Some people will try to tell you that a "kilobyte
" = 1000 bytes because they're trying to protect the purity of the Metric System. In reality they have an ulterior motive. You may notice that according to computer traditionalists a "kilobyte" = 1024 bytes. This is 24 more bytes of space than the newer definition of a "kilobyte". This loss in space is compounded as you use prefixes to indicate greater orders of magnitude. Computer harddrive manufacturers wholly support the re-naming convention because they can advertise a smaller drive as having greater storage capacity.
There was a push by the International Electrotechnical Commission to create new prefixes to replace the old binary multiple naming convention, however this new convention has not seen widespread adoption. When's the last time you saw a new computer with a 80 gibibyte drive?
The reality is that most people rarely use the conventional "prefix-unit" names
when referring to binary capacity. Who actually says they have an "Eighty
Giga-Byte Drive?" More frequently, people abbreviate the prefix and use it to refer to the value itself. The word "byte" itself has no lexicographical connection to the word "bit", however it is, in fact, a group of 8 bits. Following this history and the storage naming conventions of computer traditionalists, I propose this new naming convention for binary multiples:
Name Value Full
kay 210 bytes K
meg 220 bytes M
gig 230 bytes G
tera 240 bytes T
peta 250 bytes P
exa 260 bytes E
You can then say that your new CPU has a 512-kay cache, or that you have 2-gigs
of RAM. Computer advertisements can indicate that their new harddrive has an 80G storage capacity.
You can still follow the IEC's prefixes for binary multiples convention when referring to units in a metric context, however this model seems to best fit non-scientific, everyday modes of discussion.