Binary Birthday

First of all, it’s not my birthday. That said, I had a cool idea for a birthday tradition that I want to record lest I forget it!

Image of a card that says "Happy Birthday" in binary 1s and 0s

First of all, it’s not my birthday, but I had a cool idea for a birthday tradition and want to record it lest I forget it!

During my birthday last year, I was in the midst of learning about computer science for the first time, and that included learning about binary via Vaidehi Joshi‘s blog series and podcast, BaseCS. My mom had given me a birthday card that said “Happy Birthday” in binary, and that was quite cute, so I Tweeted a picture of the card:

After posting the Tweet, I remember thinking, “Crap, that would have been so much better if I had concealed my age by writing 29 in binary!” And at the time, I would have been able to do that since I was learning binary.

I definitely do not remember how to calculate my age in binary now, and my idea for a worthwhile #binaryBirthday tradition would be to, every year around my birthday, take 20 minutes and re-learn binary in order to express my age in 1s and 0s.

Is my memory really that bad that I’ll have to re-learn it every year? Possibly…but I would argue that’s more of a relevance issue than a memory issue. If I find that, from year to year, I do remember binary, then I can move on to #hexidecimalBirthday instead!