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A1
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ACK
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Ada
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ASCII
  • [acronym American Standard Code for Information Interchange]
  • Code for representing simple English letters, digits, and other keyboard characters, plus a few control codes. Each character is represented by a seven-bit string, which is stored in a byte.
  • The predominant character set encoding of present-day computers. The modern version uses 7 bits for each character, whereas most earlier codes (including an early version of ASCII) used fewer. This change allowed the inclusion of lowercase letters -- a major win -- but it did not provide for accented letters or any other letterforms not used in English (such as the German sharp-S or the ae-ligature which is a letter in, for example, Norwegian). It could be worse, though. It could be much worse. See EBCDIC to understand how. Computers are much pickier and less flexible about spelling than humans; thus, hackers need to be very precise when talking about characters, and have developed a considerable amount of verbal shorthand for them. Every character has one or more names -- some formal, some concise, some silly. Common jargon names for ASCII characters are collected here.