Octal

William Donzelli wdonzelli at gmail.com
Fri Sep 1 23:48:55 CDT 2006


> I've always thought that 12-bit characters were eminently practical.
> Enough for many non-European alphabets--lots of elbow room.  Of course,
> that means that word length is not a power of 2, but then there have been
> plenty of 12, 24, 36, 48 and 60 bit word length machines.

Practical for that application, but IBM figured out why 8 bits is such
a great unit - one can pack two BCD digits in a byte (before the web,
a huge amount of data was banking records), yet it is still really
handy for alpha characters. A 12 bit character would be innefficient
in the long run.

--
Will



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