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Chris writes:

> David
>
> > > Now where have I heard that phrase before?
> >
> > about the time character sets were extended to 7 bits to allow
> > the luxury of both upper and lower case.
>
> That could never have happened: the paper tape was not wide enough!

it was, it was (by the end of the era we were using _8-track_
tape!!!).  it was just that the computers didn't have the capability
of packing anything other than 6-bit characters.

> I suppose you are going to tell me that I am wrinkly enough to have
> lived through those troubling times.

you don't fool me.  even _i_ am old enough.

> Would that be pre or post-Beatles?

yes.

proposed (but never set) question[*]:

  "explain, as to one who thinks there is no problem, why character
   sets are difficult"
                                             roger needham, ca 1970

robin

[*] would have been to the diploma in computer science and numerical
analysis.  we didn't have a _degree_ in comp. sci. back then.