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# is char unsigned 16 bit?

saikrishna cinux
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2005
Posts: 689
why datatype char is said to be unsigned ?
actually what is the difference between signed and unsigned?

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Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662

5

A sign bit is used to indicate the sign of a number. Depending on whether the bit is 1 or 0 the number is considered positive or negative. A char need not be signed because it is used to represent unicode characters. Negative unicode characters just dont make sense. So a char is 16 bit unsigned.

Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 56
The reason this is interesting is that by not supporting signed numbers a char can contain a larger number than say a short (also 16bit but supports signed numbers).

short can hold a number up to 2^15 - 1
char can hold a number uup to 2^16 - 1

Yes, chars are not meant to hold numbers...but you can assign a number to them.