What Bits Mean: Meta-Data and Static Typing

This is part of my new series on what the 0’s and 1’s in computers mean, how computers use them to store various kinds of information, and why all of this works the way it does. When I was a boy, my schoolmates, knowing that I was interested in computers, would sometimes ask me if I could read binary. They imagined I would see some binary, and be able to read it out loud like they could read letters, perhaps some binary that looked like this:

What Bits Mean: Binary Integers and Two’s Complement

I was explaining two’s complement recently1 to a friend, and I thought my explanation was decent, so I decided to write it up and share it with you, my general blog audience, as well! If you already know about two’s complement, this will pretty much just be a review. If not, you may learn something, and you may not understand all of it. Try to get what you can without getting too anxious, there will not be a test!