Avoid confusion - use appropriate unit prefixes!

In my case Dashboard shows I have a 2.07 TB of storage (1.88 TB actual*)

But drobo Dashboard mixes two different things!

To avoid confusion Drobo Dashboard should differentiate between Decimal prefixes and Binary prefixes.


So drobo Dashboard should show this:
2.07TB of storage (1.88 TiB)

Using the same prefix for decimal and binary units makes unnecessary confusion.

Please correct this.

While that’s technically correct, it does not reflect common (or historical) usage, and IMHO would cause more confusion than the current phrasing. In the past 15 years, I’ve discussed bits, bytes, nibbles, and obscure mainframe gubbins, but I have never heard “MibiByte” or “GibiByte” in spoken conversation.

Can you even say “MibiByte” with a straight face? I can’t. :slight_smile:

posted from my MacBook with 2 GibiBytes of RAM running Mac OS Ten Ten point Five point Eight.

I don’t have a problem with binary prefixes. :smiley:

The problem has an easy solution:
The OS needs to start using SI prefixes correctly. Linux already does!

Yes, that is a good start, but until harddrive manufacturers start using the correct SI-prefixes and not the prefix that gives them the highest number users will still complain about that the OS don’t detect the full size of the harddrive…

@dowser: I was just about to say that.

Also most users don’t know the difference between decimal and binary.

But it would still be good to state the correct SI format when it accually is stated as accual
It can hardly be more confusing to use the correct SI-format than using two different defenitions for the same acronym in the same sentence…

Things are even more confusing now that Snow Leopard calculates drive space, file size, etc. in decimal. So for me my Dashboard (when it works) shows a DIFFERENT space used total than my Finder.

I wouldn’t mind if Drobo updated the dashboard to show capacity in decimal GB/TB.

Yeah, I’m advocating that all OSes should allow display of both.
I recently realized that my TiVo’s web interface calculates GB in decimal (ie, 1 GB = 1 billion bytes), which made me paranoid when I was downloading files because a 7.16 GB file (according to TiVo) downloaded as a 6.51 GB (according to Windows)… I restarted a download that was actually complete before I realized why there was a discrepancy.

Yes, I definitely would like consistency, even if it’s wrong…


Mixing GiB and GB as equal units is the worst case.

I think the best solution would be to let users choose decimal or binary representation of disc space.

Therefore anyone could set it as they like.

its probably as hard disks continue to grow, and the difference between decimal and binary grows ever larger, and users care less and less about the underlying storage mechanism, it would probably be simplest if everything and everyone counted in decimal (as snow leopard now does)

[quote=“Docchris, post:10, topic:303”]it would probably be simplest if everything and everyone counted in binary (as snow leopard now does)
You meant decimal, right? :slight_smile:

damn yes, that was what i meant, im dyspraxic and sometimes get muddled when i rush things… think one thing and write another!

it would be easiest if everyone just gave up on counting in binary… it means nothing to most computer users out there anyway:

there’s only 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who don’t

Unfortunately, you have that backwards. The SI prefixes require kilo to mean 1000 and not 1024, and mega to mean 1,000,000 and not 1,048,576, etc. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilobyte, as well as http://www.bipm.org/utils/en/pdf/si-brochure.pdf, page 103, marginal note, which states “These SI prefixes refer strictly to powers of 10. They should not be used to indicate powers of 2 (for example, one kilobit represents 1000 bits and not 1024 bits).”

Therefore, the hard-drive manufacturers are already using the correct SI prefixes.

Dobo Dashboard says that I have 1.5 TB + 1.5 TB + 500 GB + 500 GB = 4.0 TB (3.63 TB Actual*). You have a * indicating that there should be an explanation somewhere (not that I could find it). Since the drobo software explicitly uses BOTH units with the SAME prefix, I have NO IDEA which unit is used in the graph bellow. This is bad UI design and somewhat confusing.

It seems like it would be incridbly simple to tweak the strings in the dashboard UI to say 1.5 TB + 1.5 TB + 500 GB + 500 GB = 4.0 TB (3.63 TiB*) and if necessary switch the reported unit in the graph bellow. To further clean up the UI, I would detect the unit used by the underlying OS (Snow Leopard, Linux: SI unit. Everything else: binary unit) and display that on the graph bellow. And for a bit of polish I’d render the graph just like iTunes.

If you hover your mouse over the part, there will be window that opens up and explains the “*”.