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The example C function in the article uses 8 instead of CHAR_BIT, which today seems not worth complaining about. I never knew there used to be so many machines with non-8-bit bytes.





> I never knew there used to be so many machines with non-8-bit bytes.

It's not like the 8 bit byte was the initial default and others were experiments.

FWIW I believe the 8-bit byte was an IBMism, and for whatever reason I don't remember IBM machines being particularly popular on the ARPANET, which was a research network.

Although its arrival well predated me I do remember a conversation with someone in which we were surprised by how it was becoming common to see people assume that a byte was a fixed 8 bits. I think that was entirely due to the spread of the Vax.


Yes. The early situation was very different; see e.g. http://www.ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/BRL-III-B.html from 1955.

The IBM 360 (1964–) was the killer 8-bit-byte machine.




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