Daily Archives: May 1, 2013

Careful, They Byte

My son recently updated me on his latest work project, and we chatted about the dangers of treating binary data as characters or words, rather than just streams of bytes.  Nearly everyone must deal with character encoding, but these days byte ordering (endian word) concerns are usually the domain of systems programmers.  Consider:

“A rose is a rose, unless it grows in an Intel garden, in which case it’s an ores or an esor.”


Back in the day, I tossed that around frequently to mock the byte swapping in 16-bit and 32-bit words that we Intel assembly programmers dealt with.