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Writing bytes to stdout reverses the bytes

On 2018-08-20, Chris Angelico <rosuav at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 11:12 AM, Grant Edwards
><grant.b.edwards at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 2018-08-20, Steven D'Aprano <steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info> wrote:
>>> On Mon, 20 Aug 2018 00:31:35 +0000, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>>>> When I write bytes to stdout, why are they reversed?
>>> Answer: they aren't, use hexdump -C.
>> One might think that dumping out bytes in the correct order ought to
>> be the default format for hexdump.  Dog only know why the actual
>> default format was chosen.  If it was 16-bit values in _octal_ you
>> could at least blame the PDP-11 heritage of Unix...
> It's dumping sixteen-bit units in correct order.

I know.  What I don't understand is is why 16-bit units in hex is the
default.  8-bits make sense.  32-bits makes sense.  16-bits in octal
makes sense (at least to those of us who first used Unix on a PDP-11).