ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is a widely used standard that defines numeric values for a common set of alphabetic characters. The first 32 characters are reserved for formatting and hardware control codes. Following these codes are 96 “printable” characters. IBM defined symbols for the final 128 ASCII values when it released the IBM PC, and referred to the additional characters as Extended ASCII codes. This entire set of 256 characters is often referred to as the PC-8 character set, or code page 437.
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