Binary Explained – Minecraft Computer (Part 2)

25 Jun

In yesterday’s post we introduced Minecraft and its usefulness in education. Our final picture, a computer was built by the Changing the Way You Work Team. In today’s post we want to discuss Binary and how to create Binary Code in Minecraft.

Binary is a numeric system that uses two numerals (base 2) to represent all real numbers.

Each digit in Binary is a power of two.

  • The number one in the decimal system is the same as the number one in the binary system
  • The number 23 by contrast is represented as 10111 (16+0+4+2+1)

The decimal system makes perfect sense for human beings to use. We have ten fingers and  ten toes, so when human beings began counting they used these readily available markers. Binary is also a fairly natural system as things either ‘are’ or ‘are not’. Many mystical traditions used binary before the existence of the decimal system. Binary is also the cornerstone of the most important invention to date, the computer.

Binary in Minecraft

Now that you have a basic understanding of the binary system, it is time to move on to Binary in Minecraft. The first step is to gain familiarity with a resource in Minecraft called Redstone Dust.


Redstone Dust is a crafting a brewing ingredient in Minecraft. It is created when Redstone Ore is destroyed using an iron pickaxe. Redstone can be placed on the grond to create Redstone Wire. It can also create a Redstone Torch or Redstone Repeater. Remember, you also have access to unlimited Restone Dust in Creative Mode.

Redstone Wire is going to be the staple of your Binary code. Lat down Redstone on three blocks to create a straight line.

  • This wire will always be either ON (1) or OFF (0).
  • To turn the wire permanently ON, attach a Redstone Torch.
  • To switch between ON and OFF, connect the wire to a Lever at one end and a torch at the other, like this:

Thank you for reading today’s post about Binary in Minecraft! Tomorrow we will discuss the different types of logic gates that can be created from the simple ON/OFF switch made out of a Redstone Torch, Redstone Wire and a Lever.

2 Responses to “Binary Explained – Minecraft Computer (Part 2)”


  1. Minecraft in Education (Intro) « Changing the Way You Work - June 25, 2012

    […] forward to our next post which will explain Binary code and detail how you can create your own binary code in Minecraft! […]

  2. Simple Logic Gates –Minecraft Computer (Part 3) « Changing the Way You Work - July 12, 2012

    […] to step 3 of “How to Build a Computer in Minecraft” Our last post explained Binary Code and how this code can be created using Redstone. In this post we will display simple constructs […]

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