Re: Abbr. for kilobyte?

Subject: Re: Abbr. for kilobyte?
From: Chris Malcolm <cam -at- CASTLE -dot- ED -dot- AC -dot- UK>
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 1994 18:08:58 GMT

In article <1994Jul4 -dot- 044315 -dot- 630 -at- Princeton -dot- EDU> mikulska -at- astro -dot- princeton -dot- edu
(Margaret Mikulska) writes:
>In article <2v16mm$153 -at- panix3 -dot- panix -dot- com> vicric -at- panix -dot- com (Vicki Richman)
>>From <2v03ul$597 -at- news1 -dot- digex -dot- net>, by Keith Ivey <kcivey -at- cpcug -dot- digex -dot- net>:

>>> 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.

>>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.

>This is incorrect. Before a disk can be used, it has to udergo a few
>procedures: formatting, creating file systems, and possibly others.
>These procedures significantly decrease the effective disk capacity.

>user still ends up with less disk space than advertised. It has nothing
>to do with the ambiguity between k as 1000 and k as 1024.

You are correct that some advertisers exploit the
unformatted/formatted space confusion, but you are wrong that
advertisers don't exploit the 1000 vs 1024 "kilo" confusion: this was
a few years ago a very common trick in specifying computer memory
sizes. It may recently have been stamped on by the UK advertising
standards authority; it is certainly now less common.
Chris Malcolm cam -at- uk -dot- ac -dot- ed -dot- aifh +44 (0)31 650 3085
Department of Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh University
5 Forrest Hill, Edinburgh, EH1 2QL, UK DoD #205
"The mind reigns, but does not govern" -- Paul Valery

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