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Not Getting What You Pay for: On Hard Drives and Missing Space

FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
I've been wondering his for a while, but its recently come up again.

I'm referring to the fact that when you buy a Hard Drive - the usable space is less than what is advertised.

I am setting up a backup solution using Apple's Time Machine.
I have a few computers on my home network, and so ordered a new External Hard Drive to use. I decided to buy a Terabyte - that should future-proof me for a while.

Upon hooking up this new Drive (Western Digital My Book - USB2) I noticed that rather than 1000GB - The drive has 930GB available. Now, I've noticed this before, but I've never bought a drive this large and... 70BG? Thats a lot of space. Thats more than the Hard Drive of the Macbook I'm writing on!

So whats this, 7% of my drive is "unusable"? The drive was never 1TB?

I'm assuming there's a technical reason for this. I'm assuming its actually 1TB, but due to a technical reason PC's cant access it all etc. I just dont see why its become the norm.

Does anyone know the reason? Has anyone mentioned it to a vendor/retailer? - What do they say? Anybody not care? Anybody outraged?

Fallingman on
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Posts

  • VulpineVulpine Registered User
    edited January 2008
    The simple reason is that drives are formatted using 1024 megabytes to one gigabyte, but are advertised as 1000 megabytes to one gigabyte, and so on. Essentially the difference between binary and metric prefixes: a new term, 'mebibyte' (MiB), is now being used to mean exactly 1024 kibibytes, and a gibibyte (GiB) to represent 1024 mebibytes, instead of the now ambiguous 'megabyte', etc.

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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Yes, this is correct. See here.

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  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Man, why is it that sometimes getting an answer that makes sense just pisses you off more?

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  • VulpineVulpine Registered User
    edited January 2008
    It's only the storage media industry that does this: universally throughout computing, mega means 2^20 and kilo means 2^10. (See that rather good link tsmvengy posted.) They're doing it wrong, but there's very little that can be done to stop them. So yes, perfectly justifiable to feel angry at them.

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  • El GuacoEl Guaco Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    There is also space lost due to formatting. Some space is used for the system directory. Also not all of the space is 100% usable, because storage is done in blocks that are much bigger than a single bit of information, so some space is wasted for efficiency's sake.




  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    NIST officially created MiB and GiB as a power of 2^10 and 2^20 instead of the regular MB and GB. I'm not sure when it came in or if any other country uses it, it definitely wasn't around when I got my CS degree. You can view the genius or stupidity of the conversion rates.

  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Why would they change the binary one when it's only hard drive people who use decimal values? wouldn't it make more sense to change the less common use?

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  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    From what I can gather, it is because the old units aren't SI units. The marketing departments of HDD manufacturers figured this out and decided to take advantage.

  • ToyDToyD Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    My guess is that marketing people aren't math people. Thus, the technical people rounded (yay engineers) and you get screwed in the end. I know that if I tried to explain base 2 and base 10 numbers to my wife, she'd probably file for divorce.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Spoit wrote: »
    Why would they change the binary one when it's only hard drive people who use decimal values? wouldn't it make more sense to change the less common use?

    Because saying that the prefix "mega" means 10^6 is both technically accurate and legally defensible, even if everything else on a computer uses "mega" to mean 2^20. Non-computer usages all use 10^3, 10^6, 10^9 for kilo, mega, and giga (for example: a kilometer is 1000 meters, not 1024) and so it's better to redefine the binary prefix.

    edit: it's not that the marketing people aren't math people; the marketing people know exactly what they're doing.

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  • ToyDToyD Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    edit: it's not that the marketing people aren't math people; the marketing people know exactly what they're doing.

    Your post was entirely correct. But you do realize that a lot of people don't take many science courses and learn that. Or they learn it and promptly forget it. I think you are giving undue credit to many a professional person who would happily accept the words "electronisize" and "electrowhosits."

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ToyD wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    edit: it's not that the marketing people aren't math people; the marketing people know exactly what they're doing.

    Your post was entirely correct. But you do realize that a lot of people don't take many science courses and learn that. Or they learn it and promptly forget it. I think you are giving undue credit to many a professional person who would happily accept the words "electronisize" and "electrowhosits."

