I think we have to remember that people didn't communicate as easily or
freely then as we do today, so specifications were far more localized than
we'd suspect. If sites had 8 hole punched tape readers, it would be a
sensible use. When modems came along, and a parity bit was part of the
modem's protocol, it freed up that 8th bit. Lots of people hacking it to
their own purposes. Someone with the luxury of a CRT going, "ooooh, I can
generate extra characters, graphical elements, all sorts!" and before you
know it, ASCII evolves by who communicates the best ;)

Fun times!


On Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 3:18 PM Norman Dunbar <nor...@dunbar-it.co.uk> wrote:

> Hi Dave,
> strangely enough, I read that the 8th bit allowed parity as, the then, top
> notch paper tapes could cope with an extra (8th) bit and it was put to good
> use for a parity bit. I haven't read the various standards though, so
> willing to be corrected. (Again!)
> Cheers,
> Norm.
> --
> Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

Dave Park
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