Computer capacity unities converter

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6 Votes • 3 Comments
When I write 1Mb to Kb (for example), DuckDuckGo returns exacly this: 1 megabyte = 1,000 kilobytes. Shouldn't it be 1024 kilobytes?

(I'm using the portuguese version of DuckDuckGo)

EDIT: Sorry for any bad english :(
• posted 3 years and 4 months ago Improvement

There is a distinction to be made. "Kilo", "Mega", "Giga" are metric prefixes that mean 10^3, 10^6 and 10^9. However; a "KiB" (kibibyte) or "MiB" (mebibyte) are indeed multiples of 1024 as they are binary prefixes.

Kilo = 10^3 = 1 000 bytes
Mega = 10^6 = 1 000 000 bytes

Kibi = 2^10 = 1024 bytes
Mebi = 2^20 = 1 048 576 bytes

The metric prefixes are widely used in engineering professions, and as such they coincide with the engineering notation that we use. Sadly, marketing from storage companies (notably - hard disk manufacturers) has led the mass population to believe that a kilobyte is actually 1024 bytes.

Arguably, saying "kibi" and "mebi" is less attractive than "kilo" and "mega", but the distinction still exists - metric prefixes are expressed in powers of ten while binary prefixes are expressed in powers of two.

Therefore, DuckDuckGo is returning the correct value. :)
posted by proxion 3 years and 4 months ago Link
Just to chime in here; this one was one of the decisions around the unit conversion that was very difficult to settle. We opted for the "correct" answer, however it's essentially ambiguous.

For the record the binary prefixes are also available:
posted by mintsoft Community Leader3 years and 4 months ago Link
This comment has been removed for violation of our forum rules.
posted by <hidden> • 3 years and 4 months ago