mode = M = modulo

mode bit n.

[common] 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.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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