Significance of ASCII characters '*' and 'U'

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 17, 2017
Interesting question on my assignment that asks what the significance of ASCII characters '*' and capitol 'U' and how they can be useful. We are also asked to use even parity.

* = 10101010 with even parity bit, and;
U = 01010101 with even parity bit.

It seems that these two characters are compliments to each other.
As for usefulness, is this inverted relationship somehow useful for error checking?


Joined Jun 26, 2012
Since 'U' consists of alternating single bit 1's and 0's, it's a handy way to verify baud rate timings. Measure the bit time on a scope, take the reciprocal and there you are. Many 'auto-baud' firmware routines also want you to type a 'U' for the same reason.
I remember 'musical printers' as well as the guys who hung an AM radio near the CPU. Different timing loops made different radiated notes.