    If the marketing guys didn't know that they were being borderline fraudluent, they wouldn't have to put "a gigabyte is one billion bytes" in small print on the box.

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ToyD wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    edit: it's not that the marketing people aren't math people; the marketing people know exactly what they're doing.

    Your post was entirely correct. But you do realize that a lot of people don't take many science courses and learn that. Or they learn it and promptly forget it. I think you are giving undue credit to many a professional person who would happily accept the words "electronisize" and "electrowhosits."
    This isn't exactly university science material. It's math, and elementary math at that. Any ninth grader could tell you the difference between base-two and base-ten. A person responsible for the marketing for these products would have, at some point, taken a rudimentary stats course, which would have required a basic, high-school understanding of such common mathematical concepts as powers.

  • ToyDToyD Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    mmm, yes, I understand that's what you'd like to believe. I point you here:
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/resource/tips-tricks/2004/missing-megabytes.html

    It's the first quick link I found, however it supports both points. Yours that some people feel it is fraudulent, and mine that it's done by people who don't like math.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    There has actually been talk of class action lawsuits about false advertising against HDD companies, since they all do this and they *know* that they could easily just a) up the actual storage or b) change the advertised capacities. Western Digital settled one out of court, and I think Seagate and Toshiba have run into a few as well (hence the whole -iba nonsense).

    Funny thing is that most people didn't really care when HDDs were under 100gb -- you'd lose 3 or 4 gb and people assumed it was just from formatting. Now that people can get terabytes and lose almost 100gb, it's a bit more obvious that there's something fishy going on.

    The problem is that people don't care about doing math -- they care about storage space. They expect that the drive they buy is going to give them [size] in their computer. And it doesn't -- it gives them [size-(size*1.07)]. You buy a terabyte HDD, and they're ONLY used in computers -- and those computers only use one way to read the size of the drives. HDD manu's know this, they're not stupid, and they know they can advertise their drives as being 7% larger than they actually are through tricky math.

    Given that so many drive sizes are large nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually figure that dealing with class action lawsuits isn't worth it, and they simply start advertising them correctly.

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  • JaninJanin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Vulpine wrote: »
    It's only the storage media industry that does this: universally throughout computing, mega means 2^20 and kilo means 2^10. (See that rather good link tsmvengy posted.) They're doing it wrong, but there's very little that can be done to stop them. So yes, perfectly justifiable to feel angry at them.

    They're doing it right, it's the consumer that's wrong. Memory is always in power-of-2 for technical reasons, and filesystems generally use blocks in ^2 sizes, but there's no reason why a hard drive has to be limited to ^2 increments. In fact, analog hardware such as drives and network cards have always used ^10 sizes.

    Secondly, filesystem formatting overhead is huge on new drives. That's why filesystems designed for servers often have much lower overhead than those developed for desktops. Good examples of these are the JFS and XFS filesystems.

    I would say user education is the answer, except most users can't be educated.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Spoit wrote: »
    Why would they change the binary one when it's only hard drive people who use decimal values? wouldn't it make more sense to change the less common use?

    Because saying that the prefix "mega" means 10^6 is both technically accurate and legally defensible, even if everything else on a computer uses "mega" to mean 2^20. Non-computer usages all use 10^3, 10^6, 10^9 for kilo, mega, and giga (for example: a kilometer is 1000 meters, not 1024) and so it's better to redefine the binary prefix.

    edit: it's not that the marketing people aren't math people; the marketing people know exactly what they're doing.

    My point is, why did whatever standard comitee who made up the name change the term for the more common usage, rather than for the less common disc size use. In other words, why kilo binary byte instead of kilo decimal bytes?

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  • VulpineVulpine Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Janin wrote: »
    Vulpine wrote: »
    It's only the storage media industry that does this: universally throughout computing, mega means 2^20 and kilo means 2^10. (See that rather good link tsmvengy posted.) They're doing it wrong, but there's very little that can be done to stop them. So yes, perfectly justifiable to feel angry at them.

    They're doing it right, it's the consumer that's wrong. Memory is always in power-of-2 for technical reasons, and filesystems generally use blocks in ^2 sizes, but there's no reason why a hard drive has to be limited to ^2 increments. In fact, analog hardware such as drives and network cards have always used ^10 sizes.

