CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
American Standard Code for Information Interchange
The international standard that assigns unique seven-bit binary numbers to each of 128 standard characters, including letters, numbers, punctuation, and control codes (such as the character that marks the end of a line of text). Developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ASCII (pronounced "askee") is one of the fundamental standards of computing. The ASCII Table shows the base 10 number for each character: An uppercase A, for example, is the number 65 and a lowercase z is the number 122. Several eight-bit codes based on ASCII have been developed to support languages other than English, adding a set of 128 "upper ASCII" characters (for a total of 256). A superset of ASCII called unicode adds a second byte for each character, raising the number of possible combinations to 65,536, enough to support the unique characters contained in hundreds of langauges around the world.
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