[TUHS] v7 K&R C

Doug McIlroy doug at cs.dartmouth.edu
Mon May 18 23:58:26 AEST 2020

>  [A]lthough these days "byte" is synonymous with "8 bits", historically it
>  meant "the number of bits needed to store a single character".

It depends upon what you mean by "historically". Originally "byte"
was coined to refer to 8 bit addressable units on the IBM 7030 "Stretch"
computer. The term was perpetuated for the 360 family of computers. Only
later did people begin to attribute the meaning to non-addressable
6- or 9-bit units on 36- and 18-bit machines.  

Viewed over history, the latter usage was transient and colloquial.


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