TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> Does anyone know of any definitive rulings on whether "kilobyte" should
> be abbreviated as "KB", "Kb", "kB", or "kb"?
I use KB and Kb for 1024 bytes and bits, respectively. Some
writers assume bytes and drop the latter element -- using
only K -- leading to confusion with the pure number 1000.
> The SI system, of course, uses "k" for 1,000, so there is an
> argument that "K" should be used for 1,024--but this leaves open the
> question of how to distinguish between "M" meaning 1,000,000 and "M"
> meaning 1,048,576.
The uppercase K is frequently used for 1000, as in "The
property is reduced to $290K."
Of course, megabytes and megabits are MB and Mb. But
hard-drive vendors may use your cited ambiguity to make
their products seem larger. They advertise, say, 105 M bytes
for a drive with 100 MB.
> If you follow up, please cite your sources.
You sound like an editor I once worked for.
Vicki Richman vicric -at- panix -dot- com National Writers Union
Bedford, Brooklyn NY PGP 2.6 UAW Local 1981, AFL/CIO
"There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you."
-Zora Neale Hurston