This article is from the Greece FAQ, by Nikolaos (Nick) C. Fotis, firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
NOTE: The greek typewriter character set is (assuming you follow the
a b g d e z h u i k l m n j o p r s t y f x c v
and `w' (lower-case only) is final sigma.
Also there are accents and diaeresis marks in Greek. Your keyboard driver
should provide for those special characters.
[I don't know if it's a standard (I think so, I never saw a mention)]
For 7-bit transmission: there's an ELOT standard, but we don't bother with it,
since we use always 8-bit ASCII (at least between us).
For 8-bit characters, there are various standards:
[ "The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to
choose from..", Andrew Tanenmbaum >:-> ]
It was assigned an ISO number(ISO8859-7), so its an
international and official standard.
Here in NTUA, we use it in our Unix machines (because it didn't
interfere with 'vi' metacharacters, as I was told ;-) )
Notice that this standard concerns ONLY the storage of 8-bit text files,
ie. it doesn't bother with keyboard mapping, etc. Besides the character
encodings, it provides also an escape sequence when you're switching
The de-facto standard: IBM PC character set [ 437 ]. The dealers
settled early enough on a standard 8-bit ASCII set for both Greek and
Unfortunately, they didn't standardize on the combination of keys that
was necessary to activate the TSR programs, etc. It's a simple matter to
make a program that converts between the ELOT-928 and this format and
vice versa (in fact, we use such a program to transfer Greek files
between UNIX and PCs).
IBM PS/2 [ Which codepage?]
When IBM introduced PS/2s, there was a provision for Greek letters in
their character sets. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, they decided
to make it incompatible with the existing standards, either the de-facto
IBM or the ELOT-928. So the term IBM-compatible took a new meaning
(sarcasm indended). In any case, I suppose there are converters between
these character sets.
YAS (Yet Another Standard). The programmer who wants to use Greek
letters in his program, faces a strange character set (as told by others).
As a user, because you're buying from one source, there's no big trouble.
There's at least one converter between all these formats (Chameleon), but
I don't have recent news here.
Note: Apple had 2 different versions of the Greek alphabet implemented, so
be sure to get the latest ROM revisions if you want to run a hellenized
[ From: email@example.com (Johannis Likos) ]
Some solutions described above are either Greek IBM graphic
character set compatible or YAUS (Yet Another Undocumented
For this matter I have programmed my own conversion tools for
known chaotic standards.
Is anyone working on the Greek Unicode (2-Byte Character Code)?
[ Others? ]