Slashed zero

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Description:
The slashed zero is a representation of the number '0 ' (zero), with a slash through it. Unlike the Scandinavian vowel 'Ø' and the "empty set" symbol '', the slash often touches the walls of the surrounding O shape but does not extend past them on the outside.

It is used as the glyph for the number 0 on character displays in mainframe and some personal computers to distinguish the letter 'O' from the number '0'.

Origins

The slashed zero is used in many ASCII graphic sets descended from the default typewheel on the Model 33 Teletype.

The slashed zero long predates computers, and has been known to have been used in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

Usage

When personal computers started to become mainstream in the early 1980s, it became one of the things associated with the hacker culture of the time. Some cartoons depicted computer users talking in binary code with 1s and 0s using a slashed zero for the 0.

The use of the Scandinavian vowel ø in the name of the Hawkwind-influenced 1980s space-rock band Underground Zerø may have been inspired by the usage of the slashed zero by many computer systems of the time; which resembled ø (see “Heavy metal umlaut”).

The slashed zero symbol is widely used in written Amateur radio callsigns, codes for video-games, software product keys, and any other instance when clarity is necessary.

Slashed zeroes can also be used on cheques in order to prevent fraud, for example: changing a 0 to an...
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