# FAQ: Learn Python - Introduction to Bitwise Operators - The Man Behind the Bit Mask

This community-built FAQ covers the “The Man Behind the Bit Mask” exercise in Codecademy’s lessons on Python.

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The instructions indicate that the argument is an int. Logically, I applied bin(input)–why does the following not work?

def check_bit4(input):
desired = bin(input) & mask
if desired > 0:
return “on”
else:
return “off”

1 Like

Yes, I did the same. Instruction said the input would be an integer, so I coded it to translate that to binary.
Your code (and mine) doesn’t/didn’t work because the input is actually already in binary.

1 Like

I wrote the same exact code as you @chiquitaleslita , and I couldn’t figure out why it was wrong to use bin(input) either.

After some research, I believe it’s wrong because bin() needs to take an integer as an argument otherwise it’ll throw an error. Therefore, if the editor ran something non-integer through it then it would throw that error. The “&” operator can take integer or bin, so it always works

I did the same. I created a variable which stores the binary value of the input but didn’t work.
How is the input being converted into binary for comparision?

With the comments of everyone and my own research I came to realize that to take an input from a user, which will be a string, it will be very difficult to convert that input to bits and perform operations on it.
Because, bin(int()) will return a string, so how do we perform operations on the result?
How do we make the returned string possible for us to perform bitwise operations on it?

def check_bit4(input):

desired = input & mask

if desired >0:

``````return "on"
``````

else:

``````return "off"
``````

print check_bit4(0b1000)

why does print not work if I use that instead of return inside the if statement?

The instructions request that those strings are returned from the value (it even asks you not to use print). It’d be marked as wrong just because those are two different things.

yes, but running to code for fun i cant get it to print when i use print instead return.