07eb45e2421687de11ab5d83276b5f34ac8355a7 — Eduardo Quiros 2 months ago 5de3df7 master
draft: outside your comfort zone
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title: "Outside Your Comfort Zone"
date: 2020-09-20T23:33:39
draft: true

## Intro...

Recently, I had a class which required conversion between a few numeric systems such as binary (base2), decimal (the "normal" one we use, base10), and base16.

(It was actually a couple more, but for this blogpost only those three are relevant.)

A classmate of mine asked the professor if it was alright for him, in a conversion between binary and base16, to convert to decimal as a middle step.
This initially seems as a good practice. Since decimal is a system that we've all used since we learned to count, it makes sense to want to use it as a middleground between two unknown systems.

In a situation where time and success are critical, it's natural to want to stick to what you already know.

## The Problem with this Approach

As a principle, I don't necessarily advise people to stray from their comfort zone when performing a critical task. However, in class, it's **experimentation time**.

Numerical systems that share a common base (base16 is, technically, base2^4),
conversion is actually **simpler** than it would be using a different system with an incongruous base as a middleground.