    Secondly, filesystem formatting overhead is huge on new drives. That's why filesystems designed for servers often have much lower overhead than those developed for desktops. Good examples of these are the JFS and XFS filesystems.

    I would say user education is the answer, except most users can't be educated.

    But the problem is that these drives are sold as "100GB" (for example), and yet even unformatted the marketers know that there is no filesystem on Earth that will give them that hundred gigabytes. They're using a convenient discrepancy in the prefixes in order to sell less for more. Hard drives could well use ^10 sizes, but simply don't (I don't think there's an OS around which uses 1,000 bytes to the kilobyte). So, to quote Daedalus, they know exactly what they're doing.

    User education is an answer, but getting the manufacturers to use the same meaning for the prefixes as everyone else would be fairer.

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  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Vulpine wrote: »
    Janin wrote: »
    Vulpine wrote: »
    It's only the storage media industry that does this: universally throughout computing, mega means 2^20 and kilo means 2^10. (See that rather good link tsmvengy posted.) They're doing it wrong, but there's very little that can be done to stop them. So yes, perfectly justifiable to feel angry at them.

    They're doing it right, it's the consumer that's wrong. Memory is always in power-of-2 for technical reasons, and filesystems generally use blocks in ^2 sizes, but there's no reason why a hard drive has to be limited to ^2 increments. In fact, analog hardware such as drives and network cards have always used ^10 sizes.

    Secondly, filesystem formatting overhead is huge on new drives. That's why filesystems designed for servers often have much lower overhead than those developed for desktops. Good examples of these are the JFS and XFS filesystems.

    I would say user education is the answer, except most users can't be educated.

    But the problem is that these drives are sold as "100GB" (for example), and yet even unformatted the marketers know that there is no filesystem on Earth that will give them that hundred gigabytes. They're using a convenient discrepancy in the prefixes in order to sell less for more. Hard drives could well use ^10 sizes, but simply don't (I don't think there's an OS around which uses 1,000 bytes to the kilobyte). So, to quote Daedalus, they know exactly what they're doing.

    User education is an answer, but getting the manufacturers to use the same meaning for the prefixes as everyone else would be fairer.


    I think that if it ever gets to court they will be told to change. Yes it's technically defensible - but whether they are directly responsible or not - it's misleading to customers. I consider myself fairly technically literate but I wasn't aware of this.

    The argument about "how hard is this to understand?" is moot. No, it's not complicated - but thats a very different thing to being aware that computers use a different standard than manufacturers... And its hardly an intuitive conclusion for the average consumer to come to.

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    That's another good reason why the hard drive names should have been changed rather than the binary ones, having it say that it's a 500 GiB drive might make people realize that it isn't the same thing as the binary gigabyte.

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Fallingman wrote: »
    I think that if it ever gets to court they will be told to change.
    It went to court. They didn't have to change.

  • JaninJanin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Spoit wrote: »
    My point is, why did whatever standard comitee who made up the name change the term for the more common usage, rather than for the less common disc size use. In other words, why kilo binary byte instead of kilo decimal bytes?

    Because 10^9 is more common than 2^30. Only computers use 2^, everybody else uses 10^.
    Vulpine wrote: »
    But the problem is that these drives are sold as "100GB" (for example), and yet even unformatted the marketers know that there is no filesystem on Earth that will give them that hundred gigabytes.

    So? The HDD itself is still 100GB. If you want to squeeze every last bit out of it, leave off the filesystem entirely like big database systems do. As soon complain that car manufacturers should warn you that gas mileage decreases when hauling concrete blocks.
    Vulpine wrote: »
    They're using a convenient discrepancy in the prefixes in order to sell less for more. Hard drives could well use ^10 sizes, but simply don't (I don't think there's an OS around which uses 1,000 bytes to the kilobyte). So, to quote Daedalus, they know exactly what they're doing.

    Hard drives do use 10^ sizes. Every OS uses 1,000 bytes to the kilobyte, but 1,024 to the kibibyte, and I can't think of any filesystem that has blocks in sizes other than power-of-2.
    Vulpine wrote: »
    User education is an answer, but getting the manufacturers to use the same meaning for the prefixes as everyone else would be fairer.

