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It allows compact encoding, but is less reliable for data transmission, as an error in transmitting the shift code typically makes a long part of the transmission unreadable.
The standards committee decided against shifting, and so ASCII required at least a seven-bit code.
Before ASCII was developed, the encodings in use included 26 alphabetic characters, 10 numerical digits, and from 11 to 25 special graphic symbols.
To include all these, and control characters compatible with the Comité Consultatif International Téléphonique et Télégraphique (CCITT) International Telegraph Alphabet No.
In addition, the original ASCII specification included 33 non-printing control codes which originated with Teletype machines; most of these are now obsolete.
For example, lowercase i would be represented in the ASCII encoding by binary 1101001 = hexadecimal 69 (i is the ninth letter) = decimal 105.
This discrepancy from typewriters led to bit-paired keyboards, notably the Teletype Model 33, which used the left-shifted layout corresponding to ASCII, not to traditional mechanical typewriters.
The first edition of the standard was published in 1963, Compared to earlier telegraph codes, the proposed Bell code and ASCII were both ordered for more convenient sorting (i.e., alphabetization) of lists, and added features for devices other than teleprinters.ASCII reserves the first 32 codes (numbers 0–31 decimal) for control characters: codes originally intended not to represent printable information, but rather to control devices (such as printers) that make use of ASCII, or to provide meta-information about data streams such as those stored on magnetic tape.