bits and butts

From: Andy Holt <>
Date: Sun Dec 26 05:08:20 2004

> How many computers (automatic, electronic, digital,
> stored-program, etc) used an odd number of bits?
Marginally before my time, but I understand that the Elliot 803
used a 39-bit word - there were some very weird word sizes around then.
I've used machines with word sizes of 8,12,16,24,32,36, and 60 bits - and
written an assembler for a machine with differing code and data word sizes.

> Were any of them not signed-magnitude? Eg. odd number of bits
> 2's complement?
Don't know about the 803 - suspect it was 2s complement. On even word sizes
I have come across all 3 "normal" representations for the sign. (CDC 1s
complement, most fixed point 2s complement, some floating-point

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Received on Sun Dec 26 2004 - 05:08:20 GMT

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