ASCII is a character encoding standard. It was created because there was no room on the phone to store all the characters needed for different languages. ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is an 8-bit character set with 256 slots available, including numbers, letters, and various symbols. The full name of this code page is “ANSI_X3.4-1986”.
The ASCII character set, originally known as X3, was developed and released by the ASA (American Standards Association) in 1963. The original ASCII standard was published as ASA X3.4-1963, with 10 updates to the standard issued between 1967 and 1986.
For example: the ASCII code for the letter A is 65. The ASCII code for the number 5 is 53. The ASCII code for the symbol for pounds sterling is £ is type-shifted by holding down the Alt key and typing 0163 on the numeric keypad.
ASCII includes control codes that originated with teleprinter systems in order to provide formatting information such as how text should be centered or italicized when being typeset from a computer terminal; these codes are used by some non-English language communities as well but have been superseded by more powerful formatting capabilities in modern programming languages and web browsers.
ASCII was first widely used on the PDP-11, CP/M machines, and DEC’s RSX-11M OS as a way for user programs to communicate with each other and with the human operators on a time-shared system using teleprinters at a remote central site, replacing the old punched card systems or dedicated one-of-a-kind hardware terminals.
ASCII also continues to be used internally by some software applications for data storage and retrieval. In modern times, ASCII has largely been superseded by Unicode, which supports a wider range of characters and provides more editing capabilities. Unicode is now the most common character encoding standard in use on the web.