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Old 02 October 2019, 11:11   #2323
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Originally Posted by AmigaHope View Post
Not all systems used 8 bits per address. There were numerous minicomputer CPUs from the 1960's to the 1980's that had different-sized "bytes", but none of them were used in personal computers. Once the industry standardized 8 bits as the smallest addressable chunk of data, it pretty much stuck, since if you manufactured RAM to a different standard it wouldn't sell very well.
In the Amiga era (and before that), RAM chips was between 1 and 4 bits wide, so there was nothing RAM-wise stopping you from building a 7-bit, 14-bit or 12-bit computer.

Regarding DOS and BPTR, the BCPL language (which DOS was written in) was conceived in an age when computers mainly addressed words, only using "bytes" (which may have been 6, 7 or 8 bits wide) for text, and then often only using special instructions.
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