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Meaning of OCTAL

Pronunciation:  '√Ęktl

Matching Terms:  octa-, octachlor, octachord, octad, octadecanoic acid, octaedral, octaemeron, octagon, octagonal, octagynous, octahedral, octahedrite, octahedron, octal digit, octal forty, octal notation, octal number system, octal numeration system, octamerous, octameter, octander, octandria, octandrian, octane, octane number, octane rating, octanedioic acid, octangular, octans, octant, octapla, octarius, octaroon, octastyle, octateuch, octavalent, octave, octavian, octavo

Computing Dictionary

Base 8. A number representation using the digits 0-7 only, with the right-most digit counting ones, the next counting multiples of 8, then 8^2 = 64, etc. For example, octal 177 is digital 127:

        digit    weight        value
          1     8^2 = 64   1* 64 = 64
          7     8^1 =  8   7*  8 = 56
          7     8^0 =  1   7*  1 =  7

Octal system used to be widespread back when many computers used 6-bit bytes, as a 6-bit byte can be conveniently written as a two-digit octal number. Since nowadays a byte is almost always 8-bit long the octal system lost most of its appeal to the hexadecimal system.

For a brief discussion on the word `octal' see hexadecimal.