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A What-abyte?!

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014 by | Filed Under: Quick Tips

You’ve heard of Kilobyte, Megabyte, and Gigabyte. You’ve likely heard of Terabyte. But do you know the future sizes of file storage?

A byte is a single unit of measure in computing, capable of storing one character. A kilobyte (KB) is comprised of 1,024 bytes. (Bytes are measured by a binary system, not a decimal system, so the numbers are not “even”.) Then, similar to the metric system, you go up in measure:

1 megabyte (MB) = 1,024 KB

1 gigabyte (GB) = 1,024 MB

1 terabyte (TB) = 1,024 GB

Currently, terabyte drives are as large as they get. In fact, just this year, they have released a 6 TB hard drive, so that’s pretty large. That’s 6,144 GB of storage!

But they do have the names of the future storage amounts that may be available in the future.

1 petabyte (PB) = 1,024 TB

1 exabyte (EB) = 1,024 PB

1 zettabyte (ZB) = 1,024 EB

1 yottabyte (YB) = 1,024 ZB

To put that into perspective – A yottabyte is 1,208,925,819,614,629,174,706,176 bytes. That’s 1 septillion, if you were wondering (had to look that one up, too)!

Will we see yottabyte storage in the future? Probably not likely in any near future, but then again, not all that long ago, tech people were saying a few hundred megabytes of storage was all we’d need!


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2 Responses to “A What-abyte?!”

  1. ron says:

    That is good as far as it goes. How about giving the full story. Mention that HD makers report in powers of 10 rather than powers of 2. And do the math to show how much we are getting “ripped off” now that we are getting into TB and higher local storage.

    When we were dealing with KB and MB the difference was no big deal. But now that we are regularly dealing with GB and even multiple TB we are being significantly mislead.

    Frankly, I think it is time for computing to take the step to report in powers of 10. We have enough “spare” computing power to convert powers of 2 to 10’s. It only makes sense since “people” think in powers of 10.

  2. Mikeh says:

    Would like to add a word on the beginning of hard drives. Think back to 1982 and the then High capacity DEC Rainbow desktop computer. It had a dual floppy drive using two single-sided diskettes of (as I remember) 160 K each. The design intended the upper diskette to be the programs source and the lower diskette to be the destination for all data input and output. I upgraded my Rainbow to have a 10 MB hard drive, which cost me $400.00 and was an incredible advance for the time. I now have two WD My Book Live – 3 TB and 2 TB and a 1 TB in each of my two desktops. desktop

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