(commenting without having read the material quoted) Maybe he is
referring to computability theory and the way Turing machines use
strings of different lengths to represent numbers.  The contents of
the string aren't important in this case, since usually there are only
a few different possible symbols, but the length of them is.

On Fri, 18 Jun 2004 04:43:22 +0900, Photis <photis / oriste.com> wrote:
> 
> > I'm here. I hope to restart at some point, but other projects keep
> > getting in the way.
> 
> I don't know if this is the right place, but reading this tread got me
> to the "little ruby" book, so maybe you'll be patient with me. I got
> stuck on page 9 of chapter 1, where it says:
> 
> How can a String represent an Integer?    A String with n characters
> represents the  Integer n.
> 
> My confusion could come from the fact that English is not my mother
> tongue, but if I replace n with 5 and read the sentence aloud, it says
> "a string with 5 characters represents the integer 5". So the string
> "hello", which has 5 characters, represents the integer 5?
> 
> That doesn't make much sense to me. What am I missing?
> 
> photis
> 
>