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Thread: Hard drive rip-offs...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Lightbulb Hard drive rip-offs...

    Having just read the thread started by nottynut, regarding his lost 8Gb of hard drive space, it led me to thinking...

    If a "40Gb" hard drive is equal to 40 x 1000 x 1000 x 1000 = 40 000 000 000


    40Gb is really equal to 40 x 1024 x 1024 x 1024 = 42949672960

    ... then surely hard drive manufacturers are breaking the law.

    Here in the UK we have a legislation called "The Weights and Measures Act, 1985", which was introduced to protect consumers from being ripped-off when purchasing items, ensuring they were the right size, weight, or volume.

    If I am right, then surely the like of Seagate, Maxtor, and IBM shouldn't be allowed to continue to falsely advertise their products...?

    ...anyway, just a thought.


  2. #2

    here in the US. . .

    here in the USA we have several laws on false advertising,
    but what companies are doing is not false advertising it is just manipualtion.
    they are advertising 40gigs with their definition of a gigabyte
    they are not using the actual 1024 measurement
    it is merely a lack of standardization
    soon enough the byte, kbyte, megabyte, ect
    will be set a specific standard but until that hapens
    i can say my hard drive holds 800 gigabytes, because i define gigabyte as about 50 megs
    in the end it is just interpretation of the fact

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Manufacturers usually print "their" definition of a gigabyte on the box (ie 1000x1000...)


    PS: I think I remember reading a post here about diffrences of the computer vs scientific definition of sizeing prefixes which could justify the use of giga as 1000x1000x1000...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Yup... there it is (from Negative):


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    wait till you start adding in the factory tolerances for bad sectors....
    (I hear technicians all the time, telling me every drive had bad sectors... strangely enough this is not true)

    On consumer end products, especially hard drives you see a lot of this, the tolerances from the factory for what is sellable are quite easy. Have you ever wondered why even Compaq's higher end storageworks market is still pushing 9.1's and 18.2's.... even though theyre manufactured, you dont really see too much marketing push for the 36.4's....

    of course not, Compaq covers their business end with an insanely good policy, they dont push the larger drives because they are more failure prone, the tolerances for bad sectors and such are much stricter from the factory, and the size specification is closer to true scientific (they too unfortunately are off by a couple of bytes, but less than most).

    Not that I'm pushing as a compaq advocate, IBM does the same for their business end.... but then again the pricing is higher because of this.

    Yes, most components are cheaper now, especially at the consumer end. The business products are still highly priced, but worth the extra $$ simply for the reliability and support in my opinion.

    but then again, it still pisses me off that my 40 gig hard drive from CompUSA isnt really 40 gig, and will probably die within two years of installation...

    what can ya do......

    I\'ll preach my pessimism right out loud to anyone that listens!
    I\'m not afraid to be alive.... I\'m afraid to be alone.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    what the heck!

    1024b = 1mb
    1 gb = 1000mb
    40gb = 400000mb

    so what's wrong with this stuff???
    \"The more you ignore me... the closer i get!\"

  7. #7
    Old-Fogey:Addicts founder Terr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Seattle, WA
    The problem is nobody ever made a legal-holding definition of a giga/mega-bytes. It's like a company saying their product is 50% fat free. That doesn't mean that 50% IS fat, it's just one of those things that nobody really knows about that is just an *indicator*. I mean, it would be rediculous to expect a down-to-the-ones numerically-precise number.

    I think the International Standards Organization is pushing for two different scales. Megabytes and Gigabytes, etc, would be on scales based on powers of TEN, whereas Mebibytes and Gibibytes would be on powers of 2...

    In other words, one uses 1000-fold differences between prefixed-measurements, the other uses 1024-fold differences. Nobody ever really laid down the law on which one was correct, AFAIK. It's just a marketing thing, it sound more impressive using the 1000-fold definition.

    The solution? Look carefully on the box or call the company and ask!!!

    Originally posted by protocool
    what the heck!

    1024b = 1mb
    1 gb = 1,000mb
    40gb = 400,000mb

    so what's wrong with this stuff???
    40 * 1,000 != 400,000
    40 * 1,000 = 40,000

    1 gb != 1000mb !

    1 kb = 1024b
    1 mb = 1024kb
    1 gb = 1024mb
    40 gb = 40,960mb
    [HvC]Terr: L33T Technical Proficiency

  8. #8
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    The reason for the difference is pragmatic.

    it's a lot easier to calculate with scale 10 than with 2.

    2  = 1 byte
    2     = 1024
    2     = 1024 x 1024 = 1048576
     30                                      9
    2     = 1024 x 1024 x 1024 = 1.0737 x 10
    the last calculation is the real size of 1 000 000 000 (giga) bytes, in bytes
    so it's a lot easier to use the simple calculations:

    1000 b ~ 1Kb
    1000 Kb ~ 1Mb
    1000 Mb ~ 1Gb

    And if you want a drive of let's say 8Gb buy one which states on the label 8.4 GB
    the same goes 72 Gb --> 73.2Gb ...

    How bigger the drive how more the difference in calutation will show up and how more 'space' you will lose.

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