Need to learn C, best books?

Dirk Koopman djk at
Fri Oct 26 11:50:11 BST 2007

Jacqui caren wrote:

> On big old Cray's (char*) were word pointers with the "byte bits" (octal 
> digit) rotated to the head of the pointer value. Dont ask why I asked
> someone once and my head hurt afterwards. :-)

They were at the end of a fashion for that sort of thing that started in 
the 1960's and finally died out toward the end of the 70's. Machines 
like ICL 1900 series had a similar system to address (6 bit) characters 
as well.

What stopped this nonsense was the realisation that, actually, 
processing text was at least as, then becoming more, important than 
number crunching. So newer processor designs became directly character 
addressable - although there was still some debate about what a 
character was in terms of storage. And the stupid business with making 
sure numbers were aligned on boundaries carried on for a loooooong time 
after that (horrible, nasty 68K processors).


More information about the mailing list