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Unicode Demystified by Richard Gillam

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Prehistory

Unlike with written language itself, the history of electronic (or electrical) representations of written language doesn't go back very far. Of course, that's largely because the history of the devices using these representations doesn't go back very far.

The modern age of information technology does, however, start earlier than one might think at first—a good century or so before the advent of the modern digital computer. We can date the beginning of modern information technology from Samuel Morse's invention of the telegraph in 1837.[1]

[1] My main source for this section is Tom Jennings, “Annotated History of Character Codes,” found at http://www.wps.com/texts/codes.

The telegraph is more than just an interesting historical curiosity. ...

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