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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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

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