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Little-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.

'Little-endian' refers to machines (like the Intel x86) which number the bits and bytes from the least significant (low-order) end.

Some machines (sometimes dubbed mixed-endian) are not consistent; e.g. the PDP-11, which is mostly little endian - for bits within bytes/words, and bytes within words - but not words within long-words.

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