours, or 5 if you use a 24 hour clock. We can find out what time it is on the binary

clock with the method we talked about before. First, we’ll find the products of each digit

and their place value, and then we’ll find the sum of those numbers. And then, well, we’ve successfully read

the time on a binary clock. This is the clock’s “true binary” mode

– that is, the units of time, being seconds, minutes, and hours, are represented by just

one binary value each. But there’s another setting we can use to

make the binary clock a little easier to read. Instead of displaying three rows of binary

values, we can split each unit of time into its digits. What do I mean by this? Well, 34 would become a 3 and a 4. Here each unit of time gets two columns, but

because they’re shorter since we only need to count up to 10 and not 60, you don’t

have to add up such big numbers in your head, making it much faster to read. Now that we have two columns for hours, two

for minutes, and two for seconds, let’s practice reading it. As usual, we assign powers of two to each

place value, but I’ll write them on the side this time, rather than on the bottom. Since there are no lights on in the first

column, this value represents a zero. Since the only light on in the second column

is in the eights place, this value represents an 8. Put the two together, and we have 8 for the

hour. It’s 8:something right now. We can do the same thing with the minutes:

4 and 1 make 5, and 2 and 1 make 3: 53. Since we have 8 in the hours columns and 53

in the minutes columns, the time shown on this binary clock is 8:53 – well, 8:54 now,

and a few seconds. Because we’re giving a binary number to

what would be each of the digits in base 10, this mode is sort of a mix of binary and decimal. Therefore, its official name is “Binary-Coded

decimal”, or BCD. And, that’s pretty much all there is to

it! Now, there’s still one more thing I’d

to talk about in this video: We may have gone over what binary *is*, and how to read

the binary clock, but what about its primary use, being computers? Why do computers use binary? And that brings up a question I had when I

first found out about the binary clock. I don’t know about you but when I think

about binary, the first thing that comes to mind is code, and computers. So when I first saw the binary clock, I wondered

if it displayed what computers see as time – the raw data being fed to the computer. As it turns out, that’s not quite how it

works. You see, Binary clocks retain all the features

that make normal clocks easy for us to read, namely seconds, minutes, and hours. The way computers keep track of time on the

other hand is by… just… counting. In seconds from zero, zero generally being

January 1st, 1970. What you’re left with is just one long number

that’s suppose to be time. Convert that to binary, and you get what computers

think of when they think, “time.” It’s – well, it’s pretty unreadable

to humans, to say the least. But with this system, the computer can keep

track of what year, month, and day it is in addition to just hours, minutes, and seconds. And all in a single value. Anyways, my point in all this is that the

binary clock doesn’t directly have anything to do with computers. Binary, first and foremost, is a mathematical

concept, and that’s what this little guy’s trying to show us. So, what about computers? Why is binary used there? Well, if you’ve ever tried your hand at

programming, you’ll know that you don’t just type in ones and zeros to make stuff

work. Programming languages have multiple “levels”. With each level, we get farther away from

what the computer actually sees, and closer to something understandable to humans. Most programmers use “High-level” languages:

Your Java, Python, C++. These have a set of syntaxes that, when typed,

make the computer carry out specific functions. Up a level we start getting into visual languages,

where there’s so much code underneath it that you don’t even need to manually type

in commands. With these, companies can design intuitive

(or not so intuitive) user interfaces to mask regular old code. Some, like Scratch from MIT, are written to

be easy for children to understand, whereas others, like Unreal Engine 4’s node editor,

act as more of a quick way to write complex code, albeit pretty messy at times. These can be easier to start with, since any

error you make is in the logic of the code, rather than, like, a spelling error, or something. When there aren’t any errors in the code,

it can be converted through a series of steps into machine code, which tells the computer

what it physically needs to do to run the program. Then, just like the binary clock represents

ones and zeros with LEDs turned on and off, the processor sends out on and off signals

to tell the entire computer what to do. It’s using the simplicity of binary to carry

out the complex information that a programmer can write. In this way, programming levels are evolutions

of each other: Even before computers resembled what we think of them as today, binary could

be used to do simple computations electronically, by sending on and off signals through hardware

specifically designed to handle these instructions: the computer. With these instructions, people could program

computers to carry out specific tasks – including taking more readable versions of machine-code

instructions, called assembly languages, and converting them back into binary. With assembly languages, high-level languages

like the ones we use today could be written, along with compilers to convert them back

into machine code. It’s with these high-level languages that

computers can be used to their fullest potential, but it’s all built on the foundation of

binary. So now you know the answer to the title of

this video, and maybe even a *bit* more. Today we only scratched the surface of binary,

but I hope this can encourage you to learn more about the subject. I know it can be a difficult topic to *process*,

so thanks for sticking around till the end. Now, I’d like to give a quick shout out

to Anelace, for giving me permission to use the design of their Powers of 2® binary clock

in this video. Thanks Anelace! And thank you… …for watching my video.

## 17 Comments

## Creative Sushi · July 27, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Dude that was absolutely amazing! Your visuals are on point, and I learned a ton! Keep it up!

## CanSteam · July 27, 2019 at 11:22 pm

Was this re-uploaded…? I'll just reiterate that I think this video is fantastic!

## Geo Warrior · July 28, 2019 at 4:56 am

What the other two people in this comment section said

## StandardX · July 28, 2019 at 6:36 am

Woah, everything about this video was amazing! The Information, visuals, sound, music, etc! The YouTube algorithm will bless you soon.

(I also can now understand binary, neat. 😅)

## 友達こんにちは · July 28, 2019 at 6:26 pm

These visuals are incredibly well made and inventive! Never seen this style done as well as this! Good video, kudos!

## Noah Sumner · August 1, 2019 at 3:17 pm

Yo keep this up you are gonna blow up I guarentee

## ravioli789 · August 1, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Keep making videos theyre so good

## Rita C · August 11, 2019 at 3:54 am

This is so dope!!!!!

## Morsa Viejo · August 14, 2019 at 12:56 am

Dude this is good!! Well made. This man needs subs.

## Anzu · August 16, 2019 at 12:17 am

This is so cool! Amazing job 🙂

## MartyMacaroni · August 24, 2019 at 8:51 am

You deserve so many more subs dude

## Halid S. · August 27, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Hey your content is amazing! Which animation software did you use in your Videos?

## I Love Memes · September 14, 2019 at 3:32 am

Hey, YouTube removed the ability of private messaging, but I just wanted to say that you make really high quality videos! I appreciate the amount of dedication in each video. I can’t wait for the next upload!

## can¡ · October 7, 2019 at 5:22 am

I can't believe that this isn't more popular!

## DankZank · October 12, 2019 at 11:43 pm

Epic video

## Knight Owl · December 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

This video now supports English subtitles!! 🙂

## HalfRamen · January 2, 2020 at 7:24 pm

love the animations. keep up the amazing work!!!!