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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
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1. data, architecture A computer architecture in which,
within a given multi-byte numeric representation, the most
significant byte has the lowest address (the word is stored
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. networking, standard A backward electronic mailaddress. 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 countrycode (e.g. In the United Kingdom the
Joint Networking Team decided to do it the other way round
(e.g. 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.