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MathGroup Archive 1992

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converting a number in base b to a number in base 10 using ^^ in Mathematica

  • To: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu
  • Subject: converting a number in base b to a number in base 10 using ^^ in Mathematica
  • From: gaylord at ux1.cso.uiuc.edu
  • Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1992 04:44:33 -0600

on p. 537 of the second edition of the bible it says that

to go from a number 'mmm' in base b to a number in base 10 use

b^^mmm 

eg., 

2^^101
5
 
writing a program to do this,

base2tobase10conversion[n_Integer] := 2^^n

however, when this is entered into the global rule base, i got 

base2tobase10conversion[n_Integer] := 2^^n
General::digit: 
   Digit at position 1 in n
     is too large to be used in
     base 2.

hoping it was one of those messages that don't mean much, i tried to run
the program

base2tobase10conversion[101]
$Failed

what's going on apparently is that M wants the quantity to the right of ^^
to be an integer. i tried to use Hold to avoid the problem but it doesn't
help.  

i then tried :

101
101

2^^%
Syntax::sntxf: 
   "2^" cannot be followed by "^%"

it seems that the ^^ operator absolutely insists on being immediately
followed by an integer.


can someone suggest another way (there must be; there's always another way
to do almost everything in M) to convert a number in base b to base 10
other than using ^^. 

i find it hard to believe that M does not have a built-in function for
doing this but i can't find it in the book.










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