Ubuntu fixes disk capacity bug

Snow Leopard converted to base-10 last year, provoking digerati outrage. Now Linux distro Ubuntu 10.04, "Lucid Lynx" is following. When will Microsoft get with the program?
Written by Robin Harris, Contributor

Snow Leopard converted to base-10 last year, provoking digerati outrage. Now Ubuntu 10.04, "Lucid Lynx" a Linux distro, is following.

And the CPU-centric traditionalists are cranky. Get over it: for 200 years kilo has meant 1,000 and it's time for computer nerds to join the rest of the human race.

The problem with base 2 Drive vendors have always measured capacity in the proper SI units of 10^n. Because CPUs access RAM in bytes, words and longwords - all powers of 2 - many long-time computer users got used to thinking of kilo, mega, giga and so on as base 2 prefixes.

But they aren't. The French invented the metric system in the 1780s and all its units have always been based on 10 - not 2.

We could all ignore the difference when talking about megabytes, but as we move into the Petabyte and beyond era, the percentage difference between base 2 and base 10 keeps growing:

This has to be fixed. Changing to how disk vendors have always measured it is the right way to go.

BTW, Ubuntu allows users to change the default to the old geezertech model. When will Microsoft get the memo?

The Storage Bits take The enterprise has been enduring the consumerization of tech for 3 decades. Now the same is happening to early adopters.

The arguments are always the same: the (PC, NetWare, SATA) isn't good enough. And the old guard always loses because in America, if it is cheaper and mostly does the job, we go with it.

But this shift is more significant because it is another signal that the CPU-centric era is coming to an end. Oh, we'll keep buying CPUs, but as Apple is demonstrating, who really cares what makes their iPhone or iPad go?

We're moving into a data and storage-centric world. The only reason people buy CPUs and networks is to access data they care about, be that videos, spreadsheets, games or web sites.

99.9% of the market could care less that CPUs access RAM in powers of 2 - they don't even know there's a difference. They just want their computer to agree with what is on the disk drive box.

Kudos to Ubuntu for joining the 21st century.

Comments welcome, of course. I changed my mind on this issue after seeing how it confused civilians in the small town where I live. See Your capacity will vary for my old view and Snow Leopard fixes disk capacity bug for the new and improved me.

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