Reply to post: A byte for the year

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

Mike 16 Silver badge

A byte for the year

Except that when many of these systems were written, a byte (called character at the time) was most likely 6 bits. Even when the term "byte" was introduced, it was defined as "The smallest addressable unit of storage), by which definition I have used machines with 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 16, 24, 32, and 60 bit bytes. Most of those would have no trouble stashing a number > 200 (C'mon, who expects to live past 2100? Other than those who have met pretty spry people in their 90s), but not all. Time is hard.

"Byte" became synonymous with "octet" in the same way the "baud" became (equally erroneously) synonymous with "bit per second" about the time (and probably due to) the proliferation of Personal computing, and the notion that "Every computer in the world works _EXACTLY_ like the S-100 box I built from a kit".

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