Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Unicode and ASCII

What is ASCII?

ASCII is a 128 character set used for the English language in text on things such as computers and communications equipment. ASCII uses only 7 bits.

What is Unicode?

Unicode is used for text on things such as computers and stuff but can replace ASCII as it has enough space available to store characters from numerous other languages. Unicode comes in UTF-8, UTF-16 and UCS-2. UTF-8 uses the same code values as ASCII characters and has up to 4 bytes for other characters. UCS-2 uses a 16 bit code unit with two 8 bit bytes for each character but can't use every character for the current Unicode standard. UTF-16 extends on UCS-2 using two 16 bit units which is four 8 bit bytes and can encode the characters that UCS-2 can't.

The list of advantages and disadvantages for Unicode:

+ It can store characters from more than one language
+ It can store characters from languages with more than 250 characters

- Because it has more characters, Unicode uses a lot more space

The list of disadvantages of ASCII:

+ It uses the English language and can hold all the alphanumeric characters
+ It uses less space than Unicode because it doesn't have more than 250 characters

- It only makes use of the English language
- If a Unicode document is read in ASCII, it won't display the characters correctly

My first name (Adriaan) in ASCII and binary and hexadecimal

ASCII: 65 100 114 105 97 97 110

Binary: 0100 0001 0110 0100 0111 0010 0110 1001 0110 0001 0110 0001 0110 1110

Hex: 41 64 72 69 61 61 6E

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