This post is to help answer a question by Phil Savard on the Littlebird Electronics forum.
This simple Max/MSP encapsulated patch decodes an eight bit value (an integer between 0 and 255) and shows separate bit states for all eight bits. This would be useful, for example, to decode the states of eight separate buttons from an Arduino connected to a 4021 parallel to serial IC (see here for example). Two 4021 ICs could be connected to the one Arduino in order to read from sixteen separate buttons.
Download the patch here.