# Number Representations in Computer Hardware, Explained

#### m3tavision

##### Posts: 1,227   +999
Thank you for this wonderful article...

We use to play number games in College... and leave binary messages on door boards..!

##### Posts: 1,845   +787
This was a great primer and a good read.

#### kira setsu

##### Posts: 552   +559
I'm not good enough at math to understand much but it was a very interesting read.

#### Bamda

##### Posts: 450   +255
This is an awesome article. Thanks for giving us a refresher on the magic of numbers in Computer Hardware.

##### Posts: 16   +23
This is the kind of article that got me on TS in the first place. Shame they turned out to only make up like 1 out of every 40 or 50, but I'm nevertheless grateful for this quality content.

#### John Staerck

##### Posts: 24   +1
A very interesting article. Although for me it didn't really explain the need for the bias in the exponent field of floating point representations.

#### ma3mool

##### Posts: 11   +4
Staff
A very interesting article. Although for me it didn't really explain the need for the bias in the exponent field of floating point representations.

Excellent question. The short answer is that the bias allows you to get both positive and negative exponent values. So, if you want to get 2^-3, the bias allows you to encode it in a very straightforward way, by using the 8-bits for 124.

The longer answer is that it has to do with 2's complements, which isn't discussed here at all. It turns out that using a bias just makes life easier for the hardware, then having to interpret a 2's complement number and figure out if it is positive or negative.

#### Random Commenter

##### Posts: 19   +13

One thing: it's a fundamental tenet, not tenant