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Meaning of BIG-ENDIAN

Computing Dictionary

1. A computer architecture in which, within a given multi-byte numeric representation, the most significant byte has the lowest address (the word is stored "big-end-first").

Most processors, including the ibm 370 family, the pdp-10, the motorola microprocessor families, and most of the various risc designs current in mid-1993, are big-endian.

See -endian.

2. A backward electronic mail address. The world now follows the internet hostname standard (see fqdn) and writes e-mail addresses starting with the name of the computer and ending up with the country code (e.g. fred@doc.acme.ac.uk). In the United Kingdom the joint networking team decided to do it the other way round (e.g. me@uk.ac.wigan.cs) before the internet domain standard was established. Most gateway sites required ad-hockery in their mailers to handle this.

By July 1994 this parochial idiosyncracy was on the way out and mailers started to reject big-endian addresses. By about 1996, people would look at you strangely if you suggested such a bizarre thing might ever have existed.

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