From: Jukka K. Korpela (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Apr 11 2009 - 16:06:39 CDT
Jonathan Rosenne wrote:
>> Actually, I was under the impression that ASCII was defined in terms
>> of 7-bit code units, whereas there are virtually no computers or
>> today who think in terms of 7-bit code units.
> There weren't such computers then, it was a communication code and 7
> bits were used for communication.
I'm not sure what you mean by "such" here, but in fact, even in the 1980s
and early 1990s, DECsystem-10 and -20 (PDP-10 and -20) used a word length of
36 bits, packing five 7-bit ASCII characters in one word (and using the
spare bit for special purposes).
ASCII was surely designed to allow implementations where 7 bits are used for
one character. Don't confuse this with the current situation where such
implementations are obsolete and "everyone" uses at least 8 bits for a
character, even when working with ASCII only.
-- Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
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