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Mysteries of the Ancients: Binary-Coded Decimal (BCD)

Clive "Max" Maxfield

Mysteries of the Ancients: Binary-Coded Decimal (BCD)
Clive "Max" Maxfield

It has to be acknowledged that growing old is not as much fun as I had hoped it would be. Having said this, one of the great things about being old (I’m clutching at straws) is that you end up having learned a whole lot of “stuff” about a whole lot of “stuff” (some of this stuff may even be useful).

When most people hear the term “binary-coded decimal (BCD),” they think “I know all about that” (they usually don’t) and “no one uses BCD anymore” (you’d be amazed how much they do).

Apart from anything else, engineers in the early days of digital computing had to do a lot of “stuff” using not much “stuff,” as it were. As such, BCD provides a great platform to introduce all sorts of cunning tricks, many of which may prove to be useful in modern designs.

In this presentation, we will dive headfirst into the BCD fray with gusto and abandon (and aplomb, of course). As is usually the case in my presentations, we will be leaping from topic to topic with the agility of young mountain goats, so I urge all attendees to dress appropriately and responsibly.

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