Subject: Re: "k"bytes or "K"bytes?
To: None <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Greg A. Woods <email@example.com>
Date: 10/24/1999 14:27:07
[ On Sunday, October 24, 1999 at 11:21:22 (-0400), der Mouse wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: "k"bytes or "K"bytes?
> I have seen it said that proper SI usage is to use upper case for
> positive powers of ten (deca-, hecta-, kilo-, mega-, etc) and lower
> case for negative powers of ten (deci-, centi-, milli-, micro-, etc).
Yes, I believe upper case abbreviations are preferred (or perhaps even
required) by SI for metric measurements.
I strongly prefer that the abbreviations for kilobytes be written as
'KB', kilobits as 'Kb', etc.
I suppose the case difference only really matters for 'mega-'
vs. 'milli-', and since a 'millibit', or even a 'millibyte' doesn't
really exist this differentiation doesn't really matter. Of course the
appearance of uppper case does help indicate that the prefix is a
multiplier -- it makes things bigger. In any case I believe the need
for consistency with SI in the abbreviations is paramount here even
though "our" kilo isn't exactly 1000! ;-)
> Since there is no negative power of ten for "k", there is no ambiguity,
> so in a practical sense it doesn't matter. Since many-to-most of our
> uses of K (or k) are for 1024 rather than 1000 anyway, we are bending
> the SI rules already, so I'm inclined to ignore the whole issue.
The whole idea of accounting for computer storage in units of 1000
bytes, or even worse 1000 bits, is so alien, disgusting, and meaningless
to me that I'd prefer just to stomp it out! ;-) I sure don't want to
give it any credence by commonly refering to it as 'kB' or 'kb'
Greg A. Woods
+1 416 218-0098 VE3TCP <firstname.lastname@example.org> <robohack!woods>
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