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byte

more about byte

byte


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  byte 
  n  :  a  sequence  of  8  bits  (enough  to  represent  one  character  of 
  alphanumeric  data)  processed  as  a  single  unit  of 
  information 
 
  From  Jargon  File  (4.2.3,  23  NOV  2000)  [jargon]: 
 
  byte  /bi:t/  n.  [techspeak]  A  unit  of  memory  or  data  equal  to 
  the  amount  used  to  represent  one  character;  on  modern  architectures 
  this  is  usually  8  bits,  but  may  be  9  on  36-bit  machines.  Some  older 
  architectures  used  `byte'  for  quantities  of  6  or  7  bits,  and  the 
  PDP-10  supported  `bytes'  that  were  actually  bitfields  of  1  to  36  bits! 
  These  usages  are  now  obsolete,  and  even  9-bit  bytes  have  become  rare  in 
  the  general  trend  toward  power-of-2  word  sizes. 
 
  Historical  note:  The  term  was  coined  by  Werner  Buchholz  in  1956 
  during  the  early  design  phase  for  the  IBM  Stretch  computer;  originally 
  it  was  described  as  1  to  6  bits  (typical  I/O  equipment  of  the  period  used 
  6-bit  chunks  of  information).  The  move  to  an  8-bit  byte  happened  in  late 
  1956,  and  this  size  was  later  adopted  and  promulgated  as  a  standard  by 
  the  System/360.  The  word  was  coined  by  mutating  the  word  `bite'  so  it 
  would  not  be  accidentally  misspelled  as  {bit}.  See  also  {nybble}. 
 
 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  Byte 
 
    A  popular  computing  magazine. 
 
  {Home  (http://www.byte.com)}. 
 
  (1997-03-27) 
 
 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  byte 
 
    /bi:t/  B  A  component  in  the  machine  {data  hierarchy} 
  usually  larger  than  a  {bit}  and  smaller  than  a  {word};  now 
  most  often  eight  bits  and  the  smallest  addressable  unit  of 
  storage.  A  byte  typically  holds  one  {character}. 
 
  A  byte  may  be  9  bits  on  36-bit  computers.  Some  older 
  architectures  used  byte"  for  quantities  of  6  or  7  bits,  and 
  the  PDP-10  and  IBM  7030  supported  bytes"  that  were  actually 
  {bit-fields}  of  1  to  36  (or  64)  bits!  These  usages  are  now 
  obsolete,  and  even  9-bit  bytes  have  become  rare  in  the  general 
  trend  toward  power-of-2  word  sizes. 
 
  The  term  was  coined  by  Werner  Buchholz  in  1956  during  the 
  early  design  phase  for  the  {IBM}  {Stretch}  computer.  It  was  a 
  mutation  of  the  word  bite"  intended  to  avoid  confusion  with 
  "bit".  In  1962  he  described  it  as  "a  group  of  bits  used  to 
  encode  a  character,  or  the  number  of  bits  transmitted  in 
  parallel  to  and  from  input-output  units".  The  move  to  an 
  8-bit  byte  happened  in  late  1956,  and  this  size  was  later 
  adopted  and  promulgated  as  a  standard  by  the  {System/360} 
  {operating  system}  (announced  April  1964). 
 
  James  S.  Jones    adds: 
 
  I  am  sure  I  read  in  some  historical  brochure  by  IBM  some  15-20 
  years  ago  that  BYTE  was  an  acronym  that  stood  for  "Bit 
  asYnchronous  Transmission  E__?__"  which  related  to  width  of 
  the  bus  between  the  Stretch  CPU  and  its  CRT-memory  (prior  to 
  Core). 
 
  Terry  Carr    says: 
 
  In  the  early  days  IBM  taught  that  a  series  of  bits  transferred 
  together  (like  so  many  yoked  oxen)  formed  a  Binary  Yoked 
  Transfer  Element  (BYTE). 
 
  [True  origin?  First  8-bit  byte  architecture?] 
 
  See  also  {nibble},  {octet}. 
 
  [{Jargon  File}] 
 
  (1998-08-06) 
 
 




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