Using standardized SI prefixes

Onno Benschop onno at
Tue Jun 12 08:21:58 UTC 2007

On 12/06/07 15:37, Christof Krüger wrote:
> Just because something has been done wrong for a long time doesn't make
> it right. People who know the inconsistencies get used to them and do
> not want to change it because it may be inconvenient for them or it
> simply sounds stupid to them (what an argument!).
> However, this means that _every_ new generation of students and
> hobbyists has to go through learning the inconsistencies if we change
> nothing. Hooray, confusion till the end of times!
> But if we pushed the use of SI-prefixes, the computer-gurus would have
> to get used to the new system but following generations would profit
> from having a consistent unit system. In my opinion this is something
> that is worth the effort. The problem with such big changes is that a
> critical mass is needed to benefit from this new system and the faster
> it is achieved, the shorter the confusion-period will be.
> I think that the open source community should participate since
> consistent and unambiguous conventions are a good thing (TM).
> Christof Krüger
Until you wrote these two paragraphs I was not particularly interested.
Your email prompted me to read some more. Now I'm happy to be counted in
the camp of those that chant "standardise". (Of course now I'll be
laughed at because of using "kibibytes", but you get that :)

To be fair, I suspect that the use of kibibyte in spoken language would
be phased out over time. Perhaps the IEC did pronounce them out aloud so
we would all be embarrassed into using the SI units :)

And just in case anyone else was as confused as I was, wikipedia cleared
it up for me:


(Ironically, my spell-checker had never heard of a kibibyte :)

Onno Benschop

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