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Thinking in C++
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### Bitwise operators

The bitwise operators allow you to manipulate individual bits in a number (since floating point values use a special internal format, the bitwise operators work only with integral types: char, int and long). Bitwise operators perform Boolean algebra on the corresponding bits in the arguments to produce the result.

The bitwise and operator (&) produces a one in the output bit if both input bits are one; otherwise it produces a zero. The bitwise or operator (|) produces a one in the output bit if either input bit is a one and produces a zero only if both input bits are zero. The bitwise exclusive or, or xor (^) produces a one in the output bit if one or the other input bit is a one, but not both. The bitwise not (~, also called the ones complement operator) is a unary operator – it only takes one argument (all other bitwise operators are binary operators). Bitwise not produces the opposite of the input bit – a one if the input bit is zero, a zero if the input bit is one.

Bitwise operators can be combined with the = sign to unite the operation and assignment: &=, |=, and ^= are all legitimate operations (since ~ is a unary operator it cannot be combined with the = sign).

Thinking in C++
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 Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire