these RTL or what?

Tim Shoppa shoppa_classiccmp at
Sun Oct 7 18:28:35 CDT 2007

woodelf <bfranchuk at> wrote:
> Allison wrote:
> > Does it really makes that much differnce the number of bits for a char?
> > Really, Six bits was kinda tight for work where upper or lower case
> > was used but it didn't affect calculating Pi to a 100 places.
> > Wasn't the basic chunk 9 bits for PDP10 and it happened (DEC 
> > software) used 6 bit char notation as a carry over from earlier 
> > life with friden flexowriter and TTYs on earlier machines?
> Floppy disk is 8 bit I/O. That made all the difference when standard
> floppy disk controlers came out. Ben.

There's nothing intrinsically 8-bit about a floppy disk. A serial
bitstream to be sliced/diced however you want.

Several word processors, using 8" hard-sectored floppies, had 7-bit
and 9-bit formats.

Now, IBM 3740 floppy format (from which almost all modern floppy
formats have descended) has a lot of 8-bitness in it. But it
was still used by 12-bit machines (with various packing/repacking).
There's a whole lot of crap in the IBM 3740 floppy format that 
nobody has used for decades but is still carried around, too. (e.g.
"deleted data" marks).


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