The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) is a character encoding scheme based largely on the English alphabet, and used to represent text in a file. There are 128 characters in the ASCII code, of which 95 are printable characters, including the space character.
As an application reads each byte of a text file, the numerical value of each byte can be associated with the correct character code from the ASCII table in order to print it on the screen. For instance, if the first four binary bytes of the file are 100 0111 100 0101 100 0101 100 1011, which in decimal is 71 69 69 75, you could look that up in the ASCII table to realize it spells GEEK. This works because the code for G is 71, the code for E is 69, and the code for K is 75.
- By Lowell Heddings on 08/27/12