converting from base to base...

*To*: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu*Subject*: converting from base to base...*From*: David Elbert <ELBERT at midd.bitnet>*Date*: Thu, 26 Mar 1992 19:10 EST

Concerning "gaylord"'s problem of converting bases: I think there is a misunderstanding of pg 357 of edition 2 of the big book. The double carat (^^), is not a mathematical function that can have its evaluation delayed, or accept a variable for the value of "n" as in 2^^n. This is purely an input form device to allow you to enter a number from an arbitrary base into Mma. The number is immediately converted to base 10. The complement to this function is BaseForm[], which is another purely formatting function that allows you to print out a number in another base. Try: BaseForm[2^^101,3] to see how they work. It returns: 12 3 which is a formatted way of writting 12 in base 3 (which is 101 in base 2 or 5 in base 10). If you then execute % you will see the result 5 Which demonstrates that the result of BaseForm is just a formatted version of a number and so only applies to one cell. These just aren't math functions. It seems to me you may be able to use the age old method of trickery/cleverness to avoid the problem. Convert the numbers to base ten by entering them with ^^ before you need to pass them around. If you really need have the conversion as a function..perhaps you have calculated a value in some other base and want to express it in base ten without retyping it..I think you're sunk and will have to actually write a little procedure to do base conversions. Hope that helps the confusion even if it doesn't offer an answer. - David Elbert Department of Geology Middlebury College Middlebury, VT 05753 Elbert at midd.bitnet