Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
August 17th, 2004



As of this post, units of measure for the amount of data will be written with binary prefixes (IEC 60027-2, IEEE 1541-2002), rather than the standard SI/Metric prefixes.

What’s all that jargon mean? It means that, when I’m talking about the size of my hard disk, I’ll say 37.2 GiB, not 37.2 GB.


After all, the letter i needs a little more attention.


  1. Eric thinks that he can spite me by taking up all the space on pX. What he seems to forget is that I decide whether his blog even makes it onto there. Plus: A little ...


  1. Actually, hard drives are measured in decimal megabytes; not binary. So 37.2 GB (= 37,200,000,000 bytes) is actually correct. It's memory that is naturally a power of two, and should get the binary prefix. (1 GiB of memory = 1,073,741,824 bytes.) There's nothing about the structure of a hard drive that makes it naturally a power of two.

  2. That’s very interesting; I’ve never heard that before. Apparently it’s now in the Wikipedia article on binary prefixes. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Unfortunately, most readers of my blog won’t see your informative comment because you actually posted a comment on a one-year-old entry here. In the future, you might want to post the comment to a more recent entry (i.e. one on the front page), and link to this entry, so that others will benefit from this discussion.