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An overview of the many practical applications of channel coding theory in the past 50 years is presented. The following application areas are included: deep space communication, satellite communication, data transmission, data storage, mobile communication, file transfer, and digital audio/video transmission. Examples, both historical and current, are given that typify the different approaches used in each application area. Although no attempt is made to be comprehensive in the coverage, the examples chosen clearly illustrate the richness, variety, and importance of error-control coding methods in modern digital applications.