Encoding Schemes

Converting physical signals into binary is the process of digitization. We can digitize sound, words, images, music, even smells! They all become a pattern of 1s and 0s. Deciding exactly how the software should interpret this data is the second aspect of modeling: binary encoding. For example, a gaming joystick attached to the computer can have several different positions, similar to the points on a compass. A basic model of a joystick will provide 8 different positions: north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest. We can represent these in binary as follows: N = 000, NE=001, E=010, etc. (But even this is insufficient, since we have not accounted for the center position of the joystick or the button[s].)

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These pages were written by Steven H. VanderLeest and Jeffrey Nyhoff and edited by Nancy Zylstra
©2005 Calvin University (formerly Calvin College), All Rights Reserved

If you encounter technical errors, contact computing@calvin.edu.