‘Tebibyte’ Mooted To End Capacity Confusion

Decimal verses binary farce may soon be solved.

While the man on the street is still getting used to the term ‘Terabyte’, he may quickly need to learn ‘Tebibyte’…

Following one of the few reasonable class action lawsuits filed these days it is being proposed that a clear distinction is drawn between a binary megabyte (1,048,576 bytes) and a decimal megabyte (1,000,000 bytes).

The distinction has long confused many casual PC owners since operating systems tend to display data based the binary system while hard drive manufacturers (looking to save money?) rate their capacities using the decimal system. As a result a ‘500GB’ HDD will show up as just 465GB annoying many who feel they have been short changed.

Given that this problem will only be exacerbated as capacities increase, it is being proposed that ‘Tebibyte’ be introduced specifically for a binary rated drive (the ‘full’ 1,000GB) while a Terabyte will now be clearly shown to hold less (approx. 930GB).

Now I’m not usually in favour of complicating an industry which is already famed for baffling anyone over 40 but I think in this case the distinction does need to be drawn. Whether the obvious end user appeal of the larger binary drives eventually forces all storage manufacturers to switch is a matter for debate, but it’ll certainly put the pressure on…

Tebibyte Wikipedia
Terabyte Wikipedia

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