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Six-bit character code

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A six-bit character code is a character encoding designed for use on computers with word lengths a multiple of 6. Six bits can only encode 64 distinct characters, so these codes generally include only the upper-case letters, the numerals, some punctuation characters, and sometimes control characters. The 7-track magnetic tape format was developed to store data in such codes, along with an additional parity bit.

Types of six-bit codes

An early six-bit binary code was used for Braille, the reading system for the blind that was developed in the 1820s.

The earliest computers dealt with numeric data only, and made no provision for character data. Six-bit BCD, with several variants, was used by IBM on early computers such as the IBM 702 in 1953 and the IBM 704 in 1954.[1]: p.35  Six-bit encodings were replaced by the 8-bit EBCDIC code starting in 1964, when System/360 standardized on 8-bit bytes. There are some variants of this type of code (see below).

Six-bit character codes generally succeeded the five-bit Baudot code and preceded seven-bit ASCII.

Six-bit codes could encode more than 64 characters by the use of Shift Out and Shift In characters, essentially incorporating two distinct 62-character sets and switching between them. For example, the popular IBM 2741 communications terminal supported a variety of character sets of up to 88 printing characters plus control characters.

BCD six-bit code

Six-bit BCD code was the adaptation of the punched card code to binary code. IBM applied the terms binary-coded decimal and BCD to the variations of BCD alphamerics used in most early IBM computers, including the IBM 1620, IBM 1400 series, and non-decimal architecture members of the IBM 700/7000 series.

COBOL databases six-bit code

A six-bit code was also used in COBOL databases, where end-of-record information was stored separately.[citation needed]

Magnetic stripe card six-bit code

A six-bit code, with added odd parity bit, is used on Track 1 of magnetic stripe cards, as specified in ISO/IEC 7811-2.

DEC SIXBIT code

A popular six-bit code was DEC SIXBIT. This is simply the ASCII character codes from 32 to 95 coded as 0 to 63 by subtracting 32 (i.e., columns 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the ASCII table (16 characters to a column), shifted to columns 0 through 3, by subtracting 2 from the high bits); it includes the space, punctuation characters, numbers, and capital letters, but no control characters. Since it included no control characters, not even end-of-line, it was not used for general text processing. However, six-character names such as filenames and assembler symbols could be stored in a single 36-bit word of PDP-10, and three characters fit in each word of the PDP-1 and two characters fit in each word of the PDP-8. See table below.

Another, less common, variant is obtained by just stripping the high bit of an ASCII code in 32 - 95 range (codes 32 - 63 remain at their positions, higher values have 64 subtracted from them). Such variant was sometimes used on DEC's PDP-8 (1965).

ECMA six-bit code

A six-bit code similar to DEC's, but replacing a few punctuation characters with the most useful control characters—including SO/SI, allowing code extension—was specified as ECMA-1 in 1963 (see below).

FIELDATA six-bit code

FIELDATA was a seven-bit code (with optional parity) of which only 64 code positions (occupying six bits) were formally defined.[2] A variant was used by UNIVAC's 1100-series computers.[3] Treating the code as a six-bit code these systems used a 36-bit word (capable of storing six such reduced FIELDATA characters).[4]

Braille six-bit code

Braille characters are represented using six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle. Each position may contain a raised dot or not, so Braille can be considered to be a six-bit binary code. Some more modern Braille systems add an extra two dots, making these systems an eight-bit code instead.

Six-bit codes for binary-to-text encoding

Transmission of binary data over systems which are designed for text only can sometimes introduce problems. For example, email historically supported only 7-bit ASCII codes and would strip the 8th bit, thus corrupting binary data sent directly through any troublesome mail server. Other systems can cause issues by improperly interpreting control characters during storage or transmission. A number of schemes exist to pack 8-bit data into text-only representations which can pass through text mail systems, to be decoded at the destination. Examples of 6-bit character subsets used for packing binary data include Uuencode and Base64. These sets contain no control characters (only printable numbers, letters, some punctuation, and maybe space) and allow data to be transmitted over any medium which is also able to transmit human-readable text.

Examples of BCD six-bit codes

IBM, which dominated commercial data processing use a variety of six-bit codes, which were tied to the character set used on punched cards, see BCD (character encoding).

Other vendor character codes are shown below, with their Unicode equivalents.

CDC 1604: Magnetic tape BCD codes
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 # @ TAPE
MARK
1x  SP  / S T U V W X Y Z REC
MARK
, %
2x - J K L M N O P Q R -0 $ *
3x & A B C D E F G H I +0 . ¤ GRP
MARK
CDC 1604: Punched card codes
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 =
1x / S T U V W X Y Z , (
2x J K L M N O P Q R -0 $ *
3x + A B C D E F G H I +0 . )
CDC 1612: Printer codes (business applications)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 = ! [
1x  SP  / S T U V W X Y Z ] , ( ~
2x J K L M N O P Q R % $ * >
3x + A B C D E F G H I < . ) ? ;

Examples of six-bit ASCII variants

DEC SIXBIT
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x  SP  ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . /
1x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
2x @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
3x P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _
ECMA-1
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x  SP   HT   LF   VT   FF   CR   SO   SI   ( ) * + , - . /
1x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
2x NUL A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
3x P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ESC DEL
ICL Mainframes
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?
1x  SP  ! " # £ % & ' ( ) * + , - . /
2x @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
3x P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ $ ]
SixBit ASCII (used by AIS)[5]
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O
1x P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _
2x  SP  ! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . /
3x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ?

