RE: data storage terminology

Subject: RE: data storage terminology
From: Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 09:48:59 -0400

Robert Lauriston wrote:

> I wouldn't call that definitive, since among other issues they say TiB:
> What do we call a "standard" that's honored only in the publications
> of the body promulgating it? An ad-hoc nonstandard?
> On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 3:24 PM, Fred Ridder <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:
> > An more definitive source for information on the subject is the NIST "Units" website:
> >
> >

First of all, note that I only wrote "more definitive". And since I was making the comparison to a couple of Wikipedia articles, the bar was set very low. There are a lot of people who consider Wikipedia completely unreliable for *anything*, and NIST must certainly be a step above that. (Although it's possible that the class of people who completely distrust Wikipedia are also those who completely distrust all governmental agencies.)

But unless you're reading a different dictionary than I am, it seems to me that NIST *is* truly definitive because it is the organization that is chartered to define the standards. It's not their fault that most people have resisted their proposal. Enforcement is not part of their charter; they are not the units police. And the fact that people are not adopting the standard does not make it either ad hoc or a nonstandard.

Third, I don't think it's reasonable to dismiss the binary multiplier proposal out of hand as you seem to be doing. Some people may be willing to live with a 2.4% uncertainty in whether kilo means 1000 or 2^10, but by the time you get to tera, the uncertainty is nearly 10%. And it just seems crazy that we have a situation where 1 kb/s is *not* the same thing as 1 kbps.

Do I love kibi and mebi and tebi? Not at all. Do I use them? No, I don't, because my employer's style guide chooses not to recognize them. But do I agree with NIST that something like them is necessary to eliminate uncertainly in statements of data storage capacity? Yes, I do.

-Fred Ridder


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data storage terminology: From: Sam Lightbourne
Re: data storage terminology: From: Peter Neilson
Re: data storage terminology: From: Robert Lauriston

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