standards - character codes
standards - character codesThe character code built into the computer determines how each letter, digit or special character ($, %, #, etc.) is represented in binary code. Fortunately, there are only two methods in wide use: EBCDIC and ASCII. IBM's mainframes and midrange systems use EBCDIC. ASCII is used for everything else, including PCs and Macs.
ASCII is a 7-bit code placed into an 8-bit storage unit. The seven bits provide the basic set of 128 ASCII characters. The 8th bit adds storage for another 128 symbols, and these symbols vary from font to font and system to system. For example, the DOS character set contains line drawing and foreign language characters. The ANSI character set uses them for foreign languages and math and publishing symbols (copyright, trademark, etc.). In the Mac, the upper 128 characters can be custom drawn.
When systems are moved from one computer to another, converting between ASCII and EBCDIC is just a small part of the data conversion process. It is done in conjunction with converting file formats from the old to the new systems. The following is a sample of ASCII and EBCDIC code. See ASCII chart, hex chart, EBCDIC chart and standards.
Character ASCII EBCDIC space 01000000 00100000 period 01001011 00101110 < sign 01001100 00111100 + sign 01001110 00101011 $ sign 01011011 00100100 A 11000001 01000001 B 11000010 01000010