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low level C

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lets say I hav a 32 bit int x which holds the value 5 currently so its 0.....0101 how can I get it to print the left most one in 101

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What do you mean by "print the leftmost one"? Do you want to find the index of the leftmost one, or just print a '1' if there is one in the number?

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If you always want to print just bit 2 (bits are numbered from 0, starting at the right) then you're looking for the following:

printf("%d", (x >> 2) & 0x1);

I'm assuming you're familiar with printf.

The (x >> 2) evaluates to the number in x bitshifted to the right by two digits. The bitwise AND operation (& 0x1) with 1 means that this essentially evaluates to the lowest bit of this now shifted number. To demonstrate (not written as 32-bits, because life's too short, but you get the idea):

1111 1111 ... Starting off
0111 1111 ... Shift right once
0011 1111 ... Shift right twice

Now that the digit originally in bit 2 is now in bit 0, we can do a
bitwise AND to return it.

0011 1111
AND 0000 0001
0000 0001

Hopefully you can see how this works and tweak it as appropriate.

EDIT: Although this should give you the principles (bitmasking is the general name for this, btw) required for whatever it is you're trying to do, I doubt it is exactly what you're trying to do (because I can't see much reason for wanting to do this unless you're storing a bunch of flags in a single 32 bit).

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I'm guessing you are trying to print all digits to the right of the leftmost 1?

In that case, you could do something like

unsigned int tmp = 0x80000000;
while(!(x & tmp))tmp >>= 1;
printf("%d",x & tmp);
tmp >>= 1;

I did not test this code and don't know if it should work, but whatever..

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