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# how to represent a negative number by bit?

Jello Yao
Greenhorn
Posts: 13
Any one please help explain how to represent a negative number by bit? Please give a few examples. Thanks!

Pauline McNamara
Sheriff
Posts: 4012
6
Hello Jello,
Though it makes for a nice rhyme, your display name doesn't quite fit the famous JavaRanch naming policy. Could you please take a minute to change your display name to show 2 names, preferably your real name. (It's all about maintaining our professional image - don't let the one-eyed moose fool you!).
Thanks and hope you'll be visiting the ranch often,
Pauline

Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff
Posts: 9063
12
Any bit-type number that has a "1" in the highest position is negative.

Jello Yao
Greenhorn
Posts: 13
What is the bit representation for -5? I know how to do it for 5(00000101). But I do not know how to do it for a negative number? Any tips?
Thanks!

boyet silverio
Ranch Hand
Posts: 173
binary of decimal 5 00000101
change all 0 to 1, vice versa 11111010
========
corresponding value of -5 11111011

to check:
binary of -5 11111011
change 0 to 1, vice versa 00000100
========
results to binary of 5 00000101
[ January 05, 2003: Message edited by: boyet silverio ]
[ January 05, 2003: Message edited by: boyet silverio ]

Jello Yao
Greenhorn
Posts: 13

Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2591
Have alook at this, and see if it is of any help.
HTH,
- Manish

John Lee
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2545
In fact, the highest bit is a sign bite, only showing sign.
For example, for byte, there are 8 bites, but the range is from -2^7 to 2^7-1
2^7 - 1 = 0111 1111 ;
If you add 1 more, the highest bite will become 1, which means negative.

Jello Yao
Greenhorn
Posts: 13
Big thanks!

John Lee
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2545
You are welcome!