bit-widths, was Re: HP Laserjet ..again....

From: Paul Koning <>
Date: Wed Sep 22 15:00:58 2004

>>>>> "Vintage" == Vintage Computer Festival <> writes:

 Vintage> On Wed, 22 Sep 2004, Tom Jennings wrote:
>> > If > you hold the word width constant, yes, you are right. But
>> that is not > what I was talking about. In many early computers,
>> the data buss and > the word width were the same.
>> ... and many did not. The 'byte' as a convention for talking about
>> memory is just that, a convention, and fails miserably on machines
>> whose major casual metric is not a multiple of 8 bits. Many, many
>> machines were built on a multiple of 6 bits because that's how
>> many it took to define a character.

 Vintage> I always thought that the technical definition of a "byte"
 Vintage> is "8-bits".

Not in this community! Newfangled usage, yes. If you want a word for
8-bit chunk, nothing smaller, nothing larger, say "octet". (That
makes you sound like a network geek, admittedly -- it's where the term
originated, I believe.)

Received on Wed Sep 22 2004 - 15:00:58 BST

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