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Alphanumeric

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Definitions Edit

Alphanumeric is

[a] representation which is expressed using letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols.[1]
[d]escribing a character set that contains letters, numerals (digits), and other characters such as punctuation marks.[2]

Overview Edit

Alphanumeric is a collective term used to identify letters of the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals. There are either 36 (single case) or 62 (case-sensitive) alphanumeric characters.

The alphanumeric character set consists of the numbers 0 to 9 and letters A to Z.

In computing terminology, a character stored in alphanumeric form is considerably smaller than storing a 8-bit ASCII character, as each character is only 6 bits in length.

There is no standard for storing 6-bit alphanumeric data. A 6-bit field has 64 possible values, so if only 36 are used in single case, there is room for another 28 characters (usually slashes and other punctuation), making alphanumeric data useful for storing text and website addresses.

References Edit

  1. Emphasis Needed on Government's Efforts To Standardize Data Elements and Codes for Computer Systems, Glossary of Terms, at 55.
  2. Glossary of Communication Electronic Terms, at 2-5.

See also Edit


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