PDP-1 alphanumeric codes

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Name PDP-1 alphanumeric codes
Released 1959

The PDP-1 alphanumeric codes were used to encode text characters for input and output on a DEC PDP-1, a computer model that was available from 1959 to 1969. The introduction of this model predated the creation of ASCII, so (as was common in the early computer industry) a proprietary coding was used.

Several different codings were used, actually; the manuals show at least three, Friden Code, FIO-DEC Code, and Concise Code. They each assigned different code points to the various letters, numbers, punctuation, and control characters. Concise codes were two-digit numbers, but were not always consecutive for letters of the alphabet; A through G were 61 through 67, but H was 70 and J was 41. Friden Codes used three digit numbers, while FIO-DEC codes used a mixture of two and three digit numbers, most of which were either equal to the Concise Code or to the Concise Code with another digit placed before it.


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