Subject: Re: "k"bytes or "K"bytes?
To: NetBSD Kernel Technical Discussion List <>
From: Greywolf <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 10/24/1999 11:48:17
On Sun, 24 Oct 1999, Greg A. Woods wrote:

# [ 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.

10^|N| measurements, yes, except that kilo is the exception to the rule.
I learned it as 'k' in 1974 when we were starting to learn the metric

# I strongly prefer that the abbreviations for kilobytes be written as
# 'KB', kilobits as 'Kb', etc.

I don't really care, but kbps or kBps seems actually easier for me to type

# 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!  ;-)

SI says 'k', not 'K'.

# 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'
# respectively.

We, then, need to teach this to the disk manufacturers who list them as
"18GB" when they really mean "18,000,000,000 bytes" (which is 16.8GB as we
(and 'df') know it).

NetBSD: Perpetual performance!