The amount of people who don't know the difference between kilobyte and kibibyte is too damn high. So much confusion.

TL;DR : Most people use Kilobyte ( KB ) and Kibibyte ( KiB ) wrong and i am angry about it.

When i first got involved with software as a teenager, i always wondered why we convert kilo to mega with multiplying by 1024, when we do it with multiplying by 1000 basically everywhere else. Our physics teacher called this SI unit system and told us that this is an internationally accepted statement. So why is there a different rule ? Did i miss out something ? Regrettably I didn't ask her about this.

I just didn't get fully as a teenager. Now, as I am a developer now, i understand that dealing with power or ten is troublesome. Due to ease of work, we lazily mess with SI system and use it wrongly. Isn't it the time we end this abomination ?

2 years ago i talked to a friend about this, he said that i shouldn't bother.
I talked to a teacher, he said "you are right but using different brand of unit system can be overkill, since there is not much difference anyways." I said okay and left.

1 mega = 1000 kilo
1 giga = 1000 mega etc


MB = Megabyte ( 1000 Kilobyte )
KB = Kilobyte ( 1000 Byte )
MiB = Mebibyte ( 1024 Kibibyte )
KiB = Kibibyte ( 1024 Byte )

I am writing this because today i saw someone do it wrong on the internet, all of these came into mind. I wonder your approach about this, for research purposes.

Call me dick all you want, but i am the guy who always corrects uncertainty, no matter what. Things should be in place, correctly. No i don't have OCD. If you say something like "I have 1 MB of executable file, which means i have 1024 KB of it", i will find you, and i will correct you.

  • 38
    The education system taught me many years ago

    1 MB = 1024 KB
    1 KB = 1024 Bytes
    1 Byte = 8 Bits

    Then I learned that
    1 KB = 1000 bytes
    1 KiB = 1024 Bytes.

    I feel that the issue lies with the education and companies interchanging the two so much that everyone is wrong.
  • 7
    Oh yeah I was taught some strange things in school that didn't agree with Google I was so confused
  • 11
    @C0D4 Exactly. That is when i truly comprehend the saying : "Just because hundreds of people claim something to be true, that doesn't necessarily make it so." That was when i parted ways with religion also.
  • 17
    I don't even know about KibiByte. I just assumed Kilo and Mega became 1024 when in computing. :3
  • 7
    It's 1024 because computers at the time were 8bit. Everything was stored in multiples of 8bit. 8 doesn't go into 1000.
  • 5
    Haven’t heard of kibi, nice info
  • 6
    @Wackoo This is still not a reason to convert the unit system to something else, abandoning clarification forever.

    For example, If i were to analyze the relationship between physical hard disk weight and the amount of data it can hold, how the hell i am supposed to differ those and take exact measure ? Should i put a paranthesis like ( SI Unit ) and ( SI Computer Unit ) whenever i mention byte and gram ?

    I would just say fuck it, tear up the paper i am working on and bang my head to a wall repeatedly until i forget the bullshit i would be dealing with.
  • 3
    @cursee My long-lost battle is exactly against it. I also was doing that when i didn't know about this, but i always hated this nonsense, along with wondering why.

    Not knowing is okay, but there are people who find this KiB thingy stupid, or just won't bother using it. They get on my nerve.
  • 9
    Yeah fuck you Windows. I have a 500GB SSD and not a 488GB SSD. Don't tell me the size of it in Gib but say its in GB
  • 3
    This is also kinda Windows' fault because it confuses both types of units all the time. Your 1 TB drive ia actually 1 TB and not 931 GB as Windows says.
  • 4
    TIL kibibyte and mebibyte
  • 14
    Kibe without byte
  • 4
    I believe the confusion comes from the fact that it was standardized around 2000s and before that time most computer scientists used SI prefixes for 2^10 multipliers
  • 2
    @SgnfcntOverflow Yes, this Kibibyte stuff has arrived a little late :(

    Also, it is not fully acknowledged even today.
  • 2
    @illegaldisease Don't know if this is the official stance of Microsoft but here is a blog post (with necessary xkcd chart) by one of its employees concerning the issue: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ol...
  • 3
    @SgnfcntOverflow This is 9 years old, but i suppose the issue is still there.

    A quote from the link you described 'So you can feel superior because you know what that term means and other people don't."

    This just made me angrier. No one will feel superior when they use the terms like they are supposed to. That is pure horse puckey.

    The "other people" also ask that why is my storage shows 220 GB when i bought 256 GB ? The ones who have to explain this is we, computer geeks. If they didn't mess with the terms, people would want to learn too.

    At least Linux distros use this right. Just putting an "i" between M and B won't hurt anybody. I promise, most people will not even notice that i letter.
  • 2
    @azous what's that? Look like something delicious.
  • 3
    @illegaldisease To my knowledge Windows still uses prefixes incorrectly. While I disagree with that guy on continuing to use it incorrectly just because most of the people use it this way he is right about big part of the industry ignoring the standard. I fear the misuse of prefixes is going to continue for many years, especially if Microsoft doesn't change its attitude, which I don't think will happen.

    Probably the only way to avoid confusion would be always using base 2 multipliers with correct prefixes: KiB, MiB, etc.
  • 2
    @SgnfcntOverflow Yes, that is the way without changing so much things. Microsoft is not an absolute monopoly anymore, and they know it. That is why it is changing in a good way. I think they will do something about it.
  • 2
    Thank you so much for correcting my knowledge, I never knew what Gibibyte were and this is like an Enlightenment :)
  • 2
  • 1
    @telephantasm I appreciate your compliment, thank you :)
  • 1
    Since we're being technical, the prefix for kilo is k, not K. kB and KiB for kilobyte and kibibyte respectively.
  • 3
    @cursee it is a fried dish made with meat, spices and a special flour called "bulgur".

    Check in out with cheese
  • 1
    @fdgram Yes, that would be better, to avoid further confusion.
  • 2
    @azous Is it Turkish meal ?
  • 1
    @illegaldisease "better"? it's what's correct.
  • 2
    @azous damn getting hungry at 1126pm 😑

    I looked your profile and location is huehue. So is it a traditional huehue dessert/snack/appetizer?
  • 1
    The amount of people who don't know the difference between the prefix k and K is too damn high.
  • 1
  • 1
    @fdgram That is the first time somebody corrected me again when i already acknowledged their statement. Sorry about that, i said "better" to mean both "better" and "correct.

    Again, sorry about not being specific.
  • 1
    I've been wrong about it all my life apparently, time to be right.
  • 1

    Again, sorry about not being specific enough. I should have used k instead of K. Let me clarify this further.

    k -> SI unit which i am talking about.

    K -> Binary definition, which you stated.

    b -> Means bit

    B -> Means byte

    Sources :


  • 1
    kibi is Ki, but yes
  • 3
    @illegaldisease @cursee 😂😂

    Probably incorporated in Brazil's culture
  • 1
    So i was very frustrated why my 16gigs pen drive didn't actually have 16gigs. Also my 1tb hard drive had 931.5gigs space. I was really really A N G E R Y as why did manufactures lie. Then it hit me. What if they use 1000 instead of 1024. So i did calculation by hand, and found that if u use kilobyte, megabyte and gigabyte units, 1gigabyte comes as 93.15 percent of 1 gibibyte. Felt like a fkin genius for days.
  • 0
    @illegaldisease Was always interested about this, but never had the effort to search for it.
    Thanks for the precise information!
    Added to Favourites!
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