Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Counting on your fingers, Base-Five

"Zeke, I dun heard that Darleen dun went and left you."

"Yup, Cletus. That's a fact. She said I was too dumb for her."

"No, that can't be, Zeke. If she thought you were too dumb she would-a left you when you had to take off your shoe to count to eleven."

"Yup, Cletus. That is what I thought. I knew I never should-a counted to twenty-one in front of her before we got hitched..."

How high can you count to on your two hands?

The red "X" indicates which fingers are touching the surface. All others are not touching. 99 is reached when all fingers are touching the surface.

In theory it is possible to count up to 1023 using Base-Two but that is not easy for most people to do.

It is, however, possible to use Base-Five and count up to 99.

Simple math can be done, abacus fashion, by "carrying" and the like. Adding a second person who is familiar with the technique means calculations can be carried out to 9,999.

Too bad Zeke never learned how to do this in school.

Note: I saw this demonstrated on the Art Linkletter show and kids in fifth grade were able to perform simple calculations faster than the guy on the adding machine.


  1. As an old IT guy (called a "programmer" way back when), I still think in hexadecimal!