TIL: How to find if a number is power of 2

Take the number and take the number - 1, perform a binary and (&) operation on the two numbers. If the result is 0 then the number is the power of 2.

number != 0 && (number & (number - 1)) == 0

Let's see some numbers which are power of 2 and their binary representation (padded with 0 for easer reading):

2  00010
4  00100
8  01000
16 10000

Let's see the numbers - 1 and their binary representation (padded with 0 for easer reading):

1  00001
3  00011
7  00111
15 01111

An & (and) operation will give 1 for a digit if both of digits are 1.

For example

4: 00100
3: 00011
&: 00000

Which will end up in 0, because a number which is the power of 2 only the first digit will be 1 and when we substitute 1 from the same number, we will get a number where all digits are 1 (except the first of the original number). So in the and we will &-ing 0 to 1 in every digit.

But on the other hand, if we substitute 1 from a non-power of 2, at least the first digit will always be 1 for both numbers, so &-ing them will always return a non 0 number:

3: 00011
2: 00010
&: 00010

Which is 2

6: 00110
5: 00101
&: 00100

Which is 4, so it's definetly not 0. So they are not power of 2.

Originally I found it in the Plan9 source code


Today I learned how to query if an address is on an rbl list.

Reverse the octets of the IP address: becomes Then append the domain name given by the DNSBL service (dnsbl.example.com) Then look up of this domain's A record.


If the IP is listed, it will return an address, or it will return an NXDOMAIN if the IP is not listed. The exact meaning of the address can be different at each provider.

Based on the knowledge I created a small program to check if a address is listed on a blacklist: DNSBL Check

From Wikipedia