The computer is an electronic device that works with digital signals-i.e. ON and OFF. The digit 0 represents OFF and 1 represents 0N. The computer works in a binary system. This system consists of two digits 0 and 1 called bits. Bit stands for binary digit. It is the smallest unit of data that can be represented in a computer. A collection of eight bits is called byte. One byte can represent 256 different characters.
Different combinations of 0 and 1 are used to represent different characters. Differs coding schemes are used to represent different characters.
Popular coding schemes follows:
- ASCII: ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is an 8—bit code. It is the most popular coding scheme for data representation. It is mostly used in personal computers. It can represent 256 characters.
- EBCDIC: EBCDIC stands for Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code. It is an 8-bit code. It is normally used in mainframe computers. It can represent 256 characters.
- Unicode: Unicode is a 16—bit code. It can represent 65536 characters. It can represent the characters of all languages in the world.