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Why is RAD50 called RAD50?

a) RAD stands for Reductionistic ASCII Deflation, and the algorithm was invented in 1950.
b) It's short for Radix 50, because it treats 50 characters as digits.
c) It's short for Radix 50, because it treats 40 characters as digits.
d) It provides Rapid Application Development in 50 lines or less.

Answer: (c)

RAD50 is a character encoding technique invented by DEC that enables three characters to be stored in a in a 16-bit integer (saving one byte for every three) by limiting the supported character set to space, A-Z, period, dollar, percent, and 0-9. Treating each of these characters as a digit, the number represented by any three characters falls within the range 0 (three spaces) to 63999 ('999').

Those of you who have been counting realize that's only 40 characters. So why call it RAD50? Back in the early days, DEC favored octal representation of numbers, and 50 is octal for decimal 40. So (c) is the correct response.

Synergy/DE provides the subroutines ASCR5 and R5ASC to convert between an ASCII string and its RAD50 integer equivalent. These routines were useful on the old DEC systems, where directory entries were encoded using RAD50. Some code may still be using these routines for other purposes, so to make migrating applications forward as painless as possible, Synergex continues to support them.

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