Questions tagged [character-sets]

Questions about character-sets, either from a standardization point of view, or in terms of the repertoire implemented by particular equipment.

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-6
votes
4answers
337 views

Is UTF-8 responsible for a lot of the cpu-needed bloat in the last ten to fifteen years? [closed]

Some say UTF-8 was the best solution. The price you pay is that it basically makes all parsing optimizations that rely on a fixed relationship of byte offset to character position unusable. Compilers, ...
10
votes
2answers
802 views

How widely used were C1 control codes?

As ASCII is a 7-bit code set, and ISO 646 cannot satisfy needs of many languages, variable-length ISO 2022/EUC was developed, which introduced C1 control codes. However, C1 have hardly left any ...
5
votes
0answers
184 views

Were there any standard tricks to fix PET upper/lower case differences?

I have a Commodore PET 4016 like the one described here but did not grow up with any Commodore computers and I am still learning where it fits in their line-up and even how to use it. After buying a ...
5
votes
1answer
469 views

Why ASCII paper tape has lower bit punched from the narrow side?

ASCII was presented on paper tape where the lower 5 bits cross sprocket holes as following While FIELDATA chose the other way I found placing the higher, flag bits at the narrow side appealing, ...
8
votes
1answer
620 views

What was the intended use for the character symbols for control codes in codepage 437?

Is there a well documented or well understood explanation for what was the intended purpose for the more haphazard glyph choices in the control code range of the original IBM PC character set? Maybe a ...
4
votes
2answers
956 views

Were any decimal-based computers capable of handling text?

Many of the earliest computers stored and manipulated numbers in various decimal codings rather than in pure binary. Examples include the Mark I and ENIAC, as well as some UNIVAC and IBM models. ...
1
vote
3answers
171 views

What character repertoires were available on teletype typewheels?

Over in my question about input devices with character sets suited to Algol 60, I mentioned using an ASR-33 / KSR-33 teletype with the subscript-10 character ₁₀. I have subsequently been unable to ...
9
votes
2answers
903 views

Was there an input device capable of entering all Algol 60 symbols with correct appearance?

This question was inspired by recent discussion on early keyboards and character sets, and mention in passing about how the COBOL designers were concerned about not using "non-existent" ...
39
votes
5answers
9k views

Why do keyboards have an asterisk key?

While we're all accustomed to using * as the multiplication symbol (not to mention other esoteric meanings in programming, command-lines, etc.) it is of course not actually the everyday standard ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

C64/PETSCII block graphic symbol: was there ever a logical reason for their "ASCII" codes?

You know those block graphic symbols that allows you to draw lines, corners, intersections, fine bar charts, etc. they are useful and one can do a lot of stuff, but their code arrangements always ...
6
votes
4answers
607 views

How was the APL character set represented on IBM mainframes?

The APL language used a unique set of characters, and additionally allowed overstriking of some characters on the terminal to form characters that were used in the language. When an APL workspace was ...
65
votes
4answers
23k views

Why is Windows using CR+LF and Unix just LF when Unix is the older system?

Windows and MS-DOS use the control characters CR+LF (carriage return, line feed) for new lines, while Unix uses just LF. As far as I know CR+LF made sense for systems controlling a real teletypewriter,...