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Last updated 2023-03-15 10:00:09

# What Is ASCII?

## Definition

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a set of chosen numbers used to represent letters, numbers, and unique actions.

## Use cases and Examples

`065` is the number used to represent `A`.

The question then is why and for what reason do we need this mapping?

Well, computers store data using an `on` and `off` state like a light bulb. We represent this using the numbers `1` and `0`, respectively.

If we wanted to store `A` what would be the approach? The easiest answer is to represent it using a number since that's all we can store with the computer (more or less). But we have way more than two alphabets so `0` and `1` is not enough. But if you pair more `0`s and `1`s together, for example, `01000001`, you can store all the alphabet. And since we can convert binary numbers to decimal numbers, we can convert `01000001` to `065`. This decimal is what is known as ASCII.

## Summary

This number-to-character mapping allows computers to interpret the information stored as binary back to readable text.

Also, representing a computer's `on` and `off` state as binary allows engineers to present electronics and computation in mathematical form for example, boolean algebra [↗] and logic gates [↗].

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