AlphanumERIC (sometimes seen as alphamERIC) is a combination of alphabetic and numERIC characters, and is used to describe the collection of Latin letters and Arabic digits or a text constructed from this collection.
In layouts designed for English language users, alphanumeric characters are those comprised of the combined set of the 26 alphabetic characters, A to Z…
Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu
…and the 10 Arabic numerals, 0 to 9. → Decrypt the below (it’s encrypted):
Depending on the alphanumERIC base (e.g. the Scrabble letter distributions, a simple Keypad or even simplier the English alphabet) one chooses, the name ERIC results in the number total of either 6, 7 or 8:
ERIC = 1 1 1 3
1+1+1+3 = 6
ERIC = 3 7 4 2
3+7+4+2 = 16
1+6 = 7
ERIC = 5 18 9 3
5+18+9+3 = 35
3+5 = 8
Human Interface Subsets
When a string of mixed alphabets and numerals is presented for human interpretation, ambiguities arise. The most obvious is the similarity of the letters I, O and Q to the numbers 1 and 0. Therefore, depending on the application, various subsets of the alphanumeric were adopted to avoid misinterpretation by humans.
- In passenger aircrafts, aircraft seat maps and seats were designated by row number followed by column letter. For wide bodied jets, the seats can be 10 across, labeled ABC-DEFG-HJK. The letter I is skipped to avoid mistaking it as row number 1.
- In vehicle identification numbers used by motor vehicle manufacturers, the letters I, O and Q are omitted for their similarity to 1 or 0.
- Tiny embossed letters are used to label pins on an electrical connectors. The letters I, O, Q, S and Z were dropped to ease eye strain with 1, 0, 5, 3,and 2. That subset is named the DEC Alphabet after the company that first used it.
- For alphanumerics that are frequently handwritten, in addition to I and O, V is avoided because it looks like U in cursive, and Z for its similarity to 2.
The Binary Code
Watch the alphanumERIC challenge
Any code that uses just two symbols to represent information is considered binary code. Different versions of binary code have been around for centuries, and have been used in a variety of contexts.
Perhaps the most common use for binary nowadays is in computers: binary code is the way that most computers and computerized devices ultimately send, receive, and store information.
The Morse code was developed by Samuel Morse in the 1800s when he worked with an electrical telegraph system sending pulses of electric current and an electromagnet. His code used the pulse and breaks between them to transmit information.
Popular with amateur radio operators, this code is no longer required if you want to get a U.S. pilots or air traffic controller license, though these individuals often have a basic understanding of the code.
An observer can understand Morse code without special equipment which can be an advantage in, for example, an emergency situation. This code can also be useful when poor signal conditions exist, and the human voice is difficult to decode. While this code covers the basic Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals, extensions to the code cover languages that use more than the Latin alphabet letters. → Try this: A Morse Code Translator
Braille is a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or who have low vision.
Braille is not a language. Rather, it is a code by which many languages may be written and read.
Braille is used by thousands of people all over the world in their native languages, and provides a means of literacy for all. → Try this: A Braille Alphabet Translator
Read more ( → click to expand )
Braille symbols are formed within units of space known as braille cells. A full braille cell consists of six raised dots arranged in two parallel rows each having three dots. The dot positions are identified by numbers from one through six. Sixty-four combinations are possible using one or more of these six dots. A single cell can be used to represent an alphabet letter, number, punctuation mark, or even a whole word. This braille alphabet and numbers page illustrates what a cell looks like and how each dot is numbered.
Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, France, on January 4, 1809. He attended the National Institute for Blind Youth in Paris, France, as a student. At that time, books were created using raised print which was laborious to produce, hard to read, and difficult for individuals to write. While attending the Institute, Braille yearned for more books to read. He experimented with ways to create an alphabet that was easy to read with the fingertips. The writing system he invented, at age fifteen, evolved from the tactile “Ecriture Nocturne” (night writing) code invented by Charles Barbier for sending military messages that could be read on the battlefield at night, without light.
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