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  • smurf
    /smerf/ [from the soc.motss newsgroup on USENET, after some obnoxiously gooey cartoon characters] n. A newsgroup regular with a habitual style that is... VIEW ENTIRE DEFINITION


  •  View Definition: mode bit 

    mode bit


    n. A flag, usually in hardware, that selects between two (usually quite different) modes of operation. The connotations are different from flag bit in that mode bits are mainly written during a boot or set-up phase, are seldom explicitly read, and seldom change over the lifetime of an ordinary program. The classic example was the EBCDIC-vs.-ASCII bit (#12) of the Program Status Word of the IBM 360. Another was the bit on a PDP-12 that controlled whether it ran the PDP-8 or the LINC instruction set.