Ubuntu will go to base 10 units...

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Postby AndyBaxman » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:15 am

nelz wrote:If you want a prefix that means a multiple of 1024, create one


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


Unlike the (IMHO, ridiculous) kibi /mibi /gibi units, which still contain the contentious "kilo", "mega" and "giga" prefixes these definitions avoid all confusion.
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Postby ollie » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:08 pm

AndyBaxman wrote:Unlike the (IMHO, ridiculous) kibi /mibi /gibi units, which still contain the contentious "kilo", "mega" and "giga" prefixes these definitions avoid all confusion.


No, kibi != kilo, mibi != mega, gibi != giga, etc they have just used terms that are similar to help people adopt the terms quickly.

I think Canonical are actually wrong in this. We should be pushing for storage manufacturers to use the correct binary sizes because computers and operating systems work in binary.
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Postby ubunterooster » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:32 pm

One of the first things I understood was the kilo/kibi difference. It's not that complicated.

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Postby AndyBaxman » Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:56 pm

ollie wrote:I think Canonical are actually wrong in this. We should be pushing for storage manufacturers to use the correct binary sizes because computers and operating systems work in binary.


Its a cheap way of short-changing people, IMHO. Nelz' comment about redefining $1 as 90c is apt, but backwards. An "SI" kilobyte is 24 bytes less than a traditional KB. So its more like your boss saying $1 is (just over) 102c

The next step will be for manufacturers to start rounding *up* for reason of clarity. An 8GB memory card has 8.589934592 SI GB. Way too confusing. Lets round it up to the nearest GB and call it 9GB.

This sort of sophistry has been going on for years. My car has a 2 litre engine? Nope its actually 1.95l. Motor manufactures are now more interested in quoting power rather than engine size. Always used to be in BHP, but 1 German "PferdeStarke" PS measurement is only 98.6% of 1 BHP, so by quoting engine power in PS they make their car look more powerful. Similar to the way cheap audio kit was quoted as "PMP" (Peak Music Power) instead of RMS. Made it look better than it was in reality.

Then there is the issue of the common abbreviations. "K", "Meg", "Gig". Nobody really uses the full terms, so is 1 Gig = 1 Gigabyte or 1 gibi?
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Postby nelz » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:51 pm

A Gig is obviously a shortened version of Gigabyte, otherwise it would be a Gib :P

I don't expect the average PC World customer to understand the difference, but that's no reason for sloppiness and inaccuracy.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:28 am

nelz wrote:A Gig is obviously a shortened version of Gigabyte, otherwise it would be a Gib :P

I don't expect the average PC World customer to understand the difference, but that's no reason for sloppiness and inaccuracy.


But people refer to memory cards as "8 Gig" , etc. And those are in "gibis". Nobody says "I just bought an 8 GIBI" SD card".

If "they" (whoever is responsible for this naming fiasco) had left well alone we would all know that 1K = 1 Kilobyte = 1024 bytes. Now we don't know if 1K = 1 "kibi" (1024 bytes) or 1 SI "Kilobyte" (1000 bytes).

nelz wrote:I don't expect the average PC World customer to understand the difference, but that's no reason for sloppiness and inaccuracy.


Strange, then, that this decimal Kilobyte thing is being promoted as a way to make things less confusing for those PC World customers.
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Postby nelz » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:50 am

People call them 8 Gig because the wrong names have been used for so long, you can't blame them for that. Are you saying that because this mess has been around for so long, we should simply put up with it?

As for all knowing where we stand, that's patently not true from the "my hard drive is smaller than it is supposed to be questions" that keep recurring after all these years. So we use real SI for storage and bastardised SI for memory, where does that leave memory based storage.

If the English language has taught us nothing else, it is that having different context-sensitive meanings for the same word is a recipe for confusion, it's the stuff that sitcoms are made of.

I commend Ubuntu for making a stand and requiring these terms to be used correctly, all they are really saying is "say what you mean".
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Postby jjmac » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:19 am

Howdy All,

nelz wrote:
>>
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?
>>


Ok, that makes good sense. So the problem rests more with manufacturers trying to inflate the usability of some products, like drives. With a flow on effect into term usage.

Kibi it is.


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Postby PCNetSpec » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:09 am

Canonical are wrong on this, as are Apple.

English IS a context sensitive language, why can't Kilo mean more than one thing when used in context?
We have plenty of other words that are spelled the same but mean different things, the context distinguishes them... sew, post, ring etc.

As far as computing goes binary and hex rules apply to everything except storage, so is the 'ordinary man' now expected to remember two separate systems of measurement... seems to me Canonical are saying he's having problems with one.

If you want to force HDD manufacturers to correctly identify drive capacity, that's fine... but what the *&%£ has that got to do with Canonical, and since when do Canonical describe things correctly.

Ubuntu is an operating system built by a worldwide team of expert developers

from the Ubuntu homepage.

I always thought Linux (or more correctly GNU/Linux) was the OS, Ubuntu a distro... they seem to be taking an awful lot of credit for other peoples work.

The terms Linux, GNU, Gnome, Mozilla etc. aren't mentioned on that page at all, let alone the teams given credit.

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And if my employer tried to redefine £1 as 90p, I'd be very upset, but I wouldn't expect the Royal Mint to try and fix things. :wink: (or want them to, I'd end up with 50p that would only be worth 30p a few months later)

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Postby nelz » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:54 am

Kilo is not an English word, it is a clearly defined international standard (what do you think SI means?). As such it is not open to interpretation by anyone who thinks they know better, nor should it evolve like spoken language words do.

Of course the hard drive manufacturers picked the choice that made their products look better, it is just luck on their part that the one they picked happens to be the correct interpretation.
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Postby PCNetSpec » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:08 am

And this is locked in stone?... how about US gallons compared to UK gallons, or old money/new money... these things are only 'clearly' defined when people use just one... they don't.

why can't Kilo be both a word and a standard, depending on its use?

A foot is... or are we all to be forced to have 12" feet now? (don't get any ideas Brussels)
Last edited by PCNetSpec on Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:51 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:12 am

nelz wrote:People call them 8 Gig because the wrong names have been used for so long, you can't blame them for that. Are you saying that because this mess has been around for so long, we should simply put up with it?


No, I'm saying it wasn't a mess before this kibi / kb fiasco. A Kilobyte was 1024 bytes and that was that.

It was only when the HDD manufacturers started using decimal sizes (to artificially inflate their drive capacities) that the issue arose. It would have been better to have legislated for HDDs to be quoted in base 2 units than to introduce a whole new unit of measure.
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Postby AndyBaxman » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:23 am

PCNetSpec wrote:And this is locked in stone?... how about US gallons compared to UK gallons, or old money/new money... these things are only 'clearly' defined when people use just one... they don't.


In think you have hit the nail on the head. The use of two systems of measurement to describe one thing causes confusion. With other systems you can phase one in and the other out. Deg F to Deg C, £.s.d to £.p, Oz to g, etc.

The trouble with computer memory is that base 2 based units cannot be phased out.

If calling 1024 bytes a Kilobyte is the problem then it would have been better to merely rename the unit rather than introduce a parallel system.
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Postby PCNetSpec » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:30 am

@AndyBaxman

Well spotted, maybe I should have ended that with:

... they can't.

:)
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Postby nelz » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:27 am

AndyBaxman wrote:If calling 1024 bytes a Kilobyte is the problem then it would have been better to merely rename the unit


That's exactly what they have done.
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