A while ago when I was visiting a friend's summer cottage where there was an old wall clock that uses unary system for announcing even hours, I got the idea of building a ternary clock, a clock using three distinct sounds instead of one for announcing hours. Has anyone heard about such clocks? The ternary system would be optimal: there are 3 one-digit codes and nine two-digit codes, totalling 12. A related thing is packing ternary digits efficiently. I had to do this in a research project. I saw some old code that used 2 bits per digit. I made some calculations and saw that you can pack 5 ternary digits in 8 bits (3^5=243 < 256=2^8). The next saving will be when using 176-bit words, which can hold 111 ternary digits. Well, what does this have to do with old computers? Maybe the latter observation could be useful in compressing data. I've heard that the ternary system would be more optimal than the binary system, because 3 is closer to the Neper constant e than 2 is. Can anyone confirm this? Marko - This message was sent through the cbm-hackers mailing list. To unsubscribe: echo unsubscribe | mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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