Re: Abbreviation for kilobits per second

Subject: Re: Abbreviation for kilobits per second
From: Sabahat Iqbal Ashraf <ashrafs -at- RPI -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 05:58:36 -0400

Someone requested the complete list:

power prefix abbreviation
of 10

-1 deci- d- [as deciliter, dl]
*-2 centi- c- [as in centimeter, cm]
*-3 milli- m- [as millimeter, mm]
*-6 micro- <mu>- [as in micrometer, <mu>m
*-9 nano- n- [as in nanofarad, nF]
*-12 pico- p- [as in picofard, pF]
-15 femto- f- ....
-18 atto- a- ....

1 deca- da-
2 hecto- h- [as in hectare]
*3 kilo- k- [as in kilometer, km
kilohertz, kHz]
*6 Mega- M- [as in Megahertz, MHz]
*9 Giga- G- [as in Gigahertz, GHz]
12 Tera- T- [as in Terawatt, TW]


- I dug this out from High School notes made about 10-12 years ago and is
based on the system of standard prefixes in what is known as the the SI
System. I think the International System of Units/System Internationale
d'Unites [always abbreviated SI] is part of ISO standards or something. SI
was BIG when I was in school.

- You will note that kilo, for example, is always lower case while Giga is
upper case and so on. [Another point to note is that, in the SI system, you
always begin the *abbreviation* of a unit named after a person with an upper
case letter.] Thus km, kHz, but GW.

- The abbreviations marked with asterisks are the ones in common use.

- In my opinion, however, KB is so common for kilobyte [note the lower case]
that it might be standard and writing kB (or even kb -- though that would be
kilobit) will only confuse most users.

- I would consider kbps okay for kilobits per second -- but again, Gnothi
Seauton said Socrates and Know Thy User said Dr. Bob and since that is not
common, I would spell it out the first time. [And you would give them
programmers something to pounce on as proof of your technical inferiority if
you say that baud and bps is the same. Usually it is, but ...[]


PS: Anyone interested in a table of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation
-- it gives the ranges for gamma, X, ultra violet radiation and so on to
light and to Radio, EHF, UHF ...

2209 15th Street ashrafs -at- rpi -dot- edu
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 274 9562

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