Using standardized SI prefixes

Alex Jones alex at
Wed Jun 13 14:01:52 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 14:29 +0100, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> Without the binary unit to consider, when we quote a drive as 1TB, we
> know that it has *at least* 1,000,000,000,000 bytes available.
> Depending on the drive, it may have anywhere between this and
> 1,099,511,627,776 bytes available.  It's actually more likely to have
> something strange like 1,024,000,000,000 available.

10% error is no good for me. You can continue to play the "at least"
card, but what about when it's more important if it is "at most"
something? And seeing as this error only goes up exponentially, at which
prefix do you draw the line and say "no more"?

And no-one uses floppy disks any more. Let's just bury them all and
forget about them. :D

> I see no problem with this "1TB" quote being approximate.  It's rounded
> anyway.  If you really want to know how many bytes are available, you
> can use this great unit called the "byte" which is accurate and not
> subject to change[0].

1 TB is not rounded. It means precisely 1 × 10^12 bytes, no more and no
less. If they want to actually put 1.024 TB on the disk then they can
say 1 TB (approx.) like any other industry (detergent, bacon, etc.).
Alex Jones

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