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1 definition found
 for binaries
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  binary file
  binaries
  binary data
  
      Any file format for digital data that does
     characters+({text">not consist of a sequence of printable characters ({text).
     The term is often used for executable machine code.
  
     All digital data, including characters, is actually binary
     data (unless it uses some (rare) system with more than two
     discrete levels) but the distinction between binary and text
     is well established.  On modern operating systems a text
     file is simply a binary file that happens to contain only
     printable characters, but some older systems distinguish the
     two file types, requiring programs to handle them differently.
  
     A common class of binary files is programs in machine
     language ("{executable} files") ready to load into memory and
     execute.  Binary files may also be used to store data output
     by a program, and intended to be read by that or another
     program but not by humans.  Binary files are more efficient
     for this purpose because the data (e.g. numerical data) does
     not need to be converted between the binary form used by the
     CPU and a printable (ASCII) representation.  The
     disadvantage is that it is usually necessary to write special
     purpose programs to manipulate such files since most general
     purpose utilities operate on text files.  There is also a
     problem sharing binary numerical data between processors with
     different endianness.
  
     Some communications protocols handle only text files,
     e.g. most electronic mail systems before MIME became
     widespread in about 1995.  The FTP utility must be put into
     "binary" mode in order to copy a binary file since in its
     default "ascii" mode translates between the different
     newline characters used on the sending and receiving
     computers.
  
     Confusingly, some word processor files, and rich text
     files, are actually binary files because they contain
     non-printable characters and require special programs to view,
     edit and print them.
  
     (2005-02-21)
  

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