**TL;DR**

Extend the numerical input parser/validator to also accept hexadecimal values (using the 0x prefix). No changes are requested in the display of these numbers (and internally, a number is just a number anyway)

**Detail**

Say I have a map with a lot of outposts. I want to provide all these outposts with supplies, but I don't want to have an excess number of trains running around. So I assign each outpost a number and put the outpost's number onto a circuit when supplies run low. My main base then automatically sends a train to the requesting outpost (assume for the moment, there's a mod that provides this exact functionality - it isn't there yet, but it's been hinted at). However, just using sequential numbers will lead to problems. Say both outpost 3 and 5 are requesting supplies: wire values add up, so the base sees an 8. How is the base supposed to know where to send the supplies?

**Enter bitmapped fields.**

Instead of assigning values 3 and 5 to these outposts they get assigned bits 3 (1000 binary, 8 decimal) and 5 (100000 binary, 32 decimal). Now when both outposts request materials, the circuit sees 40 (101000 binary) and there's no room for confusion.

**Why hexadecimal inputs?**

Small numbers are easy enough, anyone familiar with computer programming will know the sequence of powers of 2 for the first 10 to 16 bits by heart (in a distant past, even Factorio used powers of 2 for stacksizes! ). It gets a bit more difficult beyond that, when you're up to the 28th outpost or so. Remembering and accurately entering 134,217,728 is a lot harder than entering 0x800 0000 (and the steady sequence of 0x1, 0x2, 0x4, 0x8 followed by a number of 0's makes it easier still)

**Why no changes to display of numbers?**

I realize this suggestion is probably only interesting for a rather niche audience and this niche audience will likely be perfectly capable of recognizing what bit a displayed decimal value corresponds to.