GOST 6-bit code

GOST 6-bit code
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
0x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 + - / , .  SP 
1x ( ) × = ; [ ] * < > :
2x А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П
3x Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ы Ь Э Ю Я DEL

Example of six-bit Braille codes

The following table shows the arrangement of characters, with the hex value, corresponding ASCII character, Braille 6-bit codes (dot combinations), Braille Unicode glyph, and general meaning (the actual meaning may change depending on context).[6][7]

Hex ASCII Glyph Braille Dots Braille Glyph Braille Meaning
20 (space)
⠀ (braille pattern blank)
(space)
21 ! 2-3-4-6
⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346)
the
22 " 5
⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)
(contraction)
23 # 3-4-5-6
⠼ (braille pattern dots-3456)
(number prefix)
24 $ 1-2-4-6
⠫ (braille pattern dots-1246)
ed
25 % 1-4-6
⠩ (braille pattern dots-146)
sh
26 & 1-2-3-4-6
⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346)
and
27 ' 3
⠄ (braille pattern dots-3)
'
28 ( 1-2-3-5-6
⠷ (braille pattern dots-12356)
of
29 ) 2-3-4-5-6
⠾ (braille pattern dots-23456)
with
2A * 1-6
⠡ (braille pattern dots-16)
ch
2B + 3-4-6
⠬ (braille pattern dots-346)
ing
2C , 6
⠠ (braille pattern dots-6)
(uppercase prefix)
2D - 3-6
⠤ (braille pattern dots-36)
-
2E . 4-6
⠨ (braille pattern dots-46)
(italic prefix)
2F / 3-4
⠌ (braille pattern dots-34)
st
30 0 3-5-6
⠴ (braille pattern dots-356)
"
31 1 2
⠂ (braille pattern dots-2)
,
32 2 2-3
⠆ (braille pattern dots-23)
;
33 3 2-5
⠒ (braille pattern dots-25)
:
34 4 2-5-6
⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)
.
35 5 2-6
⠢ (braille pattern dots-26)
en
36 6 2-3-5
⠖ (braille pattern dots-235)
!
37 7 2-3-5-6
⠶ (braille pattern dots-2356)
( or )
38 8 2-3-6
⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)
" or ?
39 9 3-5
⠔ (braille pattern dots-35)
in
3A : 1-5-6
⠱ (braille pattern dots-156)
wh
3B ; 5-6
⠰ (braille pattern dots-56)
(letter prefix)
3C < 1-2-6
⠣ (braille pattern dots-126)
gh
3D = 1-2-3-4-5-6
⠿ (braille pattern dots-123456)
for
3E > 3-4-5
⠜ (braille pattern dots-345)
ar
3F ? 1-4-5-6
⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456)
th
 
Hex ASCII Glyph Braille Dots Braille Glyph Braille Meaning
40 @ 4
⠈ (braille pattern dots-4)
(accent prefix)
41 A 1
⠁ (braille pattern dots-1)
a
42 B 1-2
⠃ (braille pattern dots-12)
b
43 C 1-4
⠉ (braille pattern dots-14)
c
44 D 1-4-5
⠙ (braille pattern dots-145)
d
45 E 1-5
⠑ (braille pattern dots-15)
e
46 F 1-2-4
⠋ (braille pattern dots-124)
f
47 G 1-2-4-5
⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245)
g
48 H 1-2-5
⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)
h
49 I 2-4
⠊ (braille pattern dots-24)
i
4A J 2-4-5
⠚ (braille pattern dots-245)
j
4B K 1-3
⠅ (braille pattern dots-13)
k
4C L 1-2-3
⠇ (braille pattern dots-123)
l
4D M 1-3-4
⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)
m
4E N 1-3-4-5
⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345)
n
4F O 1-3-5
⠕ (braille pattern dots-135)
o
50 P 1-2-3-4
⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234)
p
51 Q 1-2-3-4-5
⠟ (braille pattern dots-12345)
q
52 R 1-2-3-5
⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235)
r
53 S 2-3-4
⠎ (braille pattern dots-234)
s
54 T 2-3-4-5
⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345)
t
55 U 1-3-6
⠥ (braille pattern dots-136)
u
56 V 1-2-3-6
⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236)
v
57 W 2-4-5-6
⠺ (braille pattern dots-2456)
w
58 X 1-3-4-6
⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346)
x
59 Y 1-3-4-5-6
⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456)
y
5A Z 1-3-5-6
⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356)
z
5B [ 2-4-6
⠪ (braille pattern dots-246)
ow
5C \ 1-2-5-6
⠳ (braille pattern dots-1256)
ou
5D ] 1-2-4-5-6
⠻ (braille pattern dots-12456)
er
5E ^ 4-5
⠘ (braille pattern dots-45)
(contraction)
5F _ 4-5-6
⠸ (braille pattern dots-456)
(contraction)

See also

References

  1. ^ IBM Corporation (1954). 704 electronic data-processing machine: manual of operation (PDF).
  2. ^ Mackenzie, Charles E. (1980). Coded Character Sets, History and Development. The Systems Programming Series (1 ed.). Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. p. 64. ISBN 0-201-14460-3. LCCN 77-90165. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  3. ^ Walker, John (1996-08-06). "UNIVAC 1100 Series FIELDATA Code". UNIVAC Memories. Archived from the original on 2016-05-22. Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  4. ^ Jennings, Thomas Daniel (2016-04-20) [1999]. "An annotated history of some character codes or ASCII: American Standard Code for Information Infiltration". sensitive research (SR-IX). FIELDATA. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  5. ^ Raymond, Eric S. (2017-08-29). "AIS Payload Data Types". catb.org. Retrieved 2017-11-16.
  6. ^ "Representing and Displaying Braille". DotlessBraille.org. 2002-02-20. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
  7. ^ Halleck, John (2000-08-24). "braille-ascii.ads". Braille.Ascii. Retrieved 2009-08-10.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 November 2022, at 02:00
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