    They're already using the same prefixes as (almost) everybody else. Kilo means 1,000, not 1,024. Mega means 1,000,000, not 1,048,576.

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  • DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Spoit wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Spoit wrote: »
    Why would they change the binary one when it's only hard drive people who use decimal values? wouldn't it make more sense to change the less common use?

    Because saying that the prefix "mega" means 10^6 is both technically accurate and legally defensible, even if everything else on a computer uses "mega" to mean 2^20. Non-computer usages all use 10^3, 10^6, 10^9 for kilo, mega, and giga (for example: a kilometer is 1000 meters, not 1024) and so it's better to redefine the binary prefix.

    edit: it's not that the marketing people aren't math people; the marketing people know exactly what they're doing.

    My point is, why did whatever standard comitee who made up the name change the term for the more common usage, rather than for the less common disc size use. In other words, why kilo binary byte instead of kilo decimal bytes?


    Because "kilo" means 10^3 for everything else, so having "kilo" mean 2^10 and "kide" (or whatever prefix you care to invent) mean 10^3 but only for computer storage would fuck up the SI system.

    Already some operating systems are getting on board and using the GiB abbreviation instead of GB to mean 2^30 bytes. Vista doesn't, though, which is disappointing.

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  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    So the choice is between changing every bit of scientific literature ever, or changing a few advertising boards? What a choice.

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • JaninJanin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    corcorigan wrote: »
    So the choice is between changing every bit of scientific literature ever, or changing a few advertising boards? What a choice.

    No, the choice is between changing advertising boards and every bit of scientific literature ever, or teaching people that 1000 is not 1024.

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Guys you're not even "losing" all that much space (in relative terms), and you should be looking at Microsoft for incorrectly labeling 2^10 bytes as a kilobyte when it should be calling it a kibibyte. Hard disk manufacturers are not actually engaging in any kind of false advertising by correctly labelling a disk with 250 billion bytes as a "250 Gigabyte" disk.

  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    Guys you're not even "losing" all that much space (in relative terms), and you should be looking at Microsoft for incorrectly labeling 2^10 bytes as a kilobyte when it should be calling it a kibibyte. Hard disk manufacturers are not actually engaging in any kind of false advertising by correctly labelling a disk with 250 billion bytes as a "250 Gigabyte" disk.

    Yes Microsoft is wrong for not adopting a new standard instead of following the old one, which is older than the majority of people on this board. IIRC, the only OS that is labeling things correctly now is Linux, and it was only patched in recently. If it weren't for marketing companies using the SI std as a loophole to advertize more for less, it probably wouldn't have become an issue.

  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Janin wrote: »
    corcorigan wrote: »
    So the choice is between changing every bit of scientific literature ever, or changing a few advertising boards? What a choice.

    No, the choice is between changing advertising boards and every bit of scientific literature ever, or teaching people that 1000 is not 1024.

    Yes, but if it isn't 1000 then it isn't a gigabyte is it?

    (Also, bad use of SI units is annoying. Let's see more megametres instead of 1000s of kilometres...)

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • JaninJanin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    corcorigan wrote: »
    Janin wrote: »
    corcorigan wrote: »
    So the choice is between changing every bit of scientific literature ever, or changing a few advertising boards? What a choice.

    No, the choice is between changing advertising boards and every bit of scientific literature ever, or teaching people that 1000 is not 1024.

    Yes, but if it isn't 1000 then it isn't a gigabyte is it?

    (Also, bad use of SI units is annoying. Let's see more megametres instead of 1000s of kilometres...)

    I think you're confused. It's HDD vendors that are using the standard SI prefixes. People are complaining that the "100GB" they see on a hard drive's box doesn't result in "100 GiB" in their computer's drive property dialog.
    stigweard wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    Guys you're not even "losing" all that much space (in relative terms), and you should be looking at Microsoft for incorrectly labeling 2^10 bytes as a kilobyte when it should be calling it a kibibyte. Hard disk manufacturers are not actually engaging in any kind of false advertising by correctly labelling a disk with 250 billion bytes as a "250 Gigabyte" disk.

