Byte sizes (was Re: 2.8M 3.5' floppy (was: three and a quarter loppy?)
pkoning at equallogic.com
Mon Mar 14 17:19:39 CST 2005
>>>>> "BjÃÂ¸rn" == BjÃÂ¸rn <bv at norbionics.com> writes:
BjÃÂ¸rn> On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 13:26:23 +0100, Johnny Billquist
BjÃÂ¸rn> <bqt at Update.UU.SE> wrote:
>> On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 Bj?rn <bv at norbionics.com> wrote:
>>> A byte is the smallest INDIVIDUALLY addressable unit of data on a
>> Nonsense! Where did you get that?
BjÃÂ¸rn> From Donald Knuth.
That's nice. But while Knuth is an authority on many things, he's not
necessarily an authority on that.
By that definition a PDP-8 byte would be 12 bits, which is clearly not
how the term is used there.
(Then again, on a CDC 6000 the term "byte" does mean 12 bits, it's the
PPU's addressable unit. Hm.)
>> Bah. A sixbit character can very well be a byte, it's just a
>> question of if you choose to call it that. Byte addressable is
>> not usable as a definition of a byte.
BjÃÂ¸rn> It does not matter if you do not find it usable, as long as
BjÃÂ¸rn> it IS the traditional definition. The PDP 10 came long after
BjÃÂ¸rn> it had been established.
Huh? Knuth's "Fundamental Algorithms" came out well after the PDP-10
(never mind the earlier PDP-6, which is the same architecture).
BjÃÂ¸rn> The most interesting byte is the one Knuth used in his
BjÃÂ¸rn> abstract MIX machine, which he came up with when he was here
BjÃÂ¸rn> in Oslo. To drive home the point that bytes were not
BjÃÂ¸rn> dependent upon any particular hardware implementation, he
BjÃÂ¸rn> defined it as able to hold unspecified information, but at
BjÃÂ¸rn> least 100 different values. I would have thought most people
BjÃÂ¸rn> here had read his "Fundamental Algorithms"?
Yes. That's a really cute definition, but it certainly has not been
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