Ubuntu will go to base 10 units...

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Postby nelz » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:33 pm

There weren't many binary computers around in the 17th century, when the SI units were defined. Why should the recent need for a binary prefix corrupt and confuse the existing ones? It was laziness that led to the use of the decimal prefixes as binary ones in the first place and further laziness that prevents people using the correct binary prefixes now.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:23 am

I think this just adds to confusion. While it makes some sense to report file sizes in base-10 units, it is nonsensical for memory.

So you end up with an inconsistent system, on the same computer, where some KBs are 1024 bytes and other are 1000 bytes.

Which is more confusing, IMHO.
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Postby nelz » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:20 am

Which is why kilo and giga should not be used for memory, but the more appropriate kibi and gibi. It's good to see someone taking a stand on this.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:54 am

nelz wrote:Which is why kilo and giga should not be used for memory, but the more appropriate kibi and gibi. It's good to see someone taking a stand on this.


If you stopped someone in the street and asked them what a "kibi" is, how many would know the answer?

This adds, rather than removes confusion, IMHO.
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Postby towy71 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:02 am

I second that Andy :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Postby nelz » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:10 am

The confusion will continue as long as people insist on using the wrong term, and the longer people keep doing so, the more the confusion will grow. Not that the man on the street knows what a kilobyte is either, but 1000 != 1024 and never has done.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:33 am

The term Kilobyte has meant 1024 bytes since the dawn of computing. For me the "byte" suffix is enough to indicate that, without all of this kibi/gibi stuff.

The confusion arises because now you have to think about whether an item is measured in SI or IEC units. RAM is IEC and disk drives are SI, but what about flash memory. Its a disk drive to the computer, but is actually solid-state memory with a round number of "gibis".

In any case, what does the k and g of kibi and gibi stand for if not kilo and giga? To really avoid confusion we need new terms:

1024 bytes = 1 BiggieByte (BB)
1024 BiggieBytes = 1 WhoppaByte (WB)
1024 WhoppaBytes = 1 EnormoByte (EB)
1024 EnormoByte = 1 HumongoByte (HB)

There, that should do it. No confusion with SI units at all now.
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Postby nelz » Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:33 pm

AndyBaxman wrote:The term Kilobyte has meant 1024 bytes since the dawn of computing. For me the "byte" suffix is enough to indicate that, without all of this kibi/gibi stuff.


And therein lies the problem, because kilobyte actually means 1000 bytes, but everyone was happy using it to mean something different because the context made clear what they meant. But, as you say, things became increasingly confused as it was applied to other measurements than RAM. Is a kilobit 1000 or 1024 bits?

Yes, kibi and gibi are similar to their base 10 counterparts, with bi added to indicate that it's binary, because that saves learning a whole load of new prefix terms, once you know how it works for one you know them all, and the abbreviations also make it clear which you are using GiB vs GB. The very fact that this thread has continued is evidence of the confusion this misuse of existing terms has caused.

Would you defend this bastardisation of a
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Postby Rhakios » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:49 pm

nelz wrote:Would you defend this bastardisation of a


Come on nelz, this isn't the magazine, you can't just leave an incomplete sentence.

Unless you have just dropped dead from apoplexy (brought on by this tendentious topic) , in which case I apologize unreservedly. :D
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Postby nelz » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:33 pm

One has to keep in practice so that when writing for the

I was feeling dead but I'm much better now :) Either that or my net connection timed out so I had to paste my reply into a new post, what I originally typed was along the lines of

Would you defend this bastardisation of an established standard if it came from Redmond?
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Postby cbuffer » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:20 am

shinso wrote


Yeah but as nelz points out, computers use binary Very Happy

And as crappy as my laptop may be, it doesn't need to use my fingers to count.

Wow! Your laptop does voice recognition?
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Postby jjmac » Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:44 am

Howdy All,


AndyBaxman wrote:
>>
If you stopped someone in the street and asked them what a "kibi" is, how many would know the answer?

This adds, rather than removes confusion, IMHO.
>>



towy71 wrote:
>>
I second that Andy :roll: :roll: :roll:
>>


I don't ... So what if they get confused. As long as the explanation is clear. Why are people always expected to suffer this person living in the street. I think a lot wouldn't be as confused as might be thought unless the explanation was convoluted. In which case the fault would not belong to them anyway.


I also think that boredom is often confused with confusion a lot too. Which is understandable.


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Postby PCNetSpec » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:06 pm

And just to 'muddy' the water further...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/16/ternary_memory/

;)
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Postby jjmac » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:59 am

Howdy All,


nelz wrote:
>>
It was laziness that led to the use of the decimal prefixes as binary ones in the first place.
>>



Or possibly it was the marketing/sales department wanting drives to look bigger than they were. And counting on the customer not really noticing of course.

I think i may have changed my opinion on all this, with further thought.

Computers and electronics has settled on a base 2 system which is how it should be. It's the easiest to implement in a technology which really just implements switches which are either on or off. In various ways. So an over all interpretation of terms like kilo, mega etc ... also seems to make sense.

It could be thought of a subject specific meaning being applied to these terms. A bit akin to name spaces.

Creating differences in terms of whether it is being applied to a drive or a memory stick would appear to be just a rational really. And one that does easily enough lead to confusion.

Such as ... should a k on a drive be thought of as 1000 when it's turned off, or sitting on a shelf. As soon as it's put into use it will have to be dealing with a base 2 write/read situation.

So why not just leave it at that. It's bothe consistent, and reflects functionality.


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Postby nelz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:54 am

But that's not how the standards are defihed. kilo = 1000, that's it, no edge cases, no context-sensitive change-it-when-it-suits-us options. The standard has been clearly defined for hundreds of years, ignoring it was wrong.

If you want a prefix that means a multiple of 1024, create one, don't unilaterally redefine 1000 to mean 1024 in certain cases. even if the cases were clearly defined, which they aren't, this would still be plain wrong. how woulkd you feel if, for the purposes of your salary, your employer redefined $1 as 90c?
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