created: 06/15/2000; revised: 07/08/02, 06/09/03, 09/01/11
The character-oriented streams (Readers and Writers) translate data between an internal 16-bit format and an external UTF format. This is convenient for many text processing applications. However, this translation is not appropriate for non-character data. This chapter discusses OutputStream and its subclasses which are used for general-purpose output.
Most data types use all the bit patterns that can be formed with the eight bits of a byte. A file that contains such data is often called a binary file. A byte from a binary file might hold any possible pattern. (A byte from an ASCII text file is restricted to somewhat less than half of the possible patterns).
(Review: ) How many patterns can be formed using 8 bits?