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18
votes
6answers
3k views

Advantages and disadvantages of using bit masks in database

Not so long ago I talked to my colleague and he was definitely against using bit masks because it is hard to understand all the values that are stored in the database. In my opinion it is not always a ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Byte addressable vs bit addressable

Why are most computers byte addressable instead of bit addressable? By B/b addressable I mean that processor can operate on level of single B/b. Bit addressable advantages: Booleans have size of ...
0
votes
3answers
61 views

Bits - Least-Significant/Lowest is 0th or 1st; zero or one indexed

Question Is there a rough consensus if the bitmask 0x01 is properly said to have the "zeroth" bit set, or the "first" bit set? If there isn't rough consensus that there's a generally right answer, ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Explanation to why Counting bits set, Brian Kernighan's way works

I found this link to count number of bits in a variable. I think it is pretty cool, but I can't figure out why it works. Can someone offer an explanation? Here is the code unsigned int v; // count ...
-1
votes
1answer
225 views

What is the difference between size and length? [closed]

It seems that the terms size and length are used interchangeably to describe how many bits, bytes or octets some data occupies, i.e. a length field in a data header is said to indicate the size of the ...
2
votes
1answer
223 views

Endianness at bit level

I am learning the union and struct and I wrote the code below. What I do not understand is why the output is different when I change from a little endian to a big endian machine. My understanding is ...
-3
votes
3answers
152 views

Save flags in an int32 [closed]

Unity3d PlayerPrefs only allow saving certain types - string, float, and int32. Since int is composed of 32 bits, it should be able to store 32 flags or a bool[] of length 32. So far, I've thought ...
3
votes
3answers
375 views

Is a 'least significant bit' used anywhere practically today?

I'm working on a library that supports file reading, and right now I've always assumed that all the bytes are written in most significant bit first format. Is the least significant bit first format ...
3
votes
3answers
452 views

How does word size affect the amount of virtual address space available?

So, I should really know this stuff already, but I am starting to learn more about the lower levels of software development. I am currently reading Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective. by ...
0
votes
3answers
12k views

How are negative signed values stored? [duplicate]

I was watching this video on the maximum and minimum values of signed integers. Take an example of a positive signed value - 0000 0001 The first bit denotes that the number is positive and the last ...
0
votes
1answer
225 views

Understanding bitmap logic

I was going though this blog and it says You can represent a list of distinct integers no larger than N using exactly N bits: if the integer i appears in your list, you set the i th bit to true. ...
2
votes
1answer
502 views

Clearing the lowest set bit of a number

I can see in this tutorial on bit manipulation, under the heading "Extracting every last bit", that - Suppose we wish to find the lowest set bit of x (which is known to be non-zero). If we ...
3
votes
3answers
935 views

8 bit and 1 byte, is this a valid question to be asked?

I saw these question in our school's past paper, and I'm wondering if this is a valid question. How big is bool in C and C++? A) 1 bit B) 4 bit C) 8 bit D) 1 byte What is ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

How to get from 1 byte to 2 bytes

We have 1 byte, which is 8 bits, which is 2^8. Now 2 bytes should be 2 * 1 byte, which is 2 * 2^8 = 2^9, but actually 2 bytes is 2^16. What am I missing here? It seems like 2 bytes isn't 2 * 1 byte, ...
0
votes
3answers
362 views

How do I tell a user that bps means bits per second or bytes per second?

I'm writing an application that deals with the network and the hard drive. For the network portion, the application measures in bits per second, while the disk portion measures in bytes per second. ...
51
votes
6answers
27k views

What is the history of why bytes are eight bits?

What where the historical forces at work, the tradeoffs to make, in deciding to use groups of eight bits as the fundamental unit ? There were machines, once upon a time, using other word sizes, ...