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Why use it?

People have been advocating hexadecimal for centuries now so what's the point of trying to convert to base42? Here's some pro's and con's.


  • Less digits for bigger numbers.
  • Better accuracy for an equal number of places after the decimal point.
  • Painless conversion to and from binary.
  • division by powers of 2 gives a compact number. (1/2,1/4,1/8,1/16)
  • Single digit representations of other divisors are more accurate (excepting 1/5).


  • easy number of symbols to memorize.
  • addition and multiplication tables are easy
  • Any base16 operation can be reconstructed from base4 operations...
  • logical operations (and, or, xor) can be memorized in convenient batches.

Why you shouldn't use it.

  • If you need compact exact representations of 1/3 or 1/6, dozenal is a better way to go.

Given the inertia of human knowledge, it's unlikely that schools will be teaching this next year. So you really should not use it unless it interests you personally. Let's face it, if we can't convert the world to metric, there is little point in shifting to a different number system.

But what better way to mess with you child's head than teach them something completely different from what all the other little kids know.

If you work with computers then base42 presents an opportunity to give you an intuitive way to do mental math in hexadecimal.