lithium lick = L = live

little-endian adj.

Describes a computer architecture in which, within a given 16- or 32-bit word, bytes at lower addresses have lower significance (the word is stored `little-end-first'). The PDP-11 and VAX families of computers and Intel microprocessors and a lot of communications and networking hardware are little-endian. See big-endian, middle-endian, NUXI problem. The term is sometimes used to describe the ordering of units other than bytes; most often, bits within a byte.

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

Perhaps notable here is the motto of the software company Connectix, coined while creating the x86 emulator Virtual PC:

"Endian little hate we."

The original Virtual PC was written for the Macintosh, a big-endian architecture. Needless to say, emulating a little-endian architecture on a big-endian one has its share of problems. Thus, the phrase was born. Also perhaps somewhat indicative of the idea that little-endian is usually much harder to understand, at least initially, for people who write numbers starting with the most significant digit.

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