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koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23
reply to TelecomEng

Re: Hmm...

I took what Kearnstd See Profile to mean why didn't we go with bit lengths that were a different size rather than 8. Meaning, what's special about the value of 8? Why must a byte range from 0-255 rather than, say, 0-63 (6-bit), 0-1023 (10-bit), or even something strange like 0-8191 (13-bit)?

There are architectures (old and present-day) which define a byte as something other than 8 bits. The examples I've seen cited are the Intel 4004 (1 byte = 4 bits), PDP-8 (1 byte = 12 bits), PDP-10 (byte length in bits was variable, from 1 to 36), and present-day DSPs (which often just use the term "word", where a single word can represent something like 60-bits).
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Making life hard for others since 1977.
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