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Here's a preview from my zine, How Integers and Floats Work! If you want to see more comics like this, sign up for my saturday comics newsletter or browse more comics!

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panel 1: a string is an array of bytes

ASCII is the simplest string encoding: 1 character = 1 byte. Let’s see how it works!

(We usually use UTF-8, which is WAY more complicated)

panel 2: every printable ASCII character


There are no accents because it’s an English encoding: the “A” in ASCII is for “American”.

panel 3: there are 128 ASCII characters

Only the bytes 0 to 127 are defined.

It’s very limited: you can really see why we need more powerful encodings like UTF-8!

panel 4: how bytes map to characters

Here’s a partial list, look up “ASCII table” for the full list. Bytes (in base 10) are on the left, characters are on the right.

33 is !, 34 is “

48 is 0, 49 is 1

64 is A, 65 is B

97 is a, 98 is b

panel 5: a trick to translate from lowercase to uppercase

In ASCII, the lowercase letters are 32 more than the uppercase letters. So you can just subtract 32!

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