It is only in computer business that they cause confusion by defining a kilobyte as 1024 byte etc. But dividing by 2 these numbers, is the only way you come back at one byte exactly, and not 1.202 byte or something like that. If they would stick to this consistently one could get used to it. But salesmen saw their opportunity: 1.5 Terabyte (geek dimension) disk is sold as a 1.65 Terabyte (metric dimension) disk…

A centi is 1/100 of what? It’s not of a giga. That doesn’t seem to work our right and would a milli be?

The modern computer standard is: when you want to talk about powers of 2, you put “bi” at the end of the SI prefix, because “bi” is binary abbreviated. So when you want a power of two then “kilo” becomes “kibi”, and “mega” becomes “mebi”, and “giga” becomes “gibi”, and “tera” becomes “tebi”, etc. 1,024 bytes is one kibibyte, 1,048,576 bytes is one mebibyte, 1,000 meters is a kilometer, 1,000,000 is a megameter, etc.

First I want to thank all of the kind folks who have come to my aid in trying to explain the beauty, simplicity and practicality of the metric system to Mriana. Your help is deeply appreciated particularly by someone who deems himself a teacher and is yet confronted with the frustation of not being able to be understood.

Mriana:

First, let me clear up some misconceptions. “centi”, “kilo”, “mega”, etc. are prefixes in the english language. As such, when someone uses them incorrectly you should not blame the language but the person misusing them (as when someone says that kilo = 1024!) . After all, when someone says “It ain’t so.” rather than the correct “It is not so.” you do not say the english language is at fault, do you? These prefixes are NOT really part of the metric system as such. For example the prefix centi means one hundredth. One hundredth of what you ask? One hundredth of WHATEVER FOLLOWS THE PREFIX (that is why it is called a pre-fix). So if you say a centimeter, that means one hundredth of a meter. Nothing could be simpler. All this is simply a characteristic of the language (english in this case, but it is exactly the same in spanish) and has nothing to do with the metric system! The metric system of units (as any other system of units such as the english system you so dearly love) deals with the DEFINITION of the three fundamental units of: mass, length, and time. In the metric system those three quantities are kilogram, meter, and second respectively. In the English system of units they are slug (Who came up with that name?), the foot and the second. I won’t enter into the details of how the three quantities are defined in each system, a very interesting subject on its own (by the way, there are other systems!), but if you are interested I shall simply refer you to any good book on the fundamentals of physics.

So, you see, Mriana, you are faulting the metric system of units for something that has absolutely nothing to do with it. At any rate, I hope this is the last of my posts on this subject as I will try to concentrate myself on much simpler things such as how many angels can dance simultaneously on the head of a pin!

Héctor

P.D.:

jump in the pit:

What can I say? This is the first time I have heard of such a new system of prefixes and frankly I couldn’t stop laughing at all the strange and funny sounding names. Is this for real or are you pulling my leg?

A centi is 1/100 of what? It’s not of a giga. That doesn’t seem to work our right and would a milli be?

Mriana, the standard of measurement is the meter(distance), gram(weight) or liter (liquid measure). The prefixes reflect that the measurement is either a part of the meter (centimeter, millimeter, centigram milligram, milliliter etc), or a multiple of the meter, gram or liter (kilometer or kilogram kiloliter etc).

First, let me clear up some misconceptions. “centi”, “kilo”, “mega”, etc. are prefixes in the english language. As such, when someone uses them incorrectly you should not blame the language but the person misusing them (as when someone says that kilo = 1024!) .

I get that and I wasn’t blaming anyone for incorrect use. Rather, I was doing the exact opposite of that. Not once did I say it wasn’t so.

One hundredth of what you ask?

You misunderstood my question.

So, you see, Mriana, you are faulting the metric system of units for something that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

I don’t know where you got the idea that I was faulting a system. Not once did I say the system was at fault. I did place all systems on humans, who created them, though. I think you totally misunderstood and I’m not sure how. The thing is, you keep repeating what I already know, but not answering my questions, much less understanding them. So I think the misunderstanding and frustration goes both ways in this case.

Wow! I clicked in the link you provided and was most pleasantly surprised by what I found! This summarizes what I have been trying to explain all along and establishes a very (I hope) clear distinction between normal and traditional meaning of the prefixes in base ten and the new prefixes in base 2. I am very happy someone finally did something about this source of confusion for people not well versed in computers. Thank you so very much.

Mriana:

I hope you are reading this and if you are may I strongly suggest you use the link provided by jump in the pit . It just may make things clear where I failed. Now back to the angels dancing on the head of a pin!

A centi is 1/100 of what? It’s not of a giga. That doesn’t seem to work our right and would a milli be?

Mriana, the standard of measurement is the meter(distance), gram(weight) or liter (liquid measure). The prefixes reflect that the measurement is either a part of the meter (centimeter, millimeter, centigram milligram, milliliter etc), or a multiple of the meter, gram or liter (kilometer or kilogram kiloliter etc).

asanta, I know those things, but my question is, to rephrase it, what is a centimeter 1/100 of? One inch is 1/12 of a foot, but a centimeter does not appear to be 1/100 of a giga. Now is my question making more sense?

I hope you are reading this and if you are may I strongly suggest you use the link provided by jump in the pit . It just may make things clear where I failed. Now back to the angels dancing on the head of a pin!

