Identifying if a file is EBCDIC or ASCII

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I was uploading a file to a file hosting site but there was an option asking if the file is ASCII or EBDCDIC. What are these and how can I identify them?

Answered By 0 points N/A #140143

Identifying if a file is EBCDIC or ASCII


Hi Gregory,

What are ASCII and EBCDIC?

These are two encoding sets used in computers to represent characters. Let me explain so you can completely understand what I meant by the above line. As we know computers talk, sleep, eat and do everything in binary language. What is binary language?

It's the language which has only two characters 0's and 1's (on and off). So in order for the computers of this world to understand each other person made a common language for them. Initially it was EBCDIC.

EBCDIC is a 8 bit encoding set, which means in EBCDIC each character (examples of character are A, 5, *,< etc.) is represented in 8 bits. For example A is represented as 11000001. In the ASCII character only uses 7 bits the 8th bit is reserved for error checking lets not get into that.

How to check whether your file is EBCDIC or ASCII?

Well this is an easy question. I am positive that you are using a laptop and its not the IBM AS/400 system? If that is true then your system uses ASCII encoding set which is what 99% computers use now a days. Hope this helps.



Answered By 551785 points N/A #140144

Identifying if a file is EBCDIC or ASCII


EBCDIC stands for Extended Binary Coded Decimal Interchange Code. It is a binary code for numeric and alphabetic characters which IBM developed for their bigger operating systems. It is the code for text files used in IBM OS/390 operating system for their S/390 servers.

Every alphabetic or numeric character in an EBCDIC file is signified with an 8-bit binary number or a string or series of eight 0s or eight 1s. IBM PC and workstation operating systems don’t utilize their own proprietary EBCDIC but instead, they use ASCII, the industry standard code for text. Conversion software let various operating systems to modify a file from one code to another.

ASCII stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange. It is the most common format used for text files on the internet and in computers. Every numeric, alphabetic, or special character in an ASCII file is signified with a 7-bit binary number or string or series of seven 0s or seven 1s. DOS-based operating systems and UNIX use ASCII for text files.

For Windows 2000 and Windows NT, Unicode is used which is a newer code. ASCII was developed by ANSI or the American National Standards Institute. So, if you are uploading something to a website and you are prompted to specify if you are uploading an ASCII file or an EBCDIC file, select ASCII.

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