Computer Trivia
  • Ever wonder how many bytes a Gigabyte really is? . . . especially after buying a 30 GB hard drive? Strictly speaking:

    1 KB = 1024 Bytes
    1 MB = 1024 KB = 1,048,576 Bytes
    1 GB = 1024 MB = 1,073,741,824 Bytes


    So 4.3 GB actually is 4,617,089,843.2 Bytes

    Now there's a problem with all this. hard drive manufacturers don't adhere to the standard. Most of them fallaciously quote 1,000,000,000 bytes as 1 GB (and 1,000,000 bytes as 1 MB, and so forth) as if computer measures were standard metric..

    The result is some of us feel short-changed when we see a 4.3 GB drive that really isn't.
  • Recently (2004) I ran across an article in one of my tech magazines that talked about a new set of prefixes that are being proposed to eliminate the confusion between standard metric (aka International Standard or SI prefix) and "computer" size measures (aka binary prefix multipliers) . The proposed scheme is to use the following prefixes for computer size measures:

 

    Full Prefix Name

    Proposed Prefix

    Proposed Symbol

    Numeric Multiplier

    kilobinary

    kibi-

    Ki

    210

    megabinary

    mebi-

    Mi

    220

    gigabinary

    gibi-

    Gi

    230

    terabinary

    tebi-

    Ti

    240

    petabinary

    pebi-

    Pi

    250

    exabinary

    exbi-

    Ei

    260

    NIST (the National Institute of Standards & Technology [the successor to the old National Bureau of Standards]) has suggested that the first syllable of each prefix be pronounced in the same fashion as you'd pronounce the first syllable of the standard metric prefix. So "kibi" would be pronounced "Kih-bee" and "mebi" would be pronounced as "MEH-bee" and so on.

    I don't know if this scheme as been "officially" sanctioned yet

.

  • CD and DVD Data Access Speeds --1X ("one-speed"), 2X ("two speed"), 3X, 4X, etc., have different meanings depending upon whether we're referring to CDs (including CD-Rs, CD-RWs, and standard CD-ROM) or DVDs.

    1X, in either case, represents a baseline speed for the type of drive being referred to. In the case of CDs, 1X represents a speed of 150 KBps (kilobytes per second). In the case of DVDs, 1X represents 1.38 MBps (megabytes per second)--a little over nine times faster than CD. That's quite a difference in throughput.
     

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Last Updated:

Sunday, January 20, 2008