Odd "endianness" [was Re: RE: Base 64 posts to the list]

Lars Brinkhoff lars at nocrew.org
Mon Dec 5 15:09:49 CST 2016

Charles Anthony wrote:
> PDP-10: 36 bit word, 5*7bit characters.

Mouse wrote:
>> You mean like any 36-bit machine?
> No, they usually either ran as 6 6-bit bytes or 4 9-bit bytes, from
> what I understand.

As Charles wrote, the PDP-10 commonly uses 7-bit bytes for ASCII text,
but that's only part of the truth.  The architecture is quite byte size
agnostic.  There are instructions to operate on any byte size from 1 to
36 bits, at any position inside a word.  (Well, a later extension to the
architecture restricted this a bit.)

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