Héctor

No, because that wasn’t what I was asking or anything else and the 10 power stuff only makes it worse. I’m not a math genius, obviously, but how the hell do you get 1 Kibit = 2(10 power) bit = 1024 bit? 2 to the tenth power does not equal 1024. All that did was give me more questions, which you probably don’t understand either. BTW, you “failed” because you didn’t appear to understand what I was asking or saying.

A centi is 1/100 of what? It’s not of a giga. That doesn’t seem to work our right and would a milli be?

‘Centi’ (and all the prefixes GdB mentioned) can be applied to meter, liter, or gram. So a centimeter is 1/100th of a meter.

Milli = 1/1,000th of…

Take care,

Derek

OK, so now let’s put that into what I can picture in my head. A meter is like a yard only a little shorter, and a centimeter is a little shorter than an inch, no? This is like going back to a 2 liter and placing into a gallon milk jug to see what it looks like. I’m asking for a visual to compare it to so I can comprehend it better. You cannot throw numbers at me and expect me to get it without a visual. Sort of like basic first grade math, where they showed you 3 apples to show you what 3 is. I really didn’t think it would take so many pages to get others to comprehend what I’m asking for, but obviously I’m not communicating.

“I don’t argue you’re definitions, but it seems to me that not all kilos, gigs, megas, etc are exact. They vary on “approximation”, based on what you are saying, which would make metrics not as great as some people make it out to be. Thus, I can go in one place and a kilo will be a 1000, but I go somewhere else and it could be 1024 and yet another place 1050. The same with the others. Those numbers seem to vary all the time, based on human approximation. So you contend that it is 1000, but I go in to look at a computer and they contend it is 1024. I use a computer a lot and those are the numbers I have to use, if I remember those numbers, when I talk to a geek or a nerd, if we use numbers at all for what we are discussing. However, as GdB showed, it’s pretty standard.”

When you say: “which would make metrics nos as great as some people make it out to be.”, I have to interpret that as a negative comment on the metric system of units which is rather unfortunate because this has nothing to do with the metric system and everything to do with prefixes (english language).

You also say: “asanta, I know those things, but my question is, to rephrase it, what is a centimeter 1/100 of?” Mriana, a prefix, as the name implies, goes in front of another word and modifies it. As an example let us use the prefix “centi”. Thus, a centi-meter (centimeter) means a centi (one hundredth part of) a meter. I hope this makes the whole thing clear.

By the way, in case you missed my previous post, I suggested you go to the link provided by “jump in the pit” (NIST: Prefixes for binary multiples). I think you will find a very clear discussion of things that have contributed to your confusion.

“I don’t argue you’re definitions, but it seems to me that not all kilos, gigs, megas, etc are exact. They vary on “approximation”, based on what you are saying, which would make metrics not as great as some people make it out to be. Thus, I can go in one place and a kilo will be a 1000, but I go somewhere else and it could be 1024 and yet another place 1050. The same with the others. Those numbers seem to vary all the time, based on human approximation. So you contend that it is 1000, but I go in to look at a computer and they contend it is 1024. I use a computer a lot and those are the numbers I have to use, if I remember those numbers, when I talk to a geek or a nerd, if we use numbers at all for what we are discussing. However, as GdB showed, it’s pretty standard.”

When you say: “which would make metrics nos as great as some people make it out to be.”, I have to interpret that as a negative comment on the metric system of units which is rather unfortunate because this has nothing to do with the metric system and everything to do with prefixes (english language).

You also say: “asanta, I know those things, but my question is, to rephrase it, what is a centimeter 1/100 of?” Mriana, a prefix, as the name implies, goes in front of another word and modifies it. As an example let us use the prefix “centi”. Thus, a centi-meter (centimeter) means a centi (one hundredth part of) a meter. I hope this makes the whole thing clear.

By the way, in case you missed my previous post, I suggested you go to the link provided by “jump in the pit” (NIST: Prefixes for binary multiples). I think you will find a very clear discussion of things that have contributed to your confusion.

Héctor

No, I did not miss that link and I did read it. It was a bunch of numbers to me. Again, you aren’t understanding what I’m saying and no, repeating the words I already know does not make anything clear. It just gives me more frustration with numbers. I keep asking, “What does that look like” and nobody seems to get it except the one person who seems to have the same issues I do with numbers. Which would be Cap’t Jack http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/14167/P30/#166362

It sounds easy being based on tens but it gets way muddled in the mind of a dyslexic.

“No, because that wasn’t what I was asking or anything else and the 10 power stuff only makes it worse. I’m not a math genius, obviously, but how the hell do you get 1 Kibit = 2(10 power) bit = 1024 bit? 2 to the tenth power does not equal 1024. All that did was give me more questions, which you probably don’t understand either. BTW, you “failed” because you didn’t appear to understand what I was asking or saying.”

2 to the tenth power does equal 1024. But don’t take my word for it. Let us calculate it step by step. 2 ^ 10 = 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 X 2 X 2. (There are 10 2’s there). I will be writing out the results of each multiplication one by one.

2 X 2 = 4, 4 X 2 = 8, 8 X 2 = 16, etc. So the results are in order as follows: 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024. So, 2 raised to the tenth power is 1024!
Please, tell me at least I managed to convince you of this mathematical fact so I can sleep tonight!!!!