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Around IT In 256 Seconds

#41: Unicode: can you see these: Æ, 爱 and 🚀?

Computers speak bits and bytes. Numbers in general. They don’t understand images, poems and JSON. When we say “hello”, it needs to be encoded to numbers. Conveniently, each character becomes one number. A number can then be stored, transfered and rendered on another computer. Therefore, everyone needs to agree which numbers represent which characters. The first commonly used attempt was called ASCII. American Standard Code for Information Interchange. In short, it’s a table of 127 symbols and their respective numbers. For example, lower-case h is 104, whereas exclamation mark is 33. There’s one problem here. 127 symbols. 7 bits. Of course, it’s an American Standard. So it ingores the existence of any other country and alphabet.

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