Base 60 numbering is alive and well today, thousands of years after being discovered. Every wonder why there are 12 in a dozen... or 12 months in a year or, in the fall and spring equinoxes, exactly 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness? ...or wondered why there are 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour? ...or why latitudes and longitudes are divided into minutes and seconds, with 60 in each? ...or why there are always 360 degrees in a circle?
The fact that base 60 has survived for thousands of years is a testament to its usefulness.
In addition to our standard base 10 numbering system, there are two others that deserve mention today. They are base 2 and base 16. Both of these are related to the
invention of the modern computer. The very essence of modern computing is the concept that every number may be represented by combinations of 0 and 1. Base 16 is useful because computers process data in multiples of 4, 1111 in binary
equals F in base 16, and it's easier for humans to work with 1 number than 4, so we convert from binary to hexadecimal. As the numbers becomes larger, the problem of
readability becomes more and more important.