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> Addendum: Frankly it's easier to synthesize a logical shift out of an
> arithmetic shift than the other way around. It's an easier operation
> to mask out the high bits after an arithmetic shift than it is to test
> the high bits, shift, and then set afterward. The former requires a
> single extra operation; the latter requires either a conditional or a
> multiplication by a boolean followed by the same extra operation.

This is a good argument.

-- Roberto