[mythtv-users] seagate giving refunds out

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Sat Dec 8 01:23:58 UTC 2007

On 12/07/2007 06:20 PM, Brad DerManouelian wrote:
> On Dec 7, 2007, at 3:15 PM, David Brodbeck wrote:
>> On Dec 7, 2007, at 1:44 PM, Michael T. Dean wrote:
>>>>  It's like getting caught in a speed trap.
>>> When you're driving the speed limit, as posted in MPH--say 60MPH--and
>>> the police officer says you're doing 96.56064 because he has his  
>>> speed gun set to display in KPH.
>> I think that argument goes both ways.  Seagate picked the figures
>> that looked best on the box, instead of using the units people are
>> used to seeing and assume will be used.

Well, I guess they could have completely lied about the units and said,
"Holds 466GB" for a 500GB disk (that holds 466GiB) so that the ignorant
get what they think they purchased and the educated get more than
expected, so the manufacturer doesn't get a hand cut off (i.e. get
sued).  Kind of an, "Assize of Disks and Drives" (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assize_of_Bread_and_Ale and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baker%27s_dozen ).

Personally, I'd love to see them start putting, "Holds 466GiB," on the
box and do a major on-air (radio and TV) advertising campaign that
stresses pronunciation...  "Holds an amazing 466 gi-BEE-bytes of data!" 
"The new 698 gib-BEE-byte perpendicular hard drive."  "Now you can get
0.909 te-BEE-bytes of data on a single drive!"

Or, maybe we should just have them label storage capacity in bytes so
it's unambiguous.  Oh, wait!  That won't work because byte has
historically been used to refer to various amounts of data ranging from
5 to 12 bits.  So, if someone bought a 750,156,374,016 byte disk*, they
may be disappointed to find out it has only 6,001,250,992,128 bits (per
the 8-bit byte) rather than 7,501,563,740,160 bits (as it would using a
10-bit byte, a.k.a., a "deckle") but others may be delighted to find it
has more than 3,750,781,870,080 bytes (as it would using a 5-bit byte,
a.k.a. a "nickle").

Guess we'll have to have them use the bit capacity.  (I sure hope "bit"
doesn't have any alternate historical meanings.)  Then, consumers can
walk into a store and say, "Do you have a 6,001,250,992,128 bit drive?" 
Of course, saying that out loud is tiring, so the consumers will find a
way to abbreviate it.  Since it has >6 trillion bits and the ISO
standard says that the proper prefix for a trillion is "tera", the
consumer will think, "I'll just call it a 6 terabit drive."  Then,
someone will come around and say, "But I expected it to have 6 * 2 ^ 40
bits on it..."

>> It's like going past a sign in Canada that says 'SPEED LIMIT 100' at
>> 100 mph, then arguing you're not breaking the law because your
>> speedometer reads in miles per hour.
> That's why the speed limit signs ALWAYS accurately specify the unit of  
> measurement. So should anything with an expected capacity. 

(Sarcasm or not,) The problem is that the units of capacity /are/
accurately specified on the drive/retail box, but those reading the box
misinterpret the meaning of those units because of ignorance.


*Actual capacity of my 750GB Seagate disk (using 8-bit bytes), which
holds 750.156GB or 698.638GiB.

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