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10:44 am, 7 Apr 06

endianness

I always get big-endian and little-endian confused. I can always remember that x86 and network are opposites, and that x86 uses the "broken" one, but I can never remember which is which.

Here's a note that may help you remember:

European-style dates, of the form dd/mm/yyyy, are little-endian. Little-endian breaks naive date sorting: 01012004 is greater than 02012005. So if you can just build an association between "European" and "little", the rest follows from there: European dates → broken sorting → broken architecture → x86.

(US-style dates are middle-endian, and we'd all do better to eliminate them. It's too easy to confuse them with little-endian dates if we switched that way, so why not use big-endian dates? I do whenever sorting matters, like in file names.)