Radix point
The dot
that separates the whole
part from the fractional
part in a real number in
any base
Floating point
A
representation of a real
number that keeps track
of the sign, mantissa,
and exponent
3.2
Representing Numeric Data
61
01111111
+ 00000011
10000010
100000010 in our scheme represents
±
126, not +130. If, however, we
were not representing negative numbers, the result would be correct.
Overflow is a classic example of the type of problems we encounter by
mapping an infinite world onto a finite machine. No matter how many bits
we allocate for a number, there is always the potential need to represent a
number that doesn’t fit. How overflow problems are handled varies by
computer hardware and by the differences in programming languages.
Representing Real Numbers
In computing, we call all noninteger values (that can be represented)
real
values. For our purposes here, we define a real number as a value with a
potential fractional part. That is, real numbers have a whole part and a
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 Fall '10
 MARIANAKANT
 Binary numeral system, Decimal

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