It’s important to be able to translate a value from one number system into another. We need to be able to tell when two values represent the same amount. Sometimes, shortcuts become available to us. For instance octal and hexadecimal are often used as shorthand for binary (we’ll see why below). Certain systems will only accept values in a certain base as well. Fortunately, switching between number systems is not too difficult.
There are many calculators now which can do conversions for you. Just about every desktop OS, smart phone and tablet has one built in or one can easily be aquired. It is perfectly fine to use the calculator but we should know how to do it by hand as well. This will give us a much better understanding as to what is actually happening. That understanding is important in order to understand how certain mechanisms work (especially in computing). My recommnedation is to practice on paper by hand but use the calculator to verify your working. To read more: