Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Jan 2013 00:38 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Marco Arment: "Everyone should play by the same rules. A proposal: storage capacities referenced or implied in the names or advertisements for personal computers, tablets, and smartphones should not exceed the amount of space available for end-user installation of third-party applications and data, after enough software has been installed to enable all commonly advertised functionality. With today's OSes, iPads could advertise capacities no larger than 12, 28, 60, and 124 GB and the Surface Pros could be named 23 and 83 GB." Wholly agreed. When I buy a box of 100 staples, I expect it to contain ~100 staples - not 50 because the other 50 are holding the box together.
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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 30th Jan 2013 01:00 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

When I buy a box of 100 staples, I expect it to contain ~100 staples - not 50 because the other 50 are holding the box together.

^^ Heh. That's funny.

Should it apply to laptops/desktops? My 750GB HD on my laptop had a large chunk for the OS and the recovery partition taken from it, but I also have the option of removing all that crap and installing whatever the hell I want. Of courses, most tablets don't have this option, but some do.

Also, updates can change things. hile I was only somewhat disappointed when my 8GB iPod Touch really had only 7GB, imagine my disappointment when an update took another 500MB, without adding any features I used, and then made it impossible to uninstall to get my space back.

THAT pisses me off.

Reply Score: 5

Really?
by ferrels on Wed 30th Jan 2013 01:04 UTC
ferrels
Member since:
2006-08-15

Asking for honesty in advertising is about as naive as asking politicians to be honest and transparent. But look on the bright side, at least memory chip makers are using honest numbers when stating capacity, but please don't tell them that because they might want to adopt the same tactics used by the HDD/SSD makers! LOL!

Edited 2013-01-30 01:07 UTC

Reply Score: 8

Let's also standardize on binary units.
by bhtooefr on Wed 30th Jan 2013 01:09 UTC
bhtooefr
Member since:
2009-02-19

GiB, not GB, when you're talking about 1073741824 bytes.

That way, all confusion is avoided.

Reply Score: 4

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

GiB, not GB, when you're talking about 1073741824 bytes.

That way, all confusion is avoided.


The "xiB" nomenclature was invented by HDD manufacturers just so they could lie about their capacities.

When I studied, 1GB meant 1073741824 bytes.

And it still does: https://www.google.com/search?q=1GB+in+bytes&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&...

Reply Score: 4

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

The "xiB" nomenclature was invented by HDD manufacturers just so they could lie about their capacities.


I don't know what input any hard drive manufacturers who had members in these organizations might have had might have had, but the binary prefixes (kibi/gibi/tebi/etc.) were developed by the IEC with support from the IEEE and CIPM (International Committee for Weights and Measures) due to concerns that the old "everybody knows kilo- means 1024 in the context of computers" attitude was proving problematic as computers became a more and more generally-used tool.

It's actually meant to SOLVE the problem you're complaining about... though more in the context of standards, research, and business. (People in related but different fields both saying 5GB but meaning different things)

When I studied, 1GB meant 1073741824 bytes.


...because people in computer science decided "Ehh... 1000? 1024? Close enough. Use the SI prefixes."

Personally, I think it'd make more sense to complain about wood measurements like 2x4 referring to the size they're cut before the wood is dried out.



Just because Google Calculator is still non-compliant with a definition standards bodies agreed on over a decade ago doesn't mean that should continue to be the case.

GiB is unambiguous. GB will become unambiguous when we stop abusing it to refer to powers of 1024.

Complain to the hard drive manufacturers (Good. Ditch GB) or to Microsoft (Not something I want. Keep GiB.) to get them to agree on a set of units.

Here's the NIST page on the topic:

http://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/binary.html

Edited 2013-01-30 05:42 UTC

Reply Score: 5

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

The problem is that the number of people who do not comply with the standard is larger than the people who do.

The situation is way more confusing now than it was before the standards bodies got involved. Because now you buy a 2TB HDD, and don't (apparently) get anywhere near that much free space when Windows tells you your drives capacity. I wonder how many calls HDD manufacturers get per day because of that issue alone.

due to concerns that the old "everybody knows kilo- means 1024 in the context of computers" attitude was proving problematic as computers became a more and more generally-used tool.


This is total bull$hit. There is almost no situation where knowing the number of bytes in a MB/GB is required in order to successfully use a computer.

People simply understood that they were copying 5MB, and the computer says they had 6MB free. No problems. In fact that's still how it works because Windows still uses the old definition of a GB.

Standards bodies, I think, overstepped their bounds. While they are responsible for setting standards, they should have sought the opinion of the major stakeholders before making the change they did. And if it transpired they could not at least get a majority YES vote, then it should not have happened.

Edited 2013-01-30 08:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

The problem is that the number of people who do not comply with the standard is larger than the people who do.


Yes, these uneducated people still need to be educated. Sadly, some of them are teachers - I've even seen university professors use "Gb" when they meant "GiB".

There is almost no situation where knowing the number of bytes in a MB/GB is required in order to successfully use a computer.


Let's try this. If you've got a 2 MB disk and you're downloading data at a rate of 8 KB per second; how long until you run out of space to store received data?

Possible answers include:
a) 2*1024*1024/(8*1024) = 256 seconds
b) 2*1000*1024/(8*1024) = 250 seconds
c) 2*1000*1000/(8*1024) = 244.14 seconds
d) 2*1024*1024/(8*1000) = 262.144 seconds
e) 2*1000*1024/(8*1000) = 256 seconds
f) 2*1000*1000/(8*1000) = 250 seconds

Note: Networking hardware typically uses "K = 1000" and hard drive manufacturers have a nasty habit of using "M = 1000*1024", so (e) is potentially the most likely answer, unless the disk is SSD or USB flash where (a) might be more likely, or the prefixes comply with international standards and (f) is the only right answer.


Standards bodies, I think, overstepped their bounds. While they are responsible for setting standards, they should have sought the opinion of the major stakeholders before making the change they did. And if it transpired they could not at least get a majority YES vote, then it should not have happened.


No. The use of "K = 1024" was always wrong and never complied with any standard (despite common usage). The common usage of "wrong" is likely to have been caused by laziness/convenience (e.g. it's easier to say "1 KB of RAM" and be wrong, and harder to say "1.024 KB of RAM" and be right).

The only thing the standards bodies did was create a more convenient alternative that is right (e.g. it's easy to "1 KiB of RAM" and be right and harder to say "1.024 KB of RAM" and be right).

But yes, some people aren't educated and prefer to remain wrong.

- Brendan

Reply Score: 4

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

Hi Brendan,

Congratulations on this years most arrogant and silly post so far. Don't get your hopes up though, the year is young.

Calling people uneducated simply because they dissagree with you makes you sound opinionated. Your reputation doesn't improve when you try to provide an example of why you're right, and only succeed in proving the opposite point.

I asked why anyone would need to know how many bytes there are in a MB/GB/TB.

You gave this silly and contrived example:

Let's try this. If you've got a 2 MB disk and you're downloading data at a rate of 8 KB per second; how long until you run out of space to store received data?

Possible answers include:
a) 2*1024*1024/(8*1024) = 256 seconds
b) 2*1000*1024/(8*1024) = 250 seconds
c) 2*1000*1000/(8*1024) = 244.14 seconds
d) 2*1024*1024/(8*1000) = 262.144 seconds
e) 2*1000*1024/(8*1000) = 256 seconds
f) 2*1000*1000/(8*1000) = 250 seconds


This is beyond laughable. When was the last time you needed to know how many seconds it would be until you ran out of disk space? When or why would anyone need to know this? How would it go: "Geez is it 244.14 seconds until I run out, or is it 250 seconds? I'd better work this out or else ... oh wait."

No. The use of "K = 1024" was always wrong


Why was it always wrong? It never complied with any standard, simply because there wasn't one. That doesn't make it wrong at all.

It did however have a de-facto standard that was in use by 100% of interested parties. That is a standard. It's not codified, but it is a standard.

But yes, some people aren't educated and prefer to remain wrong.


This statement tells a story about you. And it's not pretty.

Reply Score: 3

henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Network speeds are generally quoted in MegaBITS not BYTES and therefore the entire premise he made his comment based on was incorrect. If my Cable modem is providing me a 20Mb connection, that's 20 megabits, not 20 megabytes in old money (or migglebytes or whatever the crappy SI want's us to call it now.) So, 1Mb is 122KB in old money. There you go. I refuse to use the new prefixes based on the fact no one ever discussed it with the greater computer community and fcuked it up for all the software engineers that still deal with real computer hardware, which really does use base 2 and therefore the SI can go fcuk themselves.

Reply Score: 4

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

Amen

Reply Score: 1

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Congratulations on this years most arrogant and silly post so far. Don't get your hopes up though, the year is young.


May I assume you're trying to win back the crown?

Calling people uneducated simply because they dissagree with you makes you sound opinionated. Your reputation doesn't improve when you try to provide an example of why you're right, and only succeed in proving the opposite point.


But calling my post arrogant and silly just because it disagrees with you is awesome!

I asked why anyone would need to know how many bytes there are in a MB/GB/TB.


And I made up an example to highlight how things get more confusing once you start mixing different systems.

You gave this silly and contrived example:


And you completely missed the point. I'm still trying to figure out if you've deliberately missed the point, or if you're simply not smart enough to see it.

Why was it always wrong? It never complied with any standard, simply because there wasn't one. That doesn't make it wrong at all.


You can't see the difference between "no standard applies" and "misusing something that is both an established standard and common usage"?

Do you understand that "kilo" comes from the Greek word for "thousand" and was probably in use for centuries before it even became an international standard?

Can you see how this is like taking the word "dozen" and using it to mean "thirteen", then attempting to argue that it's correct to do so?

If your answer to the 3 questions above is "no", then I don't think it's reasonable for you to complain about me calling you uneducated.

- Brendan

Edited 2013-01-30 18:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Brendan,

Most everyone here should know that improper use of units is obviously ambiguous. The inconsistency is appalling when mixing units, but luckily that doesn't happen too often. Binary units crop up like a bad habit..some people can't help it, but as long as manufacturers and venders actually label their products using the correct SI units, I wouldn't make too big a fuss about incorrect usage in conversation.

Reply Score: 3

HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

And I made up an example to highlight how things get more confusing once you start mixing different systems.


Dear, oh dear. There were no different systems before the introduction of the new standard. The whole point of the question you tried to answer was that there was no need for it in the first place. You only proved that it is now confusing, because we have two.

Do you understand that "kilo" comes from the Greek word for "thousand" and was probably in use for centuries before it even became an international standard?

Can you see how this is like taking the word "dozen" and using it to mean "thirteen", then attempting to argue that it's correct to do so?


Yes Brendan, I do. However this kind of thing happens all the time, and is perfectly fine. In fact is specifically happens in the unfortunate example you gave. Maybe look up a "baker's dozen"?

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=bakers+dozen&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq...

Reply Score: 2

ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

The whole situation is unfortunate but not that important as we (geeks) paint it. I've been using binary prefixes in the past but nowadays I just stick to SI system. IMHO over time the use of "kilo=1024x" will become sort of a slang in niche markets.

There are many reasons for that:

"Kilo" has always meant "1000x". That's the concept 99% of users are familiar with. Yes, 20 years ago most users were geeks and had no problem with binary numbers but now we are a minority.

As you mentioned, "kilo" means "1000x" in all non data storage applications (e.g. networking). That's because all performance figures are derived e.g. from frequency, which has always been decimal (at least above 1 Hz).

Even in data storage applications, memory size is no longer tied to the size of a 2D array (overhead of error correction, framing added by interfaces etc.). So binary units are no longer better suited to measuring memory size.

Finally, most users don't care about it and the difference is small enough even at "tera" scale. We can just stick to a familiar decimal system and forget binary units altogether (which is already happening).

Myself, I have adopted following practices:
- I always use decimal prefixes when providing data.
- I check what the author has assumed when getting such data (unfortunate but unavoidable step anyway).
- If I absolutely have to use binary units (very rare now), I tend to write X*2^N rather than using "kibi" prefixes, which frankly speaking look even more geeky to me than use of kilo=1024x. Since such data are consumed by technical users it works just fine.

Reply Score: 2

KrustyVader Member since:
2006-10-28

Networking hardware typically uses "K = 1000"


They are also wrong, or not using the S. I. prefix. In S. I. the kilo prefix is lower case k, and uppercase case means Kelvin.


From a Mathematical point of view. b for bit is right, but byte shouldn't be B. The Mathematical scales are in uppercase when they represent the name of a scale that was named in honor of someone, and in lowercase for the rest. So stand for N = Newton, K = Kelvin, C = Celsius, Hz = Hertz, m = meter, s = seconds and so on.

But remember that in computer science we love to create a lots of standards that break every previous standards. And we write the scales the way they look better and not the way we should.

Reply Score: 2

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

"due to concerns that the old "everybody knows kilo- means 1024 in the context of computers" attitude was proving problematic as computers became a more and more generally-used tool.


This is total bull$hit. There is almost no situation where knowing the number of bytes in a MB/GB is required in order to successfully use a computer.
"

I already said they were focusing on business, research, and standards. Situations where a confusion in terminology could be expensive. (eg. If you pay for a supercomputer or space probe to be built and get less memory/storage/bandwidth than you intended or you're forced to go over budget because they specced more than you intended.)

Standards bodies, I think, overstepped their bounds. While they are responsible for setting standards, they should have sought the opinion of the major stakeholders before making the change they did. And if it transpired they could not at least get a majority YES vote, then it should not have happened.


Computer scientists overstepped their bounds in arbitrarily re-defining the meanings of the SI prefixes. This is just fixing the problem.

Reply Score: 4

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ssokolo,

This came up not long ago...
http://www.osnews.com/thread?546775

You are absolutely right, CS guys hijacking the SI units was a bad move and was rather shortsighted. We need to continue emphasizing the correct use of units. The industry is largely using the correct units now so I think we're headed in the right direction. Hopefully someday our descendents won't need to second guess what a unit means.

Edited 2013-01-30 18:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Computer scientists overstepped their bounds in arbitrarily re-defining the meanings of the SI prefixes. This is just fixing the problem.


It's not really a fix, though, because while 1kb = 1024b might be wrong, it was consistently applied. Once you start applying the fix, we have the situation where 1kb might be 1000b or it might be 1024b, and you have no way of knowing which one it is. You've replaced "wrong" with "mostly wrong and completely confusing".

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Delgarde,

"It's not really a fix, though, because while 1kb = 1024b might be wrong, it was consistently applied."

That's not really true. For storage, while the sector size is a power of 2, the number of sectors doesn't need to be whether we're talking floppy/hd/flash/etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floppy_disk#Sizes.2C_performance_and_c...

"For example, 1.44 MB 3 1⁄2-inch HD disks have the 'M' prefix peculiar to their context, coming from their capacity of 2,880 512-byte sectors (1,440 KiB), inconsistent with either a decimal megabyte nor a binary mebibyte (MiB). Hence, these disks hold 1.47 MB or 1.41 MiB."

Historically, we've never been consistent. 1k may mean 1024 or 1000, ethernet speeds were always speced using correct SI units. Hard disks might go both ways. RAM capacity is usually speced in binary units because it's one of the few cases where powers of 2 were technically advantageous/intrinsic.



"Once you start applying the fix, we have the situation where 1kb might be 1000b or it might be 1024b, and you have no way of knowing which one it is."


For one thing, "kb" implies kilobits, "kB" is for kilobytes, which is a different ambiguity all together.

The correct use of XiB units do nothing but remove ambiguity, it's illogical to argue otherwise. The more people who use them correctly, the better. It corrects the original mistake of having two meanings for one nomenclature. Ambiguity will continue to the extent that people refuse to adopt the XiB units, but honestly you can't say the XiB units caused this ambiguity.

Edited 2013-01-31 14:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

" The "xiB" nomenclature was invented by HDD manufacturers just so they could lie about their capacities.


I don't know what input any hard drive manufacturers who had members in these organizations might have had might have had, but the binary prefixes (kibi/gibi/tebi/etc.) were developed by the IEC with support from the IEEE and CIPM (International Committee for Weights and Measures) due to concerns that the old "everybody knows kilo- means 1024 in the context of computers" attitude was proving problematic as computers became a more and more generally-used tool.

It's actually meant to SOLVE the problem you're complaining about... though more in the context of standards, research, and business. (People in related but different fields both saying 5GB but meaning different things)

When I studied, 1GB meant 1073741824 bytes.


...because people in computer science decided "Ehh... 1000? 1024? Close enough. Use the SI prefixes."
"

Personally the whole XiB vs XB nomenclature is just confusing, and doesn't resolve the issue at all. Rather is just makes you have to pay attention to the fine print or lack thereof.

And yes, 1GB ought to simply mean its historical definition of 1024MB or 1024*1024 KB or 1024*1024*1024 bytes.

Simply put - it was for a long time evident that in communications the numbers were base-10 - 1000 bytes = 1 kB, and in computers the numbers were base-2 - 1024 bytes = 1KB. Adoption of the HDD manufacturers using the communications variant is what setup the whole mess, and the supposed solution doesn't resolve anything, just makes it worse especially as the computer definition - which all programmers are use to, and the vast majority programs are written to display - was redefined to the silly XiB nomenclature.

Reply Score: 2

Underhand, Overhead
by tomz on Wed 30th Jan 2013 01:18 UTC
tomz
Member since:
2010-05-06

FAT32, exFAT, NTFS have different overheads that shouldn't count.

I wouldn't count REMOVEABLE crapware.

But there's a lot of junk. I would prefer the thousands of drivers on a DVD -oh, wait, they got rid of them.

That said, why not number of bytes?

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Ravyne
by Ravyne on Wed 30th Jan 2013 02:53 UTC
Ravyne
Member since:
2006-01-08

I agree it would be nice to move to 'proper' gigibytes (that is to say, 1024^3 x 8 bits), especially as that's the natural base unit for flash memory. SSD vendors have been good (rightly so) about advertising total chip space less space reserved for redundancy.

I agree also that for things like tablets, phones, music players, etc. they should have to disclose the amount of usable space (say, space left with all default software and content, and space left with all optional stuff removed) on the packaging in some plainly-visible, back-of-the-box type location.

But it goes to far to try to account for the space consumed by various software distributions, file formats, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Ravyne
by ssokolow on Wed 30th Jan 2013 03:23 UTC in reply to "Comment by Ravyne"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I agree it would be nice to move to 'proper' gigibytes (that is to say, 1024^3 x 8 bits), especially as that's the natural base unit for flash memory. SSD vendors have been good (rightly so) about advertising total chip space less space reserved for redundancy.


It was decided that having "kilo/giga/terabyte" and "kB/GB/TB" referring to powers of 1024 was at odds with the rest of the SI unit system.

Hence why what we both agree to be 'proper' gigabytes are now called "gibibytes" (giga binary bytes) and use the abbreviation "GiB".

When I first discovered that, I didn't like it but, after thinking about it for a while, I decided it makes more sense this way. (The whole point of SI prefixes like giga- is that they're consistent)

Also, while I doubt you'd want to, it means you can confuse or amuse your friends by speaking of kibigrams and kibimeters if you want. (The only use I can think of for those units would probably be for stating representational limitations of variables in game engines and other computer-based physical simulations in a concise, intuitive fashion)

Edited 2013-01-30 03:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Crazy
by JLF65 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 04:03 UTC
JLF65
Member since:
2005-07-06

You see how crazy this is when you apply the same principle to other products. For example: Realtors should be held responsible because my 1200 square foot home only has 400 square feet of space after I moved in my furniture!

See? Crazy!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Crazy
by kwan_e on Wed 30th Jan 2013 04:28 UTC in reply to "Crazy"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

400 square feet of space after I moved in my furniture!


That's a stupid comparison, because the furniture you move in is YOURS *after* the purchase.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Crazy
by JLF65 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 05:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Crazy"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

It's a PERFECT comparison... unless you're suggesting I don't own the OS or apps or data on my own harddrive. ;)

My comparison is the items you NEED for proper usage of something take space from the whole, whether it be apps on a computer, or the washing machine in my house.

I can replace the OS on a computer/tablet, or use fewer apps if I want more space, much like I can get rid of the sofa or get a smaller chest if I want more room in my house.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Crazy
by HappyGod on Wed 30th Jan 2013 05:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Crazy"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

It's a PERFECT comparison... unless you're suggesting I don't own the OS or apps or data on my own harddrive. ;)

My comparison is the items you NEED for proper usage of something take space from the whole, whether it be apps on a computer, or the washing machine in my house.

I can replace the OS on a computer/tablet, or use fewer apps if I want more space, much like I can get rid of the sofa or get a smaller chest if I want more room in my house.


No it isn't. The advertised space of the house you buy is used almost exclusively for storing furniture YOU WANT. You can choose whether or not to install furniture, you might instead choose to fill your house entirely with jelly beans.

If you want to persist with the (wrong) analogy of a house. It would be the same as if you bought a 100sqm house, only to find that the sewerage pipes protrude from the wall and took up 30sqm, leaving only 70sqm available for furniture.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Crazy
by abstraction on Wed 30th Jan 2013 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Crazy"
abstraction Member since:
2008-11-27

No you are wrong. Petruding pipes would be some sort of hardware limitation. The furniture you don't want belongs to your girlfriend. Either you accept the situation or you get rid of her so you can replace her stuff with free and open furniture.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Crazy
by JLF65 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Crazy"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Furniture is most often NECESSARY, not wanted. For example, I don't WANT a washer or dryer... they are NECESSARY unless I wish to spend more money and time at a laundromat. I don't want a big dresser, but it's necessary for holding my clothes. I don't want a big OS, but depending on the device, I need it to do the work I need on the device.

I don't see why a couple of you can't see that this analogy is near perfect. Guess you don't do your own laundry, put your clothes away when they're clean, cook your own food, etc. When you move to your own place and start doing all this yourself, you'll finally understand what I'm talking about. ;) ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Crazy
by umccullough on Wed 30th Jan 2013 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Crazy"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I don't see why a couple of you can't see that this analogy is near perfect. Guess you don't do your own laundry, put your clothes away when they're clean, cook your own food, etc. When you move to your own place and start doing all this yourself, you'll finally understand what I'm talking about. ;) ;)


In the case of Windows Surface tablets - you don't even get a choice. You're stuck with what they supply on the tablet. Same with iOS devices, android tablets, and most smartphones.

That's the difference. These aren't generic storage devices that you can fill up however you need/want - these are devices which come preloaded with crap you can't get rid of, even if you don't need/want it.

This is why there needs to be a distinction between storage space and available storage space for such devices.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Crazy
by ssokolow on Thu 31st Jan 2013 03:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Crazy"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

Furniture is most often NECESSARY, not wanted. For example, I don't WANT a washer or dryer... they are NECESSARY unless I wish to spend more money and time at a laundromat. I don't want a big dresser, but it's necessary for holding my clothes. I don't want a big OS, but depending on the device, I need it to do the work I need on the device.


Devil's advocate: My family uses a clothesline to save money. We don't even have a dryer.

I still think it's a bad analogy.

Edited 2013-01-31 03:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Crazy
by kwan_e on Thu 31st Jan 2013 06:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Crazy"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I don't see why a couple of you can't see that this analogy is near perfect.


The analogy is completely wrong, because no one is complaining about the free space AFTER they put their stuff on the device. They are complaining about the space BEFORE they put their own stuff on the device.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Crazy
by Spiron on Wed 30th Jan 2013 07:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Crazy"
Spiron Member since:
2011-03-08

For a desktop computer perhaps, but when it comes to phones and tablets where storage space is a LARGE factor in what model you buy then it becomes a must. If microsoft are advertising 64GB tablets then I damn well expect it to come with close that amount of space for me to use not have over half the advertised space taken away

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Crazy
by Kancept on Wed 30th Jan 2013 15:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Crazy"
Kancept Member since:
2006-01-09

OK, it came furnished. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 06:22 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

So you buy an 28 GB iPhone, 28 GB free, 4 for iOS and default apps.

iOS 7 arrived, taking up 5 GB. Now you have a 28 GB iPhone that can hold 27 GB.

Same for hard/ss disks. They may hold the OS when bought, but you can take them out and format them as data disk.

A new OS or updated one will also mess up this proposed system.

We all know now you have less free space than the advertised full capacity. Why confuse things?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by Bishi on Wed 30th Jan 2013 09:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
Bishi Member since:
2009-08-27

Amazon solves this issue pretty well with their Kindles. When I bought a Kindle 4, specs showed storage as "2 GB total storage space, 1.2 GB available for user content". That way there is no confusion.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 09:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yes, that's pretty clear, but what happens if the system software gets updates? Or does the kindle have 2 separate storage areas for system software and user content?

Selling stuff telling how much storage space is free for the user sounds nice, but it will become confusing once the products receives updates and the numbers change.

I know it sucks to buy a 16 GB flash drive and finding out it can't hold 15 GB of data, but it is even more confusing when a storage medium can not hold only less, but also more than advertised depending on what it is used for, what filesystem you are using and if it holds an operating system what updates do to available storage.

Right now most people (should) know that a storage medium has less free space than advertised. That's not cool, but it's easy to remember and be aware off.

But I do think this Microsoft Surface thing makes this more complicated, because there is now a huge difference between advertised storage space and actual useable.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510
by Bishi on Wed 30th Jan 2013 10:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510"
Bishi Member since:
2009-08-27

If an update changes the user space available, you simply change the specs. If changing the available user space is something expected, the specs should also point that out.

As you say, this issue isn't very important when the space taken isn't relevant (no one complains when Windows 8 uses 20 GB in a 1 TB HDD). But advertising 64 GB and leaving only 23 GB for users isn't fair. Same with the 8 GB Nexus 7, it only leaves out 5,5 GB free.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

i totally agree, but I mean this:

You bought a 16 GB iPhone 3GS a few years ago. Let's say iOS 4, with which it came IIRC, and the default apps use up 3 GB, so it should be sold as a 13 GB iPhone 3GS. But then iOS 5 arrives at 4 GB and then iOS 6 and 5 GB. Then would mean a 13 GB iPhone 3GS has 16 GB of storage, but can hold only 11 GB of user content.

If we kept the system as it is it would remain a 16 GB iPhone 3GS and we would/should know if you update it you may have less storage available for other stuff.

So why not sell Surface and that Nexus for what they are, but put a note on the website or in the store indicating how much memory is available for users. If the OS gets upgraded and things change it remains the same device, you should change the note.

