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The Unique Unicode (14 Jun 2005)
Basically, computers just deal with numbers. They store letters and other characters by conveying a number for each one. Before Unicode was invented, there were hundreds of different encoding systems for assigning these numbers. No single encoding could contain enough characters. For example, the European Union alone requires several different encodings to cover all its languages. Even for a single language like English no single encoding was adequate for all the letters, punctuation and technical symbols in common use.
Article URL: http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/views/v6i21_saadi.html

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