I found your article very intriguing. The idea of bitmasking use hex values is indeed an old technique. Back when programmers actually cared about memory and disk space; back when you had to. Today's programmers take this for granted and create bloated programs that cost the end user gigabytes of space and a trip to the local computer shack for more RAM.
Your article reminds us how to maximize space by representing data in hex format. Actually reminds me a lot of IPV6 and all the hex values now used in this protocol. Hex allows us to represent far more data in less space. Even the authors of IPV4 learned this the hard way. Now we use Hex for IPV6, Ok lessoned learned.
Again great article and as far as using a DB for this, who cares? A DB is a data repository key word being data just as the file system (e.g. Windows registry) is used as a repository, or memory (temporary, however it is), and XML.
- M. Ross