Drawing with ones and zeros

a.k.a. Binary for dummies

This post is based on a NaBloPoMo prompt: Tell us one thing you remember learning in school as a kid.

Grid drawings

One thing I remember fondly is learning to do grid drawings. Our teacher would give us an empty grid with the same number of rows and columns (either a multiple of 10 or a power of 2, e.g. 10×10 or 16×16) and one sequence of ones and zeros per row.

The sequences would serve as instructions: the first number corresponded to the first cell in the row, the second number to the second cell, etc.; a one meant that the cell had to be coloured, while a zero meant it had to be left empty (or, later, filled with a different colour).

For instance, the heart shape below would appear when colouring the grid in accordance with the following sequences:

binary heart
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 1 1 0 1 1 0
0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

It was pretty rudimentary, but I enjoyed it tremendously. Of course, it was a long way from a proper introduction to binary code, but I think it gave us a nudge in the right direction.

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3 thoughts on “Drawing with ones and zeros

  1. Pingback: NaBloPoMo Roundup #04 – And possibly the last one | Keeping Track

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