[CS-FSLUG] Hard drive won't format - or maybe stay formatted.

sjm sjm.mlists at gmail.com
Mon Aug 9 10:55:44 CDT 2010

> Bur Gparted still sees it as 238.88 GiB.  That seems like a big difference
> to me.

It happened when the marketing department came into the picture several
years ago.

Traditionally, because a computer is a binary (base 2) machine, a byte
was always known as 8 bits and a kilobyte as 2^10 which is 1024 bytes, a
megabyte as 2^20 which is 1,048,576 bytes and a gigabyte as 2^30 which
is 1,073,741,824 bytes.

The marketing department (mainly from the hard drive manufacturers) came
in and noticed that they could make it sound better if they used decimal
(base 10) numbers (or maybe they just didn't understand the binary
system).  Now they can advertise a traditionally known 9.31 gigabyte
drive as a 10 gigabyte drive!

So, a 250 GB drive in marketing-speak (hard drive manufacturers) is
using decimal (base 10) and would be 250,000,000,000 bytes which
traditionally has been know in the computer world (base 2) as 232.83
gigabytes (250e9/2^30).

See also: http://kb.iu.edu/data/ackw.html


P.S. Some are starting to acknowledge the confusion that marketing
introduced and differentiating the two by using GB (1,000,000,000 bytes
= base 10) and GiB (1,073,741,824 bytes = base 2). See also:

More information about the Christiansource mailing list