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How to tell difference between 0 and O on computer?
Old 07-13-2010, 06:39 AM   #1
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How to tell difference between 0 and O on computer?

OK, the answer will seem really simple once it has been revealed, but I've struggled with telling the diffference between a zero and a capital O when presented with a string of characters like in a password or a part number.

So, if I have a string of characters on my screen, what is an easy way to sort out which is which?

Thanks and I know I'll feel dumb once it is pointed out.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:48 AM   #2
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This is an O
This is a 0

The difference is obvious.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:45 AM   #3
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It happens to me, I understand exactly what you are saying.

Copy/Paste the text into any word prc or text editor. Select it and choose a different font, that gives a slash through the zero. Here are zeros followed by Ohhhs.

0000123 OOOOOPQR 0-O Arial

0000123 OOOOOPQR 0-O

0000123 OOOOOPQR 0-O

0000123 OOOOOPQR 0-O

0000123 OOOOOPQR 0-O

0000123 OOOOOPQR 0-O

Hmmm, I haven't found a font here in ER that does it - Except for the text in the 'code' tags...

Code:
0000123 OOOOOPQR 0-O
-ERD50
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:55 AM   #4
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Ah, the distinction between O and 0, and 1 and lowercase l and uppercase I, or lack thereof...

People often call the military stupid, but they did the right thing by banning the letters I and O from their MGRS coordinate system, so that they can use the essential numerals 0 and 1 with no ambiguity. In the heat of battle, can you imagine an artillery officer fumbling on a laptop trying to find a suitable font to avoid confusion between 0 and O?
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:38 AM   #5
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Type the wrOng 0ne int0 an Online fOrm requiring numbers and y0u'll kn0w immediately.

General rule Of thumb is that the Zer0 is mOre vertically el0ngated than the "O" in most f0nts.

If I have a d0ubt, I'll type b0th o and 0 next to the 0/o/O in questiOn- it usually stands 0ut and bec0mes 0bvi0us, which o1 I sh0uld use.

H0pe this helps y0u Out.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:40 AM   #6
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Our system of letters and numbers has some amazing stupidities in it, and this is one example. Wouldn't you think that a some point a grown-up would say "Look kids, you can't have two symbols which are, in most cases, written exactly the same way."

I remember one computer bug which had everyone stumped for several days. The problem turned out to be related to the fact that a programmer had named a variable "W00FW00F." That is, W Zero Zero F W Zero Zero F.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
So, if I have a string of characters on my screen, what is an easy way to sort out which is which?
Assuming that the character isn't in an image, but is a real character in a document on the screen, then this might help (or not) for Windows:
- Select (highlight, drag through) the character (0 or O) with the mouse.
- Do Edit/Copy or hit ctrl/C. The character (0 or O) is now in the paste buffer.
- Open the calculator program
- Click (on the calculator pad) the digit 2. Do not click anything else
- Do Edit/Paste or hit ctrl/V.
- If the character was a 0 (zero), you will now see 20 in the display. If it was an O (oh), you will see 0.99939....
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
People often call the military stupid, but they did the right thing by banning the letters I and O from their MGRS coordinate system, so that they can use the essential numerals 0 and 1 with no ambiguity. In the heat of battle, can you imagine an artillery officer fumbling on a laptop trying to find a suitable font to avoid confusion between 0 and O?
I would bet money that this has a much simpler explanation. Early typewriters didn't have 0 and 1 keys; the only "numbers" they could produce were 2 through 9. So I and 1, and 0 and O, were exactly identical.
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Our system of letters and numbers has some amazing stupidities in it, and this is one example. Wouldn't you think that a some point a grown-up would say "Look kids, you can't have two symbols which are, in most cases, written exactly the same way."
That's a procurement issue. It's what happens when you get your letters from one supplier (Rome) and your numbers from another (India).
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:22 AM   #8
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That's a procurement issue. It's what happens when you get your letters from one supplier (Rome) and your numbers from another (India).
Thank goodness we didn't get our numbers from the same place we got our letters. That would make math X times harder. Especially algrebra. Maybe C times harder.
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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I saw this sign hung outside a cubicle wall of an engineering firm.
There are 10 possibilities.
0. You do not understand binary numbers.
1. You understand binaries.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I saw this sign hung outside a cubicle wall of an engineering firm.
There are 10 possibilities.
0. You do not understand binary numbers.
1. You understand binaries.
Engineer's valentines card: "The 10 of us are perfect together".

"11 is a party"
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
This is an O
This is a 0

The difference is obvious.

Obvious, unless you are looking through a computer dump. Back in the days of w*rk, I remember spending half a day with a colleague debugging a problem with his program, then finally discovered an O instead of a 0.

Anyhow, that was a whole different time and place
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:44 AM   #12
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Its easy. Just look below the letters to see which holes are punched out.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:27 AM   #13
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Or maybe the zero has a slash through it. Beware of the Norwegian/Danish letter Ø, though.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:47 AM   #14
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Or if all else fails, copy/paste everything into MS Word, change the font to a script font, and the difference between the 0's and the O's will be obvious... OK, this is probably not the real techie solution but you get what you pay for.
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:32 PM   #15
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Or if all else fails, copy/paste everything into MS Word, change the font to a script font, and the difference between the 0's and the O's will be obvious... OK, this is probably not the real techie solution but you get what you pay for.
Actually, I came up with a similar solution. If you use Wingding font the two are vastly different. I don't feel so dumb now, though.
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:53 PM   #16
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A client wanted our software source code as a hardcopy printout. We would not give them a digital copy. So we ran a program to change all the variable names to use only the characters 1, l, 0, and O and used a courier monospaced font to print it out.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:02 PM   #17
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A client wanted our software source code as a hardcopy printout. We would not give them a digital copy. So we ran a program to change all the variable names to use only the characters 1, l, 0, and O and used a courier monospaced font to print it out.
Is that requirement written in the contract? If not, why did you have to give the source code out? And if it is, well, that could be the last contract from that client.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:48 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Obvious, unless you are looking through a computer dump. Back in the days of w*rk, I remember spending half a day with a colleague debugging a problem with his program, then finally discovered an O instead of a 0.
In my day, a dump had the numbers 1 thru 9 and the letters A thru F. How did the letter "O" confuse you?
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:46 PM   #19
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In my day, a dump had the numbers 1 thru 9 and the letters A thru F. How did the letter "O" confuse you?
You're right. As I'm thinking now (too much like w*rk). The time I spent half a day with my co-w*rker, it was debugging a different type of problem. What type of problem you ask? It had something to do with scope of control and variables (fun stuff...). Because the scope of control changed, the values in the variables changed too.

The 0 and O confusion was probably a different debugging episode I had staring at a computer print out. It may have been an O instead of 0 that caused a data exception.

I really wanted to forget about dumps and hex digits, you know
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:27 PM   #20
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I really wanted to forget about dumps and hex digits, you know
I cain't figure out what all you guys are talking about with yer fancy computer talk. I know a lot about dumps, but they really just deal with number 2's. No zeros or ones involved.
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