Octets calculation?

Tim Roberts timr at probo.com
Wed Jun 11 10:07:33 CEST 2003

"Greg Ewing (using news.cis.dfn.de)" <g2h5dqi002 at sneakemail.com> wrote:

>Tyreal wrote:
>> I was reading over the POP3 RFC  (RFC 1939) and it states that message sizes must be
>> in octets, but that it's different in bytes in that they are nonambigious (ie. 
>> bytes vary from platform to platform).
>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.
- Tim Roberts, timr at probo.com
  Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.

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