Introduction to Computer Data Representation

Introduction to Computer Data Representation introduces readers to the representation of data within computers. Starting from basic principles of number representation in computers, the book covers ...
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Characters and Text

Pp. 133-157 (25)

Peter Fenwick


Characters are the most-visible aspect of computing. This chapter outlines the development of the EBCDIC codes (from card code), and ASCII (initially from paper tape), and the extension of these codes to include a full range of alphabets, to give UNICODE. Other topics include the collection of characters into text strings, and especially the problems of transmitting binary data over systems designed for handling text. Thus it describes UTF-8 and UTF-7 coding, as well as "punycode", for encoding Internet domain names with arbitrary alphabets.


EBCDIC, ASCII, text strings, EBCDIC-ASCII incompatibilities, ASCII extension to UNICODE, UCS-2, UCS-4. MIME en- coding, UTF-7. UTF-8, Punycode.


The University of Auckland (Retired) New Zealand