Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Kibi Mebi Gibi

No, they are not the names of my pets (though if I got myself 3 little hermit crabs I would consider naming them Kibi, Mebi and Gibi). Excerpt from *click*:

Kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi, and exbi are binary prefix multipliers that, in 1998, were approved as a standard by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in an effort to eliminate the confusion that sometimes occurs between decimal (power-of-10) and binary (power-of-2) numeration terms. At present, the prefix multipliers kilo- (k or K), mega- (M), giga- (G), tera- (T), peta- (P), and exa- (E) are ambiguous. In most of the physical sciences, and when describing quantities of objects generally, these multipliers refer to powers of 10. However, when used to define data quantity in terms of bytes, they refer to powers of 2. As if this is not confusing enough, when referring to a data speed of one kilobit per second (1 kbps), analysts generally mean 1,000 bits per second, but when talking about one kilobyte (1 KB) of data storage, they usually mean 1,024 bytes. This prevailing confusion could be eliminated (some computer scientists believe) by adopting special prefixes referring to the binary quantities.

And so, this is supposed to be confusing...

... while this is not:

Before I composed this post, I actually googled around to make sure it's not a joke. No, it's not a joke! It's just that some people are too free they go around looking for problems, which aren't really problems, to solve!

May I know if any readers have actually said "I just bought a new 4 gibibyte USB drive!"? Try it. :D

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