I am quite lost! What is a “binary” gigabyte vs. a “metric” gigabyte? To me a giga = 10 ^ 9 (ten raised to the ninth power), and a byte is eight bits, where a bit is a Binary digIT number (either a 0 or a 1).

Good luck, Hector. I think with many people, trying to show the reasoning for metric is like trying to discuss atheism reasonabley with a religious fundamentalist.

Although I’m monolingual, I understand that when one learns a second language they go through the stage of translating in their mind everything back to their primary language, then gradually that fades and they can think in either without reference to the other language. This may be the case with the metric/English systems. As a child I learned the English system. As I got interested in chemistry, and learned about metric (age 12) I translated metrics into English. Over then next few years I got away from that and now think in terms of whichever system is presented.

Occam

That’s how I learned most of my Spanish, Occam, and sometimes I still have to do that. If someone says, “Buenos dias” or “Tengo mas” or simple Spanish, I don’t need to translate it into English, but more complicated stuff, I still do because, after 40 years give or take, I’m not fluent. I’m not fluent in part because I almost never have to use it. I use ASL far more than I do Spanish.

You are absolutely right in assuming that when learning another language there is a phase in which you try to translate anything back into your language. My native language is spanish. I remember when I was in grade school and my English teacher suddenly asked me why I didn’t have a pencil. I blurted out “I had one but I lent it to Mary.” It was only then that I realized that when I heard the question in english my brain had automatically shifted into english and I had actually thought the answer in english! That was quite a realization for me. Years later, when I was teaching engineering at my university there was a young professor who was blue eyed and blond ( which to my asbsent minded brain meant he was an american but he was as puertorican as I) so every day when me met I would say “Morning!” and he would answer “¡Buenos Días!” It never failed to make us both laugh!

Héctor

It just dawned on me why you make no sense to me and GdB does. I never learned the basics of metrics because we were never actually taught metrics in school and I’ve never actually had to use it either, despite taking science classes. Don’t ask how one gets away with no metrics in science class, but every science class I took we almost never referred to metrics. Measurements were not needed until I took statistic classes in college and that was a different type of measurement. You’re speaking advance metrics with your stories about Newton and alike and I’m still learning what a megalomama whatever is. No, seriously. In another version it would be like me just stepping into a Spanish classroom with only knowing “buenos dias”, if even that.

And yes, even at the university I went to, metrics were used very little, if at all, in the science courses I took. What do you expect? I went to school from 1970 to 84 for elementary and high school in Illinois and Missouri. I went to uni from ‘94-98 in Missouri too.

I will try once more. Can we agree that the word kilo means one thousand? This is a definition and you cannot change it at will. The word mega means one million, again a definition. The word giga means a thousand millions or a billion. Now, a kilobyte means a thousand (1000) bytes NOT 1024 bytes, but people in the computer world use it as if they were synonyms which they are not, they are at best approximately the same size. It is this careless and unfurtunate use by some people that has you confused.

By the way, a thought has just occured to me. Why don’t you look up the word “kilo” in a dictionary? If your dictionary says that a kilo = 1024 (rather than 1000 as I contend it is), send me the dictionary and I will send you a video of myself eating the dictionary!

I will try once more. Can we agree that the word kilo means one thousand? This is a definition and you cannot change it at will. The word mega means one million, again a definition. The word giga means a thousand millions or a billion. Now, a kilobyte means a thousand (1000) bytes NOT 1024 bytes, but people in the computer world use it as if they were synonyms which they are not, they are at best approximately the same size. It is this careless and unfurtunate use by some people that has you confused.

By the way, a thought has just occured to me. Why don’t you look up the word “kilo” in a dictionary? If your dictionary says that a kilo = 1024 (rather than 1000 as I contend it is), send me the dictionary and I will send you a video of myself eating the dictionary!

Héctor

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.

IMO, there seems to be a difference in the concepts of metric and decimal systems.

wiki

Decimal notation is the writing of numbers in a base-10 numeral system. Examples are Roman numerals, Brahmi numerals, and Chinese numerals, as well as the Hindu-Arabic numerals used by speakers of many European languages. Roman numerals have symbols for the decimal powers (1, 10, 100, 1000) and secondary symbols for half these values (5, 50, 500). Brahmi numerals have symbols for the nine numbers 1–9, the nine decades 10–90, plus a symbol for 100 and another for 1000. Chinese numerals have symbols for 1–9, and additional symbols for powers of 10, which in modern usage reach 10^44.