    Yes Microsoft is wrong for not adopting a new standard instead of following the old one, which is older than the majority of people on this board. IIRC, the only OS that is labeling things correctly now is Linux, and it was only patched in recently. If it weren't for marketing companies using the SI std as a loophole to advertize more for less, it probably wouldn't have become an issue.

    If you're going to claim somebody is at "fault", it's certainly the OS vendors, as they are the ones using the wrong unit. Just because the error between 2^ and 10^ is only recently important doesn't mean everybody should continue to use the old, incorrect notation.

    Also, my Linux desktop uses incorrect units also.

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  • stigweardstigweard Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Janin wrote: »
    corcorigan wrote: »
    Janin wrote: »
    corcorigan wrote: »
    So the choice is between changing every bit of scientific literature ever, or changing a few advertising boards? What a choice.

    No, the choice is between changing advertising boards and every bit of scientific literature ever, or teaching people that 1000 is not 1024.

    Yes, but if it isn't 1000 then it isn't a gigabyte is it?

    (Also, bad use of SI units is annoying. Let's see more megametres instead of 1000s of kilometres...)

    I think you're confused. It's HDD vendors that are using the standard SI prefixes. People are complaining that the "100GB" they see on a hard drive's box doesn't result in "100 GiB" in their computer's drive property dialog.
    stigweard wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    Guys you're not even "losing" all that much space (in relative terms), and you should be looking at Microsoft for incorrectly labeling 2^10 bytes as a kilobyte when it should be calling it a kibibyte. Hard disk manufacturers are not actually engaging in any kind of false advertising by correctly labelling a disk with 250 billion bytes as a "250 Gigabyte" disk.

    Yes Microsoft is wrong for not adopting a new standard instead of following the old one, which is older than the majority of people on this board. IIRC, the only OS that is labeling things correctly now is Linux, and it was only patched in recently. If it weren't for marketing companies using the SI std as a loophole to advertize more for less, it probably wouldn't have become an issue.

    If you're going to claim somebody is at "fault", it's certainly the OS vendors, as they are the ones using the wrong unit. Just because the error between 2^ and 10^ is only recently important doesn't mean everybody should continue to use the old, incorrect notation.

    Also, my Linux desktop uses incorrect units also.

    The desktop might not, but the kernel does.

  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    stigweard wrote: »
    Azio wrote: »
    Guys you're not even "losing" all that much space (in relative terms), and you should be looking at Microsoft for incorrectly labeling 2^10 bytes as a kilobyte when it should be calling it a kibibyte. Hard disk manufacturers are not actually engaging in any kind of false advertising by correctly labelling a disk with 250 billion bytes as a "250 Gigabyte" disk.

    Yes Microsoft is wrong for not adopting a new standard instead of following the old one, which is older than the majority of people on this board. IIRC, the only OS that is labeling things correctly now is Linux, and it was only patched in recently. If it weren't for marketing companies using the SI std as a loophole to advertize more for less, it probably wouldn't have become an issue.

    Exactly, it makes no sense to change the prefix for everything (except hard drives)

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    did you read the thread, namely the post above yours?

    Some computer software (namely operating systems) report the size of a volume in Gibibytes, while incorrectly stating that these are Gigabytes. Hard drive boxes correctly report the size of the volume in Gigabytes. You are proposing that hard drive boxes should be changed to report the size in Gibibytes while still calling them Gigabytes, just because operating systems are wrong.

    I agree, in a perfect world the hard drive boxes would have the size of the volume in Gibibytes, but they don't. Fortunately, it's not very hard to tell the difference between Gibibytes and Gigabytes, especially now that you know whenever Windows says "465 GB", it actually means "465 GiB". And that's equal to about 500 GB. Which is what the box said.

  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    The thing is, according to wiki, the whole binary bytes naming conventions have been around since 2000 and if it hasn't been adopted by now, it's probably not going to be. Heck, even in all of the ECE and CS classes I've taken, a kilobyte has always been 1024 bytes. Literally, the only place I've ever heard of using the 1000 bytes definition is the hard drive companies.

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  • JaninJanin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Spoit wrote: »
    The thing is, according to wiki, the whole binary bytes naming conventions have been around since 2000 and if it hasn't been adopted by now, it's probably not going to be. Heck, even in all of the ECE and CS classes I've taken, a kilobyte has always been 1024 bytes. Literally, the only place I've ever heard of using the 1000 bytes definition is the hard drive companies.

