Monday, 7 March 2022

ASCII code list

Those of you with a shorter PC history may not have heard of the American Standard Code For Information Interchange, which is commonly known as "ASCII". ASCII codes were set up in the time of teletype machines, then migrating to DOS, where a bit did not equal a byte, and each letter had hidden code, and that code was ASCII. From there they appeared in IBM PCs along with many, many menus before mice came along. 

The ASCII protocol helps our devices to communicate across platforms: that is, why a "d" on my PC is a "d" on my iPod, and a "d" on my Android phone. Of course, most devices now have a keyboard, largely sending ASCII codes to the same junkshop in the sky as teletypers, typewriters, fax machines, dial telephones, telegraph poles, and blackboards. However, ASCII codes so still have a use when we need to quickly key symbols which are NOT on our keyboards.

An ASCII code enables us to quickly key a set of shortcut keys to get a symbol, avoiding the slow and irritating meander through menus. Compare, for example, needing a GBP symbol: simply key Alt & 0163 = £.

However, trying to get a comprehensive list of all the ASCII codes is tricky. But recently I found a relatively full list at the following address: https://www.ascii-code.com/

I hope you find this list as useful as I do.


Sam

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