Also the decimal system does not approximate. It does not address the unit of measurement, it is a mathematical process. However we have used it’s “consistency” in the metric system to establish clear relationships between the various types of measurement like size, volume, and weight. Just like money, it is counted in the metric decimal system, but the value of moneys in different countries may be different. So we have a decimal exchange rate.
Thus 1 cm cubed volume of water = 1 gram (at sea level). By increasing or decreasing any part of the equation by ten all parts are increased or decreased by multiples of ten.

But what you are saying is not true! Let’s stick to the word “kilo”. Its meaning is exactly 1000, no more and no less, and it has been so for I do not know how long but probably for about 2 kiloyears (2000 not 2048 years). As far as I know, only in the computer world, meaning humans dealing with computers, people use a kilo as if it were the same as 1024. Some of them (those that have studied computers well) know this is only and approximation and treat it as such, while others, in their ignorance, believe it to be the exact and precise meaning. They are WRONG! Think about this: If the meaning of a word changed all the time what would be its usefulness?
By the way, when you mentioned a megalomama, the word conjured up an image in my brain of a really BIG, BIG MAMA!

A mm. is a milimeter. You really mean a cube whose three sides are one cm. (centimeter) each. This, of course, is a mililiter. This cube has an amount of water whose mass is one gram in the metric system. But, Write4U, I do not think this is the source of confusion for Mriana. Aside from a natural resistance to adopting something new to replace a, to her, well known system she has been confused by the unfortunate custom by some to use the word kilo to mean 1024 when dealing with computer memories. Some people, in their ignorance, actually think this is a definition of “kilo”!

A mm. is a milimeter. You really mean a cube whose three sides are one cm. (centimeter) each. This, of course, is a mililiter. This cube has an amount of water whose mass is one gram in the metric system. But, Write4U, I do not think this is the source of confusion for Mriana. Aside from a natural resistance to adopting something new to replace a, to her, well known system she has been confused by the unfortunate custom by some to use the word kilo to mean 1024 when dealing with computer memories. Some people, in their ignorance, actually think this is a definition of “kilo”!

Héctor

Yes, sorry, I noticed that error and corrected it.

I can understand Mriana’s position. Having been born and schooled in Holland, i grew up with the metric system. I have been in the US for 40+ years and I still have problems with converting a foot into 1/12 (inches) and converting inches into 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, etc.

A mm. is a milimeter. You really mean a cube whose three sides are one cm. (centimeter) each. This, of course, is a mililiter. This cube has an amount of water whose mass is one gram in the metric system. But, Write4U, I do not think this is the source of confusion for Mriana. Aside from a natural resistance to adopting something new to replace a, to her, well known system she has been confused by the unfortunate custom by some to use the word kilo to mean 1024 when dealing with computer memories. Some people, in their ignorance, actually think this is a definition of “kilo”!

Héctor

Hector, but what you, GdB, and Write4U just said, then a ounce is an ounce, if you are talking about cooking and another form is accurate of measurement for another. The way you, GdB, and Write4U explain it, any system could be used, because they are arbitrary numbers as a means of measuring used by humans. It is a means to communicate. It’s not ignorance and neither you or computer people are wrong. They are just a means of measuring for humans and communicating that measurement. Each human involved just needs to know and understand the method being used in order to communicate. It means something, to humans who understand, to say that a horse is 10 hands tall, but for one who does not understand, they may get confused and try to use their own hands to measure, thus ending up with a 15 hands tall or taller horse. Write4U is just as correct as you are, because these are all just human methods of measuring. A hundred years from now, we will probably conger up another system for measuring and say that it is more accurate than the metric system, which has not been used forever. It’s only more accurate because some humans said it was, but the truth is, nothing is precise or accurate, esp in the hands of humans. One can take a rule with inches on one side and millimeters on the other side, measure something with both sides and find that these are just arbitrary numbers assigned for the length of something and neither measurement has any more meaning then the other, except what we give it. A 4’ 11” (59 inches) woman is still short, even in meters and a 4’ (48 inches) woman is still a midget/dwarf/short, but not as a short as the 4’ 11” woman, but we are still little women no matter what system is used. 5 stones, 100 lbs, 50 kg the 4’ 11” is still within normal weight with a BMI (more numbers assigned by humans) that is ascribed as being healthy BUT she can still have high blood pressure (more numbers assigned by humans), heart problems, and malnutrition, despite eating enough to maintain normal weight. At the same time, the dr could give her an adult size dose of medicine and it be an overdose (I know this, because it’s happened more than once to me), even though the metric system was used to decide the dose. My personal dr does the math, sometimes right in front of me, and figures out the correct dose for me plus or minus what the medicine comes in by way of dosages.

