loopychew: (Default)
Other techheads, feel free to correct me on this.

On New Year's Eve, [livejournal.com profile] leiju came back to town (yay!) and we spent the evening at a dinner hosted by Jamie H. (doubling as his farewell party; he leaves for NJ on the 25th). One of the topics of conversation, also fresh in my mind from helping Astrid install a second HD into her computer, was that of why a hard disk never seems to be as large in the computer as it says it is on the box copy.

The answer is simple: normally, on box copy or advertising in general, there's a little footnote somewhere denoting "1 gigabyte = 1 billion bytes."

Computers? Don't think that way.

Don't forget, computers tend to think binary, so it's easier for them to compute volume in powers of 2. Thus, a kilobyte is actually 210, or 1024 bytes. (There was a moment during the initial explanation where, since my cell phone's calculator wouldn't do repeats or exponents, I ended up doodling on the paper table cover to attempt to determine the different powers of 10. But I digress.) A megabyte would be 220, or 1,048,576, bytes, and thusly, a gigabyte would be 230, or 1,073,741,824, bytes.

Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but that's about 7% difference (1,000,000,000/1,073,741,824 = ~0.93) between a computer's and the box copy's perception of what a gigabyte is.

Because I think [livejournal.com profile] leiju wants me to replicate the powers of 2, I'll put it here, under this cut: )

So, in a nutshell, that's why, whenever you pop in that brand new 80GB hard disk of yours, it says that that it has a capacity of 74.5GB in it.

This has been another...entry.
loopychew: (Default)
Instead of relying on electromagnetic waves or light waves to carry data, RedTacton uses weak electric fields on the surface of the body as a transmission medium. A RedTacton transmitter couples with extremely weak electric fields on the surface of the body... RedTacton can also "transmit" through clothing or shoes, allowing the useful possibility of downloading MP3s through a floor-based sensor while dancing the Lambada. What's more, you can swap files by straight human contact, so two filesharers equipped with RadTacton devices can indulge in torrid illegal P2P activity and have sex at the same time.

Wow, file-swapping via sex! The possibilities for jokes are endless!

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/23/human_area_network/

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