Standards: IEC Giga [re: FreeBSD image size confusion]

RW rwmaillists at
Sun Mar 14 01:23:32 UTC 2021

On Sat, 13 Mar 2021 15:52:45 -0700
@lbutlr wrote:

> On 13 Mar 2021, at 15:07, grarpamp <grarpamp at> wrote:
> > "giga" = "G" = decimal prefix, powers of ten, 10^, base 10
> > underlying "gibi" = "Gi" = binary prefix, powers of two, 2^, base 2
> > underlying  
> It will be a decade or three before we know if this shakes out the
> way that ISO is trying to force on people. The simple fact is that GB
> has been used for a binary number for decades, just as MB and KB, and
> the moved from MB = 2^20 to MB = 1,000,000 was driven by Hard drive
> manufacturers who wanted to market their 100MB drives as 104MB to
> fool people into thinking the drives were larger than they were.

Proper standards based multipliers have long since been preferred by
hardware engineers wherever feasible. The misuse of decimal multipliers
is limited to a few things where size is related to access by address
lines, such as RAM, and only there for want of anything better. 

People who think this is driven by marketing typically have very
limited experience. It's not just hard drives, telecoms also
uses SI multipliers, as does the rest of engineering and science - your
preferred misuse is the exception.

The existence of proper binary multipliers is long overdue. 


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