[TUHS] PDP-11, Unix, octal?

Joerg Schilling schily at schily.net
Wed Jan 18 00:12:17 AEST 2017


Warren Toomey <wkt at tuhs.org> wrote:

> On Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 11:10:37AM -0800, Steve Johnson wrote:
> >    We would pore over the crash dumps (in hex, then a
> >    new thing for us -- PDP-11 was all octal, all the time).
>
> Something I've been meaning to ask for a while: why Unix and octal on the
> PDP-11? Because of the DEC documentation?
>
> I understand why other DEC architectures (e.g. PDP-7) were octal: 18b is
> a multiple of 3. But PDP-11 is 16b, multiple of 4.
>
> After all, Unix had its own assembler, so was there a need/reason to
> use octal?

Note that the people wo did this, used the 18 bit machines before.

Jörg

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