Binary code is a number system that only uses two digits — 1 and 0.
It is easy to represent in electricity, as either it is on (1) or it is off (0).
Likewise, when we store magnetically or burn to a CD/DVD, it uses a positive or negative magnetic charge, or there is or is not a hole burned in the CD/DVD.
Humans primarily use the decimal number system, as it is related to how people tend to initially count by using our fingers. We have 10 fingers, and there are 10 single digit numbers in the decimal system.
However, not all humans have used decimal. The Babylonians used a 60-character number system; why I do not know, but it does explain why our hours have 60 minutes and our circles have 360 degrees.
Computes are electrical, electronic devices. Trying to store information in them directly using decimal numbers would be difficult, as you would need to somehow represent the number as partially there or an electrical signal as partly on. Think of a light with an adjustable switch. It is hard to say the light is 25 percent on.
The machine is storing and processing all the information in binary form, but we store it in binary from in the computer using a coding system called EBCDIC, ASCII or UNICODE, which converts the characters we know to bnary. This happens automatically when you type in a number or letter. When we enter information in the computer, it is converted to binary, and then when it is displayed or printed for us, the computer converts from ASCII, EBCDIC or UNICODE back to the normal characters we know.
Normally, we never think about how the computer actually carries the information, as it does the conversions smoothly. If we had to do stuff on the computer in binary, very few of us would use a computer.
Send your questions to Dwight Watt at email@example.com. He teaches at a technical college in northwest Georgia and does consulting work for businesses and individuals. His website is www.dwightwatt.com.