Re: GB initialism

Subject: Re: GB initialism
From: Iain Harrison <iharrison -at- SCT -dot- CO -dot- UK>
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1996 11:28:39 GMT

Just a quick question for which I'm sure someone out there will have the answer:

When you abbreviate megabytes or Gigabytes, do you use MB/GB, or Mb/Gb? Could
you provide me with a reference?
AFAIK, the abbreviation for bytes is B and the abbreviation for bits is b

This means that megabyte is MB, gigabyte is GB.

Mb and Gb are nothing like as big.

Sadly, this confusion is sometimes used by marketing to mislead. I saw a
digital ansafone that had 256Kb of RAM. Yes, that's 256K bits, not bytes. It
was terrible!

A similar problem has arisen about billion. As any (UK?) scientist will tell
you, the 'bi' of billion refers to the power of two - ie 1,000,000 ^2, or
1,000,000,000,000. Trillion etc follow the same pattern. For some reason, the
US has taken 'billion' to mean a thousand million, one thousandth of a UK
billion. This has made the term useless for any serious application, because
no-one can be sure what it means.

Let's not confuse bytes/bits the same way!


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