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printf-ing big numbers (hex-dec conversion)

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Recently I came across a task which involved using "big numers" with some simple arithmetics (+,*). I planned on using a simple vector of digits for this. For efficiency reasons, and primarily for simplicity, I wanted each digit to be from range 0-255 (IOW, 256-based system). Each char is a single digit - implemetation of all operations seems a breeze. But when it comes to printing such number to the user, decimal notation is required... and I hit the wall here. Straightforward conversion in O(n2) seems extremely ineficient. How do you work around this problem?

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