While I was seeing a lot of small time carping about Apple’s latest project, Snow Leopard, or OS 10.6, I had thought that, with the exception of the lack of ZFS, it was all the ravings of the Microsoft glitterati, ready to gripe about anything not bearing the Windows flag.

On slashdot however, there is something that shows Apple is moving clearly in the wrong direction.

“With the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Apple has updated a support document describing how their new operating system reports capacities of hard drives and other media. It has sided with hard drive makers, who for years have advertised capacities as ‘1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes’ instead of the traditional computer science definition, and in so doing has kicked the debate between marketing and computer science into high gear. Binary prefixes for binary units (e.g. GiB for ‘gibibyte’) have been promoted by the International Electrotechnical Commission and endorsed by IEEE and other standards organizations, but to date there’s been limited acceptance (though manufacturers have wholeheartedly accepted the ‘new’ definitions for GB and TB). Is Apple’s move the first major step in forcing computer science to adopt the more awkward binary prefixes, breaking decades of accepted (if technically inaccurate) usage of SI prefixes?”

Not only is this wrong in the conceptual sense, it is wrong in terms of tradition. Binary conventions apply to all things computing, and always have. Perhaps next some other ‘high functioning thinker’ will decide that we really need to move to a decimal representation of everything else in the computer, and the binary system will disappear. Actually, the logic is clear, and anyone moving away shows a lack of intelligence. Everything else in the computer is based upon a binary condition, zero or one. Powers of 2 apply by nature, and veering from it is nonsense. So is using constructs built by those trying to bridge things not needing a walkway – kibibyte and gibibyte are just insane, better used by speech therapists than computer scientists and users.


Famous Birthdays on August 29

John Locke 1632
Oliver Wendell Holmes 1809
Preston Sturges 1898
Barry Sullivan 1912
Ingrid Bergman 1915
George Montgomery 1916
Isabel Sanford 1917
Charles White 1920
Charlie “Bird” Parker 1920
Wendell Scott 1921
Sir Richard Attenborough 1923
Dinah Washington 1924
Dick O’Neill 1928
Elliott Gould 1938
William Friedkin 1939
Ellen Geer 1941
Robin Leach 1941
Sterling Morrison (The Velvet Underground) 1942
Deborah Van Valkenburgh 1952
Mark Morris 1956
Dan Truman (Diamond Rio) 1956
Michael Joseph Jackson 1958
Rebecca DeMornay 1962
Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins) 1963
Me’Shell NdegeOcello 1969
Carl Martin (Shai) 1970
Carla Gugino 1971
A+ 1982

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