Hexdecimal digits, beyond the nineth element
Years and years ago, some bright ICT pioneer came to the conclusion that octal numbers were ideal for computer
engineering. He was right, in the days of the 12 bit ALU, but soon, the buswidths became multiples of 4 and 8
bits. And then grouping 3 bits together is not that obvious anymore.
So an even brighter (wo)man came to the conclusion that grouping 4 bits was even better and it took up less digits. The problem, of course, was that the old Egyptians forgot to make 6 spare digits for this event. So, the Bright Mind satisfied himself with the first 6 capital letters (A-F).
Bright it may have been, the problem is that now hexadecimal (another word for 4 bit groups, since 4 bits can make up 16 digits) math became a lot more difficult since we didn't have proper names for the new postnine digits.
Another reason to abandon the [A..F] semi-digit series is the problems met by programmers who need to display these tokens on a 7 segment display. For the non-engineers: 7 segment displays are the digits of most digital alarm clocks. You can make an 'A', but the 'B' looks like an '8' unless you go for the 'b', which looks like a '6'.
This all is now to come to an end.
The EUCET (European Union Computer Engineering Team) have decided this official, Europe wide, nomenclature for the PostNine digits. The proposal is valid in the European Union as of January 1, 2004 and all government agencies either have converted their documents accordingly, or are in the process of doing so.
The same goes for the ICT engineers and programmers of government organisations. Commercial companies are supposed to follow as of Februari 28, 2005.
EUCET have organized a summit with BS and ANSI to come to a worldwide standard for the postnine digits. Rumour has it, that President George W Bush has used his influence to convince the ANSI to meet the EUCET proposal. And that's of course just how we got to know Mr President: a man of deeds.
EUCET hexadecimal digit proposal.
Below you will find a table with all the names and figures of the hexadecimal digits. Most of these are
pre-EUCET and The Committee have expressed they have no desire to change these. That would harm the
introduction of the postnine digits.
EUCET math tables.
In order to help the users in getting aquainted with EUCET P9 numbers more easily, the team produced ready
made tables for multiplication and addition of P9 hex digits.
Press here for the multiplication table
Press here for the addition table
Page created March 1998,