FTGH clear-out at Mesa Electronics, Richmond, CA, USA
jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Mon May 29 16:21:02 CDT 2017
> From: Paul Koning
> For some definition of "standard". ... other machines of that time or earlier
> numbered bits according to the power of 2 they represent, i.e., the "current
Well, the vast majority of computers 'back then' numbered bits (and byes)
from left to right - which is why in numbers in TCP and IP, the bytes go from
left to right (necessitating byte swaps on most current architectures before
sending a packet out into the network).
The majority of computers being attached to the network when TCP/IP was being
defined used that byte order (I think PDP-11's were the only exception, but
I'm too lazy to check a copy of HOSTS.TXT to make sure), and so that's what
we're stuck with now.
So, I can see, centuries in the future, the bytes in a word on the Internet
(and it _is_ capitalized) still being in an order set by long-dead computers.
Kind of like how rail gauge today still mimics the width of Roman carts (yes,
I know the story is only half-true, but it's not wholly wrong).
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