Hexadecimal Major System

I want to share a system I am still experiencing. It is a variation of Major System made to encode hexadecimal digits, mainly because I work in IT area and I would like to use some technique that could also work more naturally with binary and hexadecimal numbers.

  • Basics:
    0 = S, SS, C (soft), Ç
    1 = T
    2 = N
    3 = M
    4 = R
    5 = L
    6 = SH, CH, X (in Portuguese X and CH sound as SH /ʃ/ )
    7 = G (hard)
    8 = V
    9 = P
    A (10) = J, G (soft)
    B (11) = B
    C (12) = C (hard), K, Q
    D (13) = D
    E (14) = Z
    F (15) = F, PH

So I started with a 2-digit Person list (00-FF), that represents 256 entries.
In my list, some people follow major rules, others use the same letters values above as initials.

After that I included actions and objects (still reviewing some), so basically I got PAO.

Using a Hexadecimal PAO I could (per image):

  • just use 00-99 numbers to encode 6 decimal digits;
  • encode 6 hexadecimal digits (MD5 hash numbers, for instance);
  • do 24 binary digits = 3 bytes (each hex digit is equivalent to 4 bits);
  • represent 3 cards; using 1 digit value (1 to D[13]), plus 1 digit suit.

Then I came to one more experiment: adding some Vesture/ Clothing/ Physical Characteristic/ Outfit to the persons and form something like a PVAO (just to name it).

I like the idea because now I can (still testing) encode per image:

  • 8 decimal digits;
  • 32 bits (IP addresses, for example) or 4 bytes (memorizing a computer file? :glasses: )
  • 4 cards. So 13 loci are enough for a deck.

Just to clarify, the “Vesture” part I have used may include some piece of clothing, uniform, head covering, jewelery, or just a very remarkable physical appearance, like white spiked hair for Einstein or Lou Ferrigno big muscles (those are exaggerated to contrast from normal visual appearance).

I hope that may be useful for someone.

Interesting idea… :slight_smile:
Can you do the decimal conversions quickly enough to memorize decimal numbers with it?

I’ve never learned to count in hexadecimal, but just did a conversion – wouldn’t FFFFFF be 16,777,215 in decimal? Could you keep those 16 million numbers encoded in just 6 hexadecimal digits?

It sounds very interesting. Let me know how it goes…

Maybe I should have written more about the motivation to use a different numeric system…

Why would someone use a hexadecimal (PAO) system?

  • Mainly for encoding information that is already in hexadecimal or binary form (directly translation of 1 hex-digit to 4 bits) without losing the numerical information while using only one system.
    Bonus: 512 pegs (256 persons + 256 objects), using 2-digit system.

Examples of information that is commonly represented in hexadecimal (this will list some technical stuff):

  • HTML/RGB Colors
  • Unicode character codes
  • IP Address (even if you know an ipv4 address in dotted-decimal notation, you can convert it because each position is a byte value [0-255])
  • MAC Address
  • Hash values or digital fingerprints of computer files (from MD5 or SHA-1 functions, for example)
  • Other digital data

You are right! FFFFFF in hexadecimal is 16,777,215 in decimal.
Although, it would be possible to encode almost 17 million numbers in just 6 hexa-digits (and a little more of 4 billion in 8 hexa-digits), I think it would be fairly slow due the calculations needed unless someone really internalize the hexadecimal numbers in his daily life (not my case).

From my programming and computing experience, I know how to count and to compare numbers in hexadecimal but I am only efficient in converting to/from 1 byte hexadecimal (00-FF) to its equivalent decimal (0-255). And that is an easier task to accomplish.

So, I do not intend to convert them while memorizing long decimal numbers or sequences. I will just take the 0-9 digits from this system and combine them as decimal.

Despite that, I can convert very quickly from hexadecimal to binary and vice versa. So I’m going to use this to practice binary numbers memorization. And I hope to use the 32 binary digit version.

One more thing I am considering (later) it is trying to encode 1 card in 6 bits (4 binary for value + 2 binary digits for suit), so I would only need 24 binary digits for 4 cards using a Hexadecimal PAO (no need to try more complex variation like I mentioned “PVAO”).
But I have already chosen 52 entries from my list for cards and I am going to stick with them until I have more practice with all table.

Here’s a handy video for converting hexadecimal to binary and then to decimal:

Quickly convert binary to decimal in your head:

Quickly convert decimal to binary in you head:

That’s great… I’ve wanted to learn how to do that. :slight_smile:

Thanks for starting this thread Dharis !

I’ve been wanting something like the Major system for hexadecimal for years. I do a lot of low-level debugging and often it would be really handy to be able to remember two or three 8-digit numbers (addresses of functions or variables) during a debugging session.

I considered doing what you did - use 6 of the the “optional” sounds from the Major system, but I already have trouble coming up object names even using the options.
I was concerned this kind of system would make the more commonly needed task of remembering decimal numbers even more difficult for me.

So do you use the system you describe for both hex and decimal numbers, or do you still use the traditional Major system for decimal, and only use the hex system when you know the number is a hex value ?

If the first, do you now find it more difficult to come up with object names for decimal numbers ?

Hello, Tom. (I’ve been a long time away)

I used this system for both decimal and hexadecimal information, and that was my starter system for numbers.

For me, it was hard to make a big list of 256 items following all sounds. Sometimes I bent the rules and choose something more memorable.
But I found easier to make a person list first, and then I created actions and objects without phonetics but related to each person.


This is just what I was looking for! I was thinking of creating something like this, but like your implementation better. Would you be willing to share your PAO pegs? Thanks!

I was looking carefully to my peg list and notice it contains a lot of friend names (maybe I should not publish their Actions associated hehe =D ), Brazilian actors (or Brazilian TV Drama character names), etc. I think this makes most part of the list content very customized for me and maybe not very useful for you.

Instead, please check this forum topic https://artofmemory.com/forums/aa-zz-60000-celebritys-names-by-gender-and-occupation-with-links-and-also-single-names-celebs

I was able to “harvest” thousands of famous people names for my new list and these pdf files contain links for images and descriptions.

Good luck.