Using standardized SI prefixes

Alex Jones alex at
Tue Jun 12 03:20:42 UTC 2007

On Mon, 2007-06-11 at 19:56 -0500, Mark Reitblatt wrote:
> On 6/11/07, Alex Jones <alex at> wrote:
> > Fine. Stick with Kilobytes, but strictly define it as 10^3 bytes. Just
> > choose one over the other and be consistent.
> That's not "consistent". Kilobyte has always meant 2^10 bytes. "kilo"
> in "kilobyte" is not an SI prefix. SI prefixes only apply to SI
> measurements, of which "byte" is not a member.

Then why bastardise an SI prefix? This surely serves only to confuse
people. Why don't we invent a new word? Should we call it the

It is simply a convenient accident that 2^10 ~= 10^3. As I'm sure you're
well aware, this approximation starts to become way off as you approach
tera-. In fact, that's about 10% error, which is simply unacceptable.
It's time to move on and accept that the approximation fails with big

> There is no confusion;
> the only place where a kilobyte != 2^10 bytes is in hard drive
> manufacturer's advertising materials. This is the way it has been for
> decades, and it is a perfectly acceptable and desirable standard.

And I suppose you think that differences such as that between the
American and the English ton are acceptable and desirable. Let it be
known that I strongly disagree with you here. :)
Alex Jones

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