Home > Apple, Hardware, Information Technology, Technology > Apple defies IEC, IEEE specs – tries to redefine HDD space units

Apple defies IEC, IEEE specs – tries to redefine HDD space units

“With the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple has updated a support document describing how their new operating system reports capacities of hard drives and other media.

It has sided with hard drive makers, who for years have advertised capacities as ‘1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes’ instead of the traditional computer science definition, and in so doing has kicked the debate between marketing and computer science into high gear.

Binary prefixes for binary units (e.g. GiB for ‘gibibyte’) have been promoted by the International Electrotechnical Commission and endorsed by IEEE and other standards organizations, but to date there’s been limited acceptance (though manufacturers have wholeheartedly accepted the ‘new’ definitions for GB and TB).

Is Apple’s move the first major step in forcing computer science to adopt the more awkward binary prefixes, breaking decades of accepted (if technically inaccurate) usage of SI prefixes?”

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  1. August 30, 2009 at 8:46 pm
  2. February 3, 2015 at 1:12 am

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