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The Background Color system uses a special numbering methodology to represent the amounts of each of the colors Red Green and Blue (RGB) that combine to make up the composite color. The number series goes from 00 (zero zero) to FF as in 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 0A, 0B, 0C, 0D, 0E, 0F, 11, 12, 13, etc. This system allows 256 different amounts of a color to be represented with two digits. The first two digits are for Red, the second two for Green, and the third two for Blue. The equivalent percentages of each color are as follows:

"00" is equivalent to 0% of a color.
"40" is equivalent to 25% of a color.
"84" is equivalent to 50% of a color.
"C2" is equivalent to 75% of a color.
"FF" is equivalent to 100% of a color.
(The black background, as above, is achieved with this code: bgcolor="#000000".)

Pi's date: July 11, 1995
Adapted for this site: 28 May 1996
(Pi had his examples in GIFs; I've simply colored the backgrounds of the table cells.)
HTML authors: Pi and Garry Gillard.