Today, 11/01/11 (or 11/1/11 – the choice is yours) is one of a select few dates solely composed of only 0s and 1s. In fact, the year 2011 has 9 binary days, just like every other binary date-capable year.
But enjoy it while it lasts. After November 11, which is perhaps one of the most booked days for weddings ever, you’ll have to wait a whole century before the calendar hits a binary date. (If you can make it until January 1, 2100, we’ll be impressed.)
As some USENET newsgroup subscribers are quick to describe, binary is a numbering scheme in which there are only two possible values for each digit: 0 and 1. The term also refers to any digital encoding/decoding system in which there are exactly two possible states. In digital data memory, storage, processing, and communications, the 0 and 1 values are sometimes called “low” and “high,” respectively.
In any case, the date is a great excuse to play with the code that lies at the core of modern computing. Though the fundamental coding method has been replaced by much more sophisticated and functional coding languages like Java, C++ and Python, that doesn’t mean it’s lost its place in the hearts and minds of nerds everywhere.
We use the decimal system in everyday life because it seems more natural (we have ten fingers and ten toes). For the computer, the binary system is more natural because of its electrical nature (charged versus uncharged).