Bucky Bit

Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Bucky Bit Mean?

The bucky bit in IT is an extension of binary code representing
a character or function that adds an eighth bit to the code through the pressing
of a keyboard modifier key. This can be done with keys like the Alt key, Control key, the Command key, the Meta key or the Option key. The bucky bit is
named after Niklaus “Bucky” Wirth, who pioneered the use of
these modifying eighth bits at Stanford
University in the 1960s.


Techopedia Explains Bucky Bit

The idea of the bucky bit is that engineers can allow more
diverse responses from a computer keyboard without adding a bunch of new keyboard
keys. The use of the bucky bit is a major reason why the PC keyboard isn’t much
larger than it actually is, and that users can utilize keys like Control or Alt
to do things like resizing windows, setting volume levels, rebooting systems or
performing many other commands that would otherwise need their own keyboard keys.
Using two of these keys simultaneously is sometimes called a “double bucky.”


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.