Reply to post: Re: 60 bit "bytes" aka word.

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

Loud Speaker

Re: 60 bit "bytes" aka word.

I wrote assembler for all those machines.

CDC6400, 6600 and 7600 were 60 bit machines - with 10 6-bit chars in each - or, with huge struggles, 12-bit punch card column images (don't try that at home).

PDP-8s had 12 bit words, and also used 6bit chars.

NO ONE EVER called a 6-bit char a byte. If you did, IBM would probably have sued your pants off. IBM had 8-bits. everyone else did not (until 16-bit machines and Unix).

None of the above machines had any standard way of inputting 8-bit bytes. Nor was there much agreement on how to read 7-bit or 9-bit mag tape - the only agreement seemed to be "Don't use the IBM card punch codes or EBCDIC" - but then again, most sane people would agree not to use EBCDIC.

The ASR33s connected to them processed 8-bit character patterns - but mostly by discarding at least two bits. You either had all lower case (Algol) or all upper case (FORTRAN, COBOL). Of course, real British computers used 5-hole baudot punched tape (Numbers, numbers, letters, letters :-)

Yes, we had IDRIS - UNIX in ALL UPPER CASE - and my ears till hurt 50 years later!

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