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 Post subject: ASCII, Extended ASCII, and the Numeric Keypad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:14 am 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:49 am
Posts: 377
Has anyone ever tried to figure out the working combinations of ALT + [something typed on the numeric keypad]?

I've used those shortcuts for decades. Thought I understood them. I have a nice, laminated chart showing around 233 combinations. And then, this morning, because of a simple mistype, everything I thought I knew about ALT and the number pad went out the window.

Type ALT + 133 and you get à
Type ALT + 0133 and you get …

Because I was used to the leading 0, I hadn't a clue that not using it gave another result.



And then there's ☺. I found it by playing around; I typed ALT + 1, just to see what would happen. In the eighties, I was taught that nothing existed beneath 032, or the SPACE character. There used to be control characters, but those were for teletypes and weren't supposed to do a thing on a PC. ALT + [01-031] still does nothing, as far as I can tell, but if you leave out the leading 0, you get 31 assorted graphics:☺☻♥♦♣♠•◘○◙♂♀♪♫☼►◄↕‼¶§▬↨↑↓→←∟↔▲▼

I knew the range of characters had been extended upward over the years as our needs and computing power grew. I have to ask how far it goes.

Are we even using ASCII or Extended ASCII these days, or have those been replaced by Unicode behind the scenes? Why does the leading 0 determine which character you access? Does anyone in the world understand these standards anymore?


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 Post subject: Re: ASCII, Extended ASCII, and the Numeric Keypad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:05 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5397
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alt_code

Alt codes have nothing to do with character encoding and is OS dependent. The alt codes you're seeing come from codepage 437 (seemingly surviving to this day I see!), which is without the leading zero. If you add a leading zero, you're using codepage 1252. You can verify this by looking at 0x85 on the table, which is what you used (alt code 133/0133)


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 Post subject: Re: ASCII, Extended ASCII, and the Numeric Keypad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:43 am 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:49 am
Posts: 377
Is Unicode is a superset of ASCII, Code page 437 and Windows-1252?

Hexadecimal FB25 is a character contained in the Latin Ligatures set; convert it to decimal and you have 64293. You can type Alt + 64293 on the numerical keypad to place that character in a Word document, for example. I'm assuming recent versions of Windows support Unicode 8.0 with certain fonts.

I'm studying up on this because I hoped to create a chart colleagues could reference for both typical business communications and documentation of reading proficiencies. I fear such a chart may cover an entire wall....


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 Post subject: Re: ASCII, Extended ASCII, and the Numeric Keypad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 11:48 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5397
No. Unicode is it's own thing. The only compatibility it has with ASCII are the first 256 codes (UTF8 and Extended ASCII are practically the same thing). Also Alt codes only go up to a certain value, so you can't just punch in a Unicode value and expect its character.

I just open up character map every time I need something. Office also has Insert -> Symbol in the ribbon for commonly used characters.


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 Post subject: Re: ASCII, Extended ASCII, and the Numeric Keypad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:24 pm 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth

Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:49 am
Posts: 377
Thanks for the education! I've never been a fan of the special character controls in Windows software; more often than not, it has been faster to refer to one of my charts, though I must admit most are poorly organized and include unnecessary characters, such as those already part of any standard keyboard.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: ASCII, Extended ASCII, and the Numeric Keypad
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:30 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5397
Ah, I should correct myself.

UTF8 is compatible with ASCII for the first 128 characters. After that it's fair game.


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