    So because lots of people do it wrong, HDD companies should do it wrong also?

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  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Janin wrote: »
    Spoit wrote: »
    The thing is, according to wiki, the whole binary bytes naming conventions have been around since 2000 and if it hasn't been adopted by now, it's probably not going to be. Heck, even in all of the ECE and CS classes I've taken, a kilobyte has always been 1024 bytes. Literally, the only place I've ever heard of using the 1000 bytes definition is the hard drive companies.

    So because lots of people do it wrong, HDD companies should do it wrong also?

    It's a matter of common usage. If everyone but the HDD companies and some standards elitists use it the other way, why would everyone else be the ones who are wrong. Like I said, they mandated the standard a decade ago, and this is the first I've heard of the binary representation being "wrong"

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  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    Guys you're not even "losing" all that much space (in relative terms), and you should be looking at Microsoft for incorrectly labeling 2^10 bytes as a kilobyte when it should be calling it a kibibyte. Hard disk manufacturers are not actually engaging in any kind of false advertising by correctly labelling a disk with 250 billion bytes as a "250 Gigabyte" disk.

    I know that quote was a while ago - but as I posted in the OP - I lost 70GB...

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Spoit wrote: »
    Janin wrote: »
    Spoit wrote: »
    The thing is, according to wiki, the whole binary bytes naming conventions have been around since 2000 and if it hasn't been adopted by now, it's probably not going to be. Heck, even in all of the ECE and CS classes I've taken, a kilobyte has always been 1024 bytes. Literally, the only place I've ever heard of using the 1000 bytes definition is the hard drive companies.

    So because lots of people do it wrong, HDD companies should do it wrong also?

    It's a matter of common usage. If everyone but the HDD companies and some standards elitists use it the other way, why would everyone else be the ones who are wrong. Like I said, they mandated the standard a decade ago, and this is the first I've heard of the binary representation being "wrong"
    For everyone except software vendors, "kilo" means 1000. If that's not common usage I don't know what is.

  • MblackwellMblackwell Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    But then again, saying "can I have a bun" gets you something different at a hot dog stand than a burger joint. Shit, which one is wrong?

    Well... most people in the world eat hot dogs... so... hmm.... I guess we should storm McDonald's.

    I know that's a weird analogy, my point is that the same term is used in different ways depending on the context, and when it comes to computers everything comes out to 1024. Which, frankly considering bits (and bit switches) makes perfect sense.

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  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    But then again, saying "can I have a bun" gets you something different at a hot dog stand than a burger joint. Shit, which one is wrong?

    Well... most people in the world eat hot dogs... so... hmm.... I guess we should storm McDonald's.

    I know that's a weird analogy, my point is that the same term is used in different ways depending on the context, and when it comes to computers everything comes out to 1024. Which, frankly considering bits (and bit switches) makes perfect sense.
    No, what would make "perfect sense" is for Microsoft and other software vendors to start using "KiB" instead of "KB" because that is the correct and agreed-upon term for 1024 bytes.

  • JaninJanin Registered User
    edited January 2008
    Mblackwell wrote: »
    But then again, saying "can I have a bun" gets you something different at a hot dog stand than a burger joint. Shit, which one is wrong?

    Well... most people in the world eat hot dogs... so... hmm.... I guess we should storm McDonald's.

    I know that's a weird analogy, my point is that the same term is used in different ways depending on the context, and when it comes to computers everything comes out to 1024. Which, frankly considering bits (and bit switches) makes perfect sense.

    Huh? What? My CPU's speed is measured in hertz using powers of 10, not 2. Network card speed is measured in bits using powers of 10, not 2. How many bits per second are in your iTunes AACs? 256,000, not 262144. The bandwidth of the RAM in your terminal is measured in decimal units.

    I like this quote from one of the lawsuites:
    Western Digital had this footnote in their settlement. "Apparently, Plaintiff believes that he could sue an egg company for fraud for labeling a carton of 12 eggs a “dozen,” because some bakers would view a “dozen” as including 13 items."

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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