[ntp:questions] 500ppm - is it too small?

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Thu Nov 12 20:56:02 UTC 2009

Joseph Gwinn wrote:
> No, 8 bits isn't arbitrary.  
> Computer hardware is simplified if the various word lengths are all 
> powers of two.
> Eight bits was the smallest power-of-two size that allowed the full  
> Roman alphabet including punctuation and control characters to be coded.
> There are 5, 6, and 7 bit codes, all now obsolete:
> Five-bit: Baudot, used in teletypes.
> Six-bit:  Fieldata (Univac and Control Data, and others I assume.)
> Seven-bit:  ASCII without parity bit.
> Eight bit:  ASCII with parity bit, and EBCDIC 
> (http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/UserInfo/Resources/Hardware/IBMp690/IBM/usr
> /share/man/info/en_US/xlf/html/lr425.HTM)
> ASCII came from AT&T, while EBCDIC came from IBM.
> And now sixteen bit: Unicode.  
> (http://unicode.org/standard/WhatIsUnicode.html)

... 16 bit UCS-2 / UTF-16,
... 32 bit DIS, GB / GBK, UCS-4 / UTF-32
... 40 bit UTF-EBCDIC
... 56 bit GB
and likely more

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