# KnowledgeBase Archive

## Q38888: &H8000 to &HFFFF Hex = -32,768 to -1, Affects LONG Bit Masking

``````Article: Q38888
Product(s): See article
Version(s): 4.00 4.00b 4.50
Operating System(s): MS-DOS
Keyword(s): ENDUSER | B_BasicCom | mspl13_basic

constant in the range &H8000 through &HFFFF hex. This information is
especially important if you intend to do any bit manipulation with the
logical operators (AND, OR, NOT, XOR, EQV, or IMP) with any LONG
integer larger than &HFFFF& hex (or 65,535 decimal) that has at least
one bit from 16 through 32 on.

Many programmers may not realize that the constants &H8000 through
&HFFFF default to a type of short integer, representing decimal values
-32,768% through -1% respectively. Also note that the LONG-integer
constants &H8000& through &HFFFF& represent decimal values +32,768 to
+65,535. BASIC must follow these integer-type notation standards and
behaviors since it doesn't have an unsigned data type.

This information applies to Microsoft QuickBASIC versions 4.00, 4.00b,
and 4.50, to Microsoft BASIC Compiler versions 6.00 and 6.00b for
MS-DOS and MS OS/2, and to Microsoft BASIC Professional Development
System (PDS) versions 7.00 and 7.10 for MS-DOS and MS OS/2.

Assigning a LONG integer variable to a short integer hexadecimal
constant in the range &H8000 through &HFFFF adds &HFFFF0000 to the
number, resulting in the LONG integer being stored as &HFFFF8000 to
&HFFFFFFFF (that is, -32,768& to -1& decimal).

This behavior occurs because constants &H8000 through &HFFFF default
to a type of short integer (%). In short integer notation, constants
&H8000 through &HFFFF have decimal values -32,768% through -1%,
respectively. For example:

PRINT VAL("&HFFFF"); &HFFFF   ' Prints:  -1 -1
PRINT VAL("&H8000"); &H8000   ' Prints:  -32768 -32768

To assign hex constants &H8000 through &HFFFF to a LONG integer
without turning on bits 16 through 32 (&HFFFF0000), you must change
them to a type of LONG by appending an ampersand (&) character as
follows:

LongInt& = &H8000&  ' Use &H8000& (or +32768) instead of &H8000
LongInt& = &H8001&  ' Use &H8001& (or +32769) instead of &H8001
. . .                . . .
LongInt& = &HFFFF&  ' Use &HFFFF& (or +65535) instead of &HFFFF

Appending "&" to the constant is not necessary for hex constants
outside the range &H8000& through &HFFFF&.

The LONG integer &HFFFF& hex is equal to 65,535 decimal. The short
integer &HFFFF hex is equal to -1 decimal (according to the signed,
two's complement, integer format standard). A -1 in decimal notation
is &HFFFFFFFF in hex LONG-integer notation.

The hexadecimal constants &H8000 through &HFFFF default to short
integers &H8000% through &HFFFF%, which represent the decimal numbers
-32,768% to -1% in the two's complement, signed binary integer format.
You must append an ampersand (&) character to the end of the constant
to make it a LONG integer, as follows: &H8000& through &HFFFF& (which
represent the decimal numbers 32,768 through 65,535).

The hexadecimal constants &HFFFF8000 to &HFFFFFFFF are LONG integers
that represent the decimal numbers -32,768& to -1& in the two's
complement, signed binary integer format.

Note: Bit masking (manipulation) is normally NOT done with
floating-point numbers, because of the nature of the floating-point
format. Bit masking normally is useful only with integers.

Code Example 1
--------------

'a& is a variable, and b& will serve as a bit mask:
a& = &HFFFF0000 ' &HFFFF0000 is a constant of type LONG
b& = &HFFFF&  ' ATTENTION: Assign &HFFFF& instead of &HFFFF
'This masks out bits 16 through 32, and keeps bits 1 through 15:
a& = a& AND b&
PRINT "a& AND b& = "; a&, HEX\$(a&); " prints zero (all bits off)"

' Assigning b& to &HFFFF instead of &HFFFF& changes the result:
b& = &HFFFF
' Now, b& contains &HFFFFFFFF, or -1 (all bits on). ANDing with b&
' does not change a&:
a& = a& AND b&
PRINT "a& AND b& = "; a&, HEX\$(a&); " prints -65536, hex FFFF0000"

Code Example 2
--------------

' The following assigns short constant &HFFFF (-1) to a LONG
' integer. &HFFFF is converted to &HFFFFFFFF; the decimal
' value (-1) stays the same:
longint& = &HFFFF
shortint% = &HFFFF
PRINT "longint& =", longint&, HEX\$(longint&)
PRINT "shortint% =", shortint%, HEX\$(shortint%)

' The following assigns short constant &H8000 (-32,768) to a LONG
' integer. &H8000 is converted to &HFFFF8000; the decimal
' value (-32,768) stays the same:
longint& = &H8000
shortint% = &H8000
PRINT "longint& =", longint&, HEX\$(longint&)
PRINT "shortint% =", shortint%, HEX\$(shortint%)
``````

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