[Oberon] byte vs. octet.
lproven at gmail.com
Thu Apr 26 20:16:00 CEST 2018
On Thu, 26 Apr 2018 at 20:02, <peter at easthope.ca> wrote:
> Various computing related documents, including some Oberon documents
> use "octet" rather than "byte". Appears the terms are synonymous.
> Use of octet in computing is newer than byte? Is either term better
> or preferable?
The theory is, AIUI, that:
 bytes are a unit of *memory*. Serial data, for instance, are not
memory: you can't access all the bits at once; they are flowing past.
Octets are used for non-memory binary data.
 Bytes are not always 8 bits. E.g. parity memory modules (SIMMs or
DIMMs) store 9 bits per byte. Many computers used 6, 12, or 18-bit words of
storage, but people now assume one block of memory is an 8-bit byte, or a
binary multiple thereof (16 bits, 32 bits, 64 bits), whereas on older
minicomputers and mainframes that was not the case. They could certainly
manipulate 8-bit blocks of data, but these weren't native words -- they
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