Re: GB vs. MB

Olaf Titz (
28 Nov 1996 09:19:25 +0100

Rob Hagopian <> wrote:
> Linux shouldn't sucumb to such a low level. When I see MB come out of
> linux, I expect it to mean MegaByte (2^20). When I see it in an ad, that's
> when I expect it to mean MarketingByte (10^6 :-).

Let me second this notion. Traditionally, "kilo" means 2^10 and "mega"
2^20 for storage sizes. This is not consistent with standardized
units, but it's consistent _within this special application_. So keep
it consistent.

This question comes up every few months, there has even been a
proposal to amend the SI specifications for 2^10-based prefixes to
resolve the ambiguity... It doesn't help that "kilo" is 10^3 again
when measuring network bandwidth, but for storage size it is well

As for hard disk sizes, I've gotten used to take the marketed size as
an estimate only. ;-)


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