On Thu, 17 May 2001, Peter_Constable@sil.org wrote:
> I seem to recall not long ago hearing of some machine architechtures
> that have used large bytes, i.e. high number of bits per byte. I
> think at some point I heard mention of a 36-bit byte, but one of my
> colleagues questioned that (he once worked with a 36-bit
> architecture, but says it was actually using 9-bit bytes).
> Can anyone clarify for me how big a byte has ever been? (If you
> could identify the particular hardware, that would be helpful.)
The word byte, although now almost universally interpreted as eight
bits, originally meant the smallest amount of memory directly
addressable by a given computer. Partly for this reason, the word
octet has become common in standardese recently. I think the PDP-11
and friends were not eight bit, but this was all _way_ before my time
so I wouldn't know for sure.
-- Big Gaute http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~gs234/ I'm in DISGUISE as a BAGGAGE CHECKER....I can watch the house, if it's ORANGE...
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Jul 06 2001 - 00:18:17 EDT