If you introduce this new system, you will still have devices from the old one. I already find it confusing a GB or TB can have different values with regards to hard disks depending on the manufacturer and date. Now a GB on a hard disk != to a GB of RAM or sometimes it is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Bishi on Wed 30th Jan 2013 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Bishi Member since:
2009-08-27

So in essence we are saying the same thing: everyone should know what they are buying, and what they can do with the device.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 10:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Yes, I think that's universally good advice.

And I just want to keeps things simple and correct. Stating the total storage amount is more simple (it's 100% correct) than stating the amount of free space, which can change with updates to the system.

Maybe Microsoft will make their Windows install in Surface smaller after people complain regarding the free space. Then a 18 GB Surface would be able to hold 22 GB. It would make even less sense than a 16 GB device being able to store 12 of user content.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by AWdrius on Wed 30th Jan 2013 11:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
AWdrius Member since:
2006-07-18

So why don't they do what you suggested in the first place: have different storage space for system and user data. It's not that partitions were invented yesterday, right? Why not put two separate flash chips instead of one? They would be smaller than one big, presumably cheaper too. This way there would be no confusion, user uses user (too many users...) space which size wouldn't depend on any update size, new OS version size, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 11:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I guess it would it make less easier and memory the OS doesn't use it wasted yet you paid for it. Also I don't think it would make things smaller, bigger probably which isn't cool for companies that make stuff as thin as possible.

IIRC iOS does have a separate OS partition, but it's just part of the total memory.

In general this all wasn't such a big deal, but Microsoft Surface made a huge gap between total and available storage memory.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by MOS6510
by AWdrius on Wed 30th Jan 2013 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by MOS6510"
AWdrius Member since:
2006-07-18

Easier or not is not a question here. If I, lowly software engineer, can install a second drive, partition it, choose where and how to install OS, I highly doubt that Microsoft, Google, [insert company name here] cannot automate this process.

Now your argument might, *might*, apply to smartphones, etc. Even then when device is engineered they know which parts they are going to use, what OS they are going to install. Splitting that space for dedicated usage is the easy part. How to sell that device - that is the question, and thus far it seems that the easiest way is to lie to the consumers.

You are saying that consumers should be aware of this misinformatio, why should he/she? At the end you will get the available space, right? So why lie and frustrate people who might choose to avoid future products of the said company.

My point is that if something is wrong and everybody are used to that wrong, should it stay that way or would you rather do something about it?

Edited 2013-01-30 11:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510
by WorknMan on Wed 30th Jan 2013 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by MOS6510"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

As you say, this issue isn't very important when the space taken isn't relevant (no one complains when Windows 8 uses 20 GB in a 1 TB HDD).


Actually, I do, and I have been bitching about it since Vista. Windows XP was around 1gb installed (give or take a few hundred megs), whereas Vista ballooned up to 15gb. They didn't put 14gb worth of features in there, so I wanna know WTF is taking up all that space.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by MOS6510
by Bishi on Wed 30th Jan 2013 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by MOS6510"
Bishi Member since:
2009-08-27

I don't understand it either.

My point was that the percentage taken by a Win 8 install on a 1 TB hard disk is less than the one taken by a Win XP install on a 40 GB disk. So, while my computer engineer brain can't understand it, my standard user brain is OK with it.

Reply Score: 2

If Advertisers Were Honest
by Brendan on Wed 30th Jan 2013 13:11 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

If advertisers were honest they'd advertise the hardware's capacity and the systems remaining usable space. For example, a phone might be advertised as having "4 GiB total, 2 GB usable".

If you're only going to advertise one of these values, then it should be the value that is most important to consumers who are trying to compare your product with other/similar products. What users care about most is how much of their own data they could store, so (for a phone) this would be the amount of usable space left over (2 GB for the example above, and not 4 GiB).

- Brendan

Reply Score: 2

Weeell
by vaette on Wed 30th Jan 2013 13:56 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

I think there is some truth here, but on the other hand it seems to me like Microsoft does the right thing in shipping the Surface with a full recovery partition that the user can easily remove if they prefer. If they are forced to advertise only free disk space on delivery they would no doubt remove that option and just offer the recovery as a download, which is strictly worse for the consumer.

Reply Score: 2

A better proposal
by Alfman on Wed 30th Jan 2013 18:36 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Why not just list both the total disk space as well as usable disk space?

Edit: I dislike Arment's proposal on the basis that it invents a new form of ambiguity between his definition and current industry practice, consider:

"23GB windows tablet versus 32GB apple tablet"

Are these specs for total disk space? Usable space? Are both tablets measuring the same thing?

