Werner Buchholz

What Does Werner Buchholz Mean?

Werner Buchholz is a computer scientist who is best known for coining the term byte while working on the IBM 7030 (Stretch) in 1956. Buchholz used the word “byte” to describe a group of bits used to encode one character, such as a single letter of a word string. The byte proposed by Buchholz was eight bits long.


Techopedia Explains Werner Buchholz

Buchholz created the term byte by spelling it with a “y” to avoid the possibility of it being confused with the similarly spelled “bit”. The eight-bit standard for byte was put forward because 256 characters could be displayed using the eight bits, making it sufficient for most applications. Although Buchholz’s byte contained eight bits, a byte is conceptually the smallest grouping of data that a computer is processing (biting). For some functions, a four-bit byte is all that is needed – though some call these “nibbles”, reserving the term “byte” for eight-bit bytes.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…