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>However, unless I'm misunderstanding something, there's not
>much you can do about the original problem, as if size_t is
>only 16 bits then you can't grow a table to be more than
>64k. There are similar limits for when size_t is 32 bits,
>but I don't think many people run into 4 GB tables.
>The only solution I see is keeping track of sizes internally
>as unsigned longs and, if need be, allocating tables in
>multiple chunks. Again, this would only delay the problem

Yes, I think this sums it up very nicely. Thanks.
16-bit systems have memory allocation restrictions and that's it.