Launching Bitwise: bits from the ground up!

TL,DR: this series will cover bits (as in, 01110110101), the base signals that run today’s computers; their behavior and their roles in some of the most common and fundamental computer applications: encoding, hashing, encryption.

It is written by a learning enthusiast with a decent scientific background and no experience writing on such topics (hi! :3), so please feel free to let me know if you find outrageous mistakes in this series!

While this may simply remain a private repo for my learnings, any fellow curious minds that would stumble upon this is warmly welcomed. Happy reading!


ADVERT:

  • Ever felt like `0`s and 1s falling off a screen (as made popular by Matrix) was the ultimate hacker trick, but you didn’t know what it all meant?
  • Ever used a hexadecimal text editor in the 1990s to unlock cheats in your favorite PC games, but long strings of letters and numbers like `0FA3519CD` made no sense to you?
  • Ever thought discussing SHA-256 and RSA would be a good way to shine at a society dinner — if only you knew what those things did and how?

If so, you are my dream audience and you should read on! ❤

If you do not fall in the above category though (I don’t blame you!), here is to you, fellow learning enthusiast, a few reasons why you should care about bits, and what will be discussed in this series:

  • All information on your machine is represented as bits at some point. It might be worth your while to at least know how text, one of the most common forms of information, can be translated into bits, and from bits back to text. Interested?
01101101 01110010 01100111 01101100 01110010 01100111 01101100 01101101 01110010 01100111 01101100 01101101 01110010 01110010 01110010 01101100 01100111 01100111 01100111
  • You are already a big user of bitwise algorithms. Any of your https connections (among many other things) require hashing and encryption functions. Besides being very common, those functions are also fun and interesting to analyze. This will be the meaty section. I plan to cover basic bitwise operations, SHA-256, and RSA; stay tuned!
  • There is a certain beauty to bitwise operations and related algorithms. This one may be a hard sell, but there is mathematical beauty in bitwise operations, which I will try to make evident in my notes. If you liked Pascal triangles, you will like bitwise. If you are unsure, well, there will be drawings of the things I find interesting: hopefully you will see what I mean then.

Happy reading!