From Computer History Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Big-endian is a term created by Danny Cohen (technically, he re-purposed it from Jonathan Swift's satire, "Gulliver's Travels", where it refers to the dispute over whether to start eating a boiled egg from the big end or the little end) for the different schemes for ordering and numbering bits and bytes within larger entities.

'Big-endian' refers to machines (like the IBM System/360) which number the bits and bytes from the most significant (high-order) end.

Since the preponderance of machines in use when the protocols of the TCP/IP protocol suite were developed were big-endian, that became (and remains to this day) the order in which bytes within words are sent over the network. Therefore, big-endian byte order is sometimes called network byte order.

See also

External links