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

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Article ID: 38888
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SUMMARY

This article concerns assigning a LONG integer to a hexadecimal 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.

MORE INFORMATION

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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Article ID: 38888 - Last Review: February 27, 2014 - Revision: 1.2
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive KB38888

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