our good buddies at Adobe are among the most popular
Programs written in Visual Basic, Java, PHP or Python may run slower due to the overhead of the associated interpreters and/or virtual machines. The judges may at their discretion increase the time limits for these languages accordingly. Contestants should note that this will not give these languages an advantage
That's how contests with multiple language choices almost always work. It's really easy to implement a naive solution in C that performs 10x better than a good solution in Python, even for fairly large inputs.
With that rule in mind, I say go for Python all the way.
ASCII a stupid question, you get an EBCDIC answer.