When I was in grad school I decided that I was going to do everything in hexadecimal - I invented a relatively elegant way of saying hex integers, memorised the relevant addition and multiplication matricies, and was all set to really piss everyone off. Sadly I was defeated because for the life of me I can't do scientific notation in hex without resorting to mechanical assistance so in the end I had to fall back to insisting on using SI units for everything including time.
What I did learn from that little adventure is that choice of base is a compromise between compactness of expression and the size of the multiplication table you need to rote-memorise in order to work easily with integers.
posted by overyield at 5:34 PM on June 27, 2013
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