> My code looks much clearer if I use expressions like 2**4 instead of 16,
> but
> then there is the question of execution time also. I don't want the
> calculation to take place over and over again, since the function is
> called
> quite often.

        You may want to try declaring the 2**4 expression as a constant,
which guarantees a static value at compile time regardless of the
implementation or level of optimization.  I hate code that relies on a
particular optimizer anyway.

        Bill Borgia