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Computers operate by Boolean logic, invented by the 19th century English mathematician George Boole. Everything is done with base 2, so there are only the numerals one and zero, or true and false. The three basic operations are invert (the output is the opposite of the input), AND (true only if *all* inputs are true), and OR (true if *any *input is true). It’s possible to express any arithmetic function in terms of Boolean logic, and to translate back and forth from base two to base ten. From the biggest computer to the smallest calculator, this is what’s happening behind the scenes.

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