Subject: Re: Waving the lambda flag again (was: Constants and DEFCONSTANT)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/04/08
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (Mike McDonald)
| OK, this is where you lost me.  400 years takes 9 bits but you're going
| to stick it in an 8 bit memory location?  How are you doing that again?

  Mike, do me a favor, now.  carefully, on your own, not posting anything
  until you're done, go away from the computer, pick up a refence book on
  Common Lisp, preferably the actual standard, but either CLtL or CLtL2
  will do just fine, and _read_ about bytes operations in Common Lisp.

  here's a summary of the situation from historic perspective: the 8-bit
  byte at an 8-bit boundary is a special case of the more general byte
  concept.  the 1990's hardware "byte" is 8 bits with the same machine
  address.  the _software_ "byte" is any contiguous number of bits in an
  _integer_.  some processors can extract a byte out of a machine integer
  in one operation, while others need two: a shift and a mask.  because
  Common Lisp is not a hardware-oriented language, it does not deal with
  the machine concepts, but the historically correct _concept_.

  and _no_ bullshit about how this will confuse other ignorants, OK?