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Better Finger Counting

An effective alternative to the two common systems
  (+7, -3)
(+7, -3)
  [vote for,

The common system of simply holding up one finger for each item being counted is very limited, as one could only count up to ten items. The binary place value system can go up to 1023, but it is not not as practical, as it is more prone to error and requires tedious translation. My system is based on the soroban, or Japanese abacus. It is easy to translate and goes up to 99. Each finger (excluding the thumbs) represents one (like "earth beads") and each thumb is five (like "heaven beads") the right hand records the ones place and the left hand the tens. For example, three fingers on the left hand and two fingers and a thumb on the right hand would represent 37.
apocalyps956, Nov 13 2007

Tomoe Soroban http://www.soroban.com/index_eng.html
a website about the soroban [apocalyps956, Nov 13 2007]

Finger Counter in Other Bases http://www.intuitor.com/counting/
the binary system I mentioned [apocalyps956, Nov 13 2007]

Count in Gray Code count_20in_20gray_20code
Binary with no rollover [Spacecoyote, Nov 14 2007]

The same system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chisanbop
Called Chisanbop [MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 14 2007]


       ooooooook, bun
evilpenguin, Nov 13 2007

       I count on my fingers in binary. Its not hard if you're used to it. I think its fun (yeah I'm a nerd).
Spacecoyote, Nov 14 2007

       [Spacecayote] Again, it requires some translation, so it's really only better if you expect to get over 100 or if you only have one hand free. Binary is still better for certain things.
apocalyps956, Nov 14 2007

       any better counting systems based on hooves? it gets exhausting after 8.
pyggy potamus, Nov 14 2007

       There are many finger-counting and finger-maths systems, many of them more versatile than this. A common system is to distinguish between the three segments of each finger, and to point to them with different fingers on the other hand to get a multiplicative effect.   

       Your invention sounds very much like "Chisanbop notation", a finger counting system based on the soroban. See Wikipedia.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 14 2007

       [apocalyps956], how is it translation if you're used to it?   

       Your system would require what you call "translation", as well.   

       Then again Gray Code might work better (see [link]).
Spacecoyote, Nov 14 2007

       Binary also requires you to put your fingers in somewhat unnatural positions.
apocalyps956, Nov 14 2007

       As far as I can tell, this is identical to Chisanbop (see link) in all respects.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 14 2007

       I made up an easier version of this, which doesn't require a table or hard surface to count to 99:   

       RIGHT HAND:
Fist = 0
1 finger = 1
2 fingers = 2
3 fingers = 3
4 fingers = 4
all 5 fingers = 5
Pinky finger touching thumb = 6
Ring finger touching thumb = 7
Middle finger touching thumb = 8
Index finger touching thumb = 9

       LEFT HAND = same thing but multiplied by 10.   

       You can really count from 1 to 99 by ones at enormous speed.
phundug, Nov 14 2007

       I have been using exactly this system for years after seeing it referenced somewhere.
And [Phundug], no hard surface is required, simply extending and retracting the fingers is perfectly suitable.
MechE, Nov 14 2007

       I hate to brag, but I can count without using any fingers. Why do you need to count on your fingers rather than in your head?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 14 2007

       I tend to use fingers when I am tracking one set of numbers visually or audially and indexing things manually. Just an example, and not the best one, doing retail sales (without a computerized cash register) I do the addition for payment and change in my head, and might count the total number sold manually. And [max] if you can track more than one, or at most two number streams mentally, you have an extremely rare talent.
MechE, Nov 14 2007

       Another example is when you're figuring out the number of days between two dates: You mentally say to yourself "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday..." but you meanwhile count 1,2,3,... on your fingers.
phundug, Nov 14 2007

       oh, for gawds sake - have I been learning quickbooks for nothing?
po, Nov 14 2007

       // if you can track more than one, or at most two number streams mentally, you have an extremely rare talent.// Everybody can track two - one "visually" (seeing the numbers in your head) the other "audially" (hearing the numbers in your head). Doing more than two is, indeed, difficult - but then I don't think you can keep more than two tallies on your fingers either.   

       Finger maths is more worthwhile, but finger counting is a bit like mouthing the words as you read, shirley?
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 14 2007

       Using several mathematical processes ian't that hard. Neither is counting. A few numbers, and you're done.
Shadow Phoenix, Nov 14 2007

       I can track five... where do I cash in?
Voice, Nov 15 2007

       Seems baked to me.   

       Long ago there was a local Chinese take-out and all the computations were done by hand (including figuring the "hot food tax" - it was California). I was wary of the accuracy and always checked against a calculator.   

       Day-uhm, they were always correct to the penny and could even make change correctly when given $17.20 for a meal which cost $16.95. The amazing part of all this? They could make correct transactions faster than the kids at McWendysKingBell using the latest registers.
Klaatu, Nov 15 2007

       Many Hands make light work?
4whom, Nov 16 2007

       [Spacecoyote] - My watch displays the time in binary and I'm now really quick at reading binary, though being a ZX Spectrum owner I was already a bit handy. Next idea: hexadecimal watch.
wagster, Nov 16 2007

       Now, if you could only control your toes.... then you could count to 9,999 on your digits.... and if you took viagra, you might be able to count to 19,999.
quantum_flux, Nov 20 2007


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