BCD, XS3 and Gray code all are used to code digits. We know that computers today are more advanced and they also deal with alphabets and special characters. But a computer can only understand 0 and 1. So how we use alphabets on screen today? This is possible because of alphanumeric codes.
Codes that represent characters, numbers and symbols using 0s and 1s are called alphanumeric codes. There are many alphanumeric codes like Hollerith code, BAUDOT code, etc. But these are outdated and no longer serve in any computing systems. So, we will see the few which are interesting to learn about and are still in use. Let's check some, together!

Morse Code

This is the first telecommunication code which uses electronic signals to identify messages. Morse code is based on pulse width, short pulse (a dot) and long pulse (a dash). It was named after Samuel F. B. Morse. 
Letters are represented by combination of dot and dash.
International Morse Code


ASCII, American Standard Code for Information Interchange was developed from telegraphic codes. ASCII is a 7 bit code. Hence it can represent 128 characters which include upper case letters (A-Z), lower case letters (a-z), numbers (0-9) and some special symbols. 
I have written ASCII in decimal. For example, ASCII of 'A' is 65 which means 8 bit ASCII code for A is 01000001.


Unicode is an international encoding standard which is usually 16 bit (sometimes, 8 bit also). So we can represent 65536 different characters! Along with multilingual characters, we can use different mathematical and scientific symbols for complex information interchange. 
Unicode is the most widely accepted set of encoding characters. Microsoft, Apple, Sun, Oracle and all the others use unicode encoding in their products. 
Well, you can also try using it. To insert the degree (ยบ) symbol, press and hold down ALT while typing 0176 on the numeric keypad. You must use the numeric keypad to type the numbers, and not the keyboard. Have fun coding.

You might have seen people in movies sending morse code signals over some electronic device which probably looked like this.(below)

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