Little- versus Big-endian (little/big-indian in frequent tongue slips (: )

From: Alain LaBont/e'/ (
Date: Fri Feb 07 1997 - 11:11:18 EST

At 17:55 97-02-06 -0800, David Goldsmith wrote:

[anonymous quote]:
>>Just for the record, little endian was introduced by IBM with the 360
>>back in the mid 1960's. I guess now you can guess how old I am! Intel
>>just followed the leader in choosing little endian. I don't want to get
>>into a senseless discussion as to which order is natural (I do prefer
>>little endian); both orders exist so we need to deal with them.

>Actually, I programmed 360's, and they were (and are) big endian. I
>believe little endian was introduced by DEC. I can't remember if it was
>the PDP-8 or the PDP-11.


I agree with David... I began programming the beloved 360 machine (I mean
it, what a lovely set of nice instructions, still not outdated) in 1970 to
the point that when I left it I spoke Assembler 370 fluently and almost
machine code too (: ... It was always big-endian to my knowledge... What a
mess when I began programming PCs in Assembler, the heritage of the Intel
8080 8-bit- register machines -- little-endian was then used to patch the
8086/88 for compatibility with old 8080 instructions on 8-bit-registers! I
do not remember for PDP-8/11 with which I also flirted (: , but that was a
bar-encounter, not stable (: ...

Alain LaBonté

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