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Re: OT: degree sign

and thank you for the explanation. i even understood it.

At 03:14 AM 12/15/02 -0600, you wrote:
> >What it is, is that you may have an email program that lets you
> >compose in HTML, so you see the degree sign, but it won't show as
> >what you intend in ascii text.  As far as I know, there is no way to
> >add special symbols to ascii text:-)
> +++++++
> I think I have to take issue with that; as I said when I tried,
> I sent my sig (since edited to remove degree) to myself and back
> with no trouble. I have my prefrences set _not_ to send HTML.

I'm joining this a little bit late.  I apologize for taking so long.

The difference is 8-bit vs. 7-bit emails.  Every piece of information
on a computer can be broken down to a single byte with a numeric value
in the range between 0-255.  7-bit refers to the characters 0-127 (or 0
through 2^7 - 1), whereas 8-bit covers the whole gambit with characters
from 0 - 255 (or 0 through 2^8 - 1).

The lower 7-bits are all reserved for the more 'normal' characters
like letters of the alphabet, punctuation, backspaces, etc.  The
8th bit is used for specialized characters with accent marks, special
graphics characters, and yes, degree signs.

Some mail gateways (systems that mail passes through) are not 8-bit
clean -- that is, they strip off 8-bit characters.  That could account
for some loss.

Other systems strip off the 8th bit locally, like before a message
gets sent out to a mailing list.  This is the case at hort.net -- we
strip them off because 8-bit messages could be more likely to contain
viruses and the like.  Remember that every piece of computer code is
broken up into those characters 0-255; if we strip off the eighth
bit, any code that was sent won't be able to run.

So in essence it's there to protect the subscribers, but it also means
that you can't send degree signs or squiggles over your pinatas on any
of the hort.net lists.


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