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The Printing of Octal Numerals

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Although the conversion from octal to binary is a trivially simple process, it is still somewhat trying to have to mentally perform the conversion when reading a long list of octal numbers. The problem becomes especially annoying when one is examining the memory dump of the word contents of a machine which has a byte size not divisible by three (e.g., PDP-11). In such cases some of the octal digits contain portions of neighboring bytes. For example, in the octal representation of a 16-bit word made up of two 8-bit bytes the third digit from the right contains two bits of the right-hand byte and one bit of the left-hand byte. Unless one is very experienced in mental conversions it is very difficult to know the contents of the bytes without actually writin, down the binary representation.

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Computers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:C-22 ,  Issue: 1 )