In it's basic form, all information including programs are stored in memory in binary because it is based on low level voltages (or magnetic marks) that represent either 1 or zero, called a bit. Eight bits together are called a byte that can have a numerical value of 0 to 256. Text is stored as ASCII code, one byte for each alphanumeric character. The first 64 ASCII characters are numbers 0-9, space, punctuation marks and special control characters. Capital A starts at 65, lower case "a" at 92. to 118. ASCII numbers greater than 128 (with the high order bit set) are called "Non printable ASCII" that only appear in binary files.
A program, written in text and stored as ASCII, is processed in another program called a Compiler that reads what the programmer has written and converts it into a binary executable (EXE) file (called machine language) that, when fed to the microprocessor on the instruction bus, executes the instructions in that file.
Answered Feb 06, 2012
Edited Feb 06, 2012