These numbers are just a method, created by humans, to measure information, but they aren’t always accurate or precise. 5 mg of a given med might be right for a 120 lb woman, but an overdose for me. While a child dose may work better for me, but not for her. This is where the numbers fail- in medicine when they make a one size fits all for adults and drs rely on that instead of doing the math to get the approximent correct dose for a patient. It’s only accurate if one doesn’t say, “OK the math is already done for me” and it says give an adult this much. Too many drs, people in general, get lazy and rely on numbers that aren’t accurate, instead of doing the math themselves in the hopes of getting close to the right amount.

Thus, asanta’s needle (UGH!) with cc and carefully figured math to get the correct dose for said patient, is more accurate than the pill you get from the pharmacy and pop into your mouth, even though they are both metrics. As much as I hate needles, shot form is better and more accurate, if the dr does his math, than pills using the same system of measurement. That, in my opinion, is more what the metric system is for- getting medicine and science accurate as humanly possible, but for general use, as long as two people know what method is being used, any form of measurement is good and just as accurate as the other. It is also not an unfortunate custom either.

Now back to metrics, without saying another system is wrong or inaccurate.

By the way, when you mentioned a megalomama, the word conjured up an image in my brain of a really BIG, BIG MAMA!

A mm. is a milimeter. You really mean a cube whose three sides are one cm. (centimeter) each. This, of course, is a mililiter. This cube has an amount of water whose mass is one gram in the metric system. But, Write4U, I do not think this is the source of confusion for Mriana. Aside from a natural resistance to adopting something new to replace a, to her, well known system she has been confused by the unfortunate custom by some to use the word kilo to mean 1024 when dealing with computer memories. Some people, in their ignorance, actually think this is a definition of “kilo”!

Héctor

Yes, sorry, I noticed that error and corrected it.

I can understand Mriana’s position. Having been born and schooled in Holland, i grew up with the metric system. I have been in the US for 40+ years and I still have problems with converting a foot into 1/12 (inches) and converting inches into 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, etc.

It’s not easy it. sigh. BTW, you can’t convert a foot into 1/12 inches. A foot is 12 inches, period, but you can divide 12 inches by 1/8. However 1/12 of 12 inches is just 1 inch. That might be your problem.

I can understand Mriana’s position. Having been born and schooled in Holland, i grew up with the metric system. I have been in the US for 40+ years and I still have problems with converting a foot into 1/12 (inches) and converting inches into 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, etc.

It’s not easy it. sigh. BTW, you can’t convert a foot into 1/12 inches. A foot is 12 inches, period, but you can divide 12 inches by 1/8. However 1/12 of 12 inches is just 1 inch. That might be your problem.

I meant to say dividing a foot ino 12ths (1/12’ = 1”), then dividing the inches into the other fractions. I just consider it cumbersome.

I can understand Mriana’s position. Having been born and schooled in Holland, i grew up with the metric system. I have been in the US for 40+ years and I still have problems with converting a foot into 1/12 (inches) and converting inches into 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, etc.

It’s not easy it. sigh. BTW, you can’t convert a foot into 1/12 inches. A foot is 12 inches, period, but you can divide 12 inches by 1/8. However 1/12 of 12 inches is just 1 inch. That might be your problem.

I meant to say dividing a foot ino 12ths (1/12’ = 1”), then dividing the inches into the other fractions. I just consider it cumbersome.

I don’t see how it’s cumbersome when 1/12 of a foot is 1”. That’s easy, esp when you know there are 12” in a foot. Dividing inches into other fractions doesn’t happen much, but when it does, that’s easy too. However, that’s because I’ve been working with inches, feet, yards, miles for a lifetime.

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…