Octets calculation?

William Yeo wcyeo at shaw.ca
Wed Jun 11 10:53:44 CEST 2003


In article <0modevgetee4eh0pg2k7s4qhacq7s6bbkm at 4ax.com>,
 Tim Roberts <timr at probo.com> wrote:

> "Greg Ewing (using news.cis.dfn.de)" <g2h5dqi002 at sneakemail.com> wrote:
> 
> >Tyreal wrote:
[snipt]
> >
> >In my experience, this supposed ambiguity about the meaning
> >of the word "byte" is something that only exists in the
> >rarified imaginations of standards writers. In the real
> >world, nobody ever uses it to mean anything other than
> >8 bits.
> 
> Today this is true, but remember that POP, like most of the Internet
> protocols, is very old (in computer years).  At the time the early Internet
> RFCs were written, there were a number of popular mainframe computers that
> did not use 8-bit character sets.  The Control Data 6000s and Cybers used
> 6-bit characters.


Ah yes, and remember Honeywell in the glorious 70's whose systems used 
36 bits arranged as 6 6-bit bytes or 4 9-bit bytes depending on whether 
you're in batch or timesharing mode.

(I'm not kidding)

Will




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