bits and butts

From: Paul Koning <>
Date: Sat Dec 25 19:30:50 2004

>>>>> "Fred" == Fred Cisin <> writes:

>> How many computers (automatic, electronic, digital,
>> stored-program, etc) used an odd number of bits?

 Fred> I assume that you don't want to include PARITY bits, ECC, or
 Fred> other "appendages" to the actual data bits ?

Hm. That brings up two marginal examples...

Presumably parity and ECC don't count.

So how about the IBM 1620? A decimal machine, using 6 bits per digit
of which one is the parity, leaving 5 "data" bits (4 magnitude plus

Second, the Burroughs 6000 series (and 5500 presumably also) --
normally described as 48 bit machines, but they have 3 "tag" bits on
each word that indicate what type of information is in that word. For
example tag of 0 means this is data, tag of 7 means this is an
instruction word. The security of those systems depended on those

Received on Sat Dec 25 2004 - 19:30:50 GMT

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