I hereby propose a new unit, the Arment, abbreviated ar:

1KarB = 1 thousand usable bytes
1MarB = 1 million usable bytes
1GarB = 1 billion usable bytes

So...
"23GarB window tablet versus 32GB apple tablet"

Ah, the units tell us that we're comparing apples to oranges...which means they've done their job well. ;)

Also, the FCC might mandate ISPs to publish Arment units as well to distinguish between theoretical throughput and actual throughput "With HappyClownISP, you'll get amazingly fast 55Mb/s connectivity (10Marb/s)"

Edited 2013-01-30 18:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: A better proposal
by Doc Pain on Thu 31st Jan 2013 07:16 UTC in reply to "A better proposal"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Why not just list both the total disk space as well as usable disk space?


So first we have: 1000 vs. 1024 factor.

Furthermore: total vs. usable disk space.

To extend this idea, you could the consideration of "gross available disk space" vs. "net available disk space", where "gross" refers to actually usable "bytes in storage" (hard disk or SSD), and "net" refers to capacity to be used or occupied by actual user data. This means, "gross" includes metadata for storing user data, and "net" includes only the user data (music files, image files, movie files and so on). So data written to disk (from the "usable disk space" portion) can be treated including or excluding file system overhead, journaling data, checksums, indexing metadata and so on.

So for your actual files, you can mention the exact space available by subtracting the "non-user usable" occupation of the disk (mostly operating system) and the management overhead (mostly file system metadata) and then apply the correct SI or 2^10 unit prefix.

;-)

Reply Score: 2

This was never a problem before Microsoft
by toast88 on Wed 30th Jan 2013 21:34 UTC
toast88
Member since:
2009-09-23

Honestly, I don't understand the fuss.

This discrepancy has never been a problem. It's absolutely natural that you lose _some_ of the built-in memory to the operating system.

But it was Microsoft who went too far. It's a huge different whether the operating system takes less than 5% of the total disk space as compared taking more than 60%.

Please don't throw Apple, Google and all the other sane software companies into the same bag. It's Microsoft who are nuts in porting a fully fledged desktop operating system onto a mobile device, not the other computers.

Move everything related to Windows 8 and Surface to the trashcan and start from scratch.

Adrian

Reply Score: 3

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

But it was Microsoft who went too far. It's a huge different whether the operating system takes less than 5% of the total disk space as compared taking more than 60%.


Agreed. Sure, it's impossible to draw a line between what's acceptable and what's not, but few people will be upset if a small proportion of their advertised storage is eaten up by the system. Losing more than half of that storage is a rather different matter.

Reply Score: 3

xiB vs. xB
by astroraptor on Thu 31st Jan 2013 13:38 UTC
astroraptor
Member since:
2005-07-22

You know, I always thought it was funny that hard drives were listed as physical bytes vs. logical bytes. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I prefer xB over xiB, the latter of which I find a little silly. Tablets and phones should come with the advertized amount of data available to the user. That only makes sense to me. The mentality isn't the same for me as a hard drive for a computer. Since you can't install any other OS to the device (without hacking anyway), then you really don't have 64GB (59.6GiB ;) ) available to you personally.

Reply Score: 1

RE: xiB vs. xB
by Alfman on Thu 31st Jan 2013 15:14 UTC in reply to "xiB vs. xB"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

astroraptor,

"You know, I always thought it was funny that hard drives were listed as physical bytes vs. logical bytes. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I prefer xB over xiB, the latter of which I find a little silly."

I think I see what people are getting stuck over. Is it that you don't want to see consumer products switching to xiB units? I can understand your reluctance, however it's slightly unfounded because most electronics are already being sold with the correct SI units, so consumers would not have to undergo a "switch" at all.

IE, when you buy a "1TB harddisk", it's *already* correct with respect to SI unit scaling and so it doesn't need to convert to 0.91TiB or anything "silly" like that.

The only place a consumer conversion to xiB units would be appropriate IMHO would be RAM capacities since these are the only components which are genuinely manufactured with capacities in powers of 2 and thus xiB units are an exact representation.

Edited 2013-01-31 15:24 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Two Disks
by dionicio on Fri 1st Feb 2013 00:00 UTC
dionicio
Member since:
2006-07-12

What about a disk for Google Inc. or whatever to install, check and update and another disk for you? There are really small new form factors.

Reply Score: 1

darkcoder
Member since:
2006-07-14

That buss is kind of pointless. It have been on computers for ages. Most low cost computers come with integrated graphic solutions that take a chunk of memory from the system. In other words, a computer with 4 GB of RAM end up with 3.0-3.5 GB available for users depending on the integrated solution. And again, this have been the case for AGES.

Edited 2013-02-01 18:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2