How about giving the full story about storage drive size? 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.
Whether or not people are getting ripped off is up for them to decide, but I can break down why storage drives are labeled this way.
When you buy a hard drive, it will be listed as, for example, 100 GB, 500 GB, or 1 TB, a nice even number. However, when you get it home and look at the actual size available, you will notice a difference. A terabyte drive, for instance, will show 931 GB. Here’s why:
When the hard drive is manufactured and advertised, 1 terabyte = 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. BUT 1 TB actually equals 1,024 gigabytes or 1,099,511,627,776 bytes. However, we are used to working with the decimal system, rather than a binary system, so it is common place to start with the decimal equivalent to the amount.
The difference stems from the idea that 10³ (or “kilo”) is close to 210(binary form), but not exactly equal. Interestingly, someone did create terms for the exact sizes, including kibi, mebi, and gibi. However, these have never been successfully adopted. This results in a difference in the amount of actual space on the hard drive. The manufacturers are providing a full terabyte of drive in our conventional terms, but when converted to actual usage, you do lose out on some of the size.