Computer makers sued over hard-drive size claims

Discussion in 'Apple News, Rumors & Discussion' started by Stridder44, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Stridder44

    Stridder44 Universal Traveler

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    Check it here. Personally, Im glad they're doing it. I hope they win. It's lame for them to advertise something that isn't.
     
  2. Krevinek

    Krevinek Evil PPC Tweaker

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    I hope it fails, and it will be an uphill battle. There is an actual REASON why this 'missing space' happens... It has to do with how OSes count Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, etc... and how drive manufacturers count Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera. Drive manufacturing counts Kilo/Mega/Giga/Tera as factors of 1000 (10^3 is Kilo 10^6 is Mega, etc) which is accurate, but OSes count space different due to a trick to save CPU time on old machines. They count in factors of 1024 (2^10 is Kilo, 2^20 is Mega, etc). Because of this difference, what you see spewed back on the computer screen is less than what is written on the box you buy.

    To be honest, the wrong groups are being targetted with this lawsuit. Apple, Sun, Microsoft and others should be sued for making OSes that deceptively use 1024 when 1000 should be used for these standard prefixes. There have even been prefixes assigned for a counting system where Kilo = 1024 (Kibi, Mebi, Gibi, Tebi, etc)... but OS makers refuse to use them.

    The drive manufacturers are advertising it just fine... so are the computer makers. Especially if you are smart enough to read the fine print on what 1 GB really equals. However, the OS is the one giving the false reading.

    Essentially, it boils down to the fact that you ARE getting what you are told you are getting, but the OS is counting what you have in a different manner, giving the illusion of less space.
     
  3. Ricky

    Ricky Registered

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    I hope they win. It's false advertising, to tell you the truth. Yes, I am aware that HDs are measured in 1,000 MBs, but the average consumer doesn't. You can't make up your own non-standard unit of measurement.
     
  4. Arden

    Arden Where mah "any" keys at?

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    Krev, you're facts are correct but your logic is flawed. It is because the OS reads a drive as a factor of 2, not of 10 (1024 is a factor of 2, 1000 is a factor of 10) that the lawsuit should win. Drive manufacturers should make their 150 GB drives 150 GB of 1024-byte KB, not 1000-byte KB... in other words, they should make them 161,061,273,600-byte drives, not 150,000,000,000-byte drives. This is something that has bugged me for a long time, and it's nice to see someone doing something about it.
     
  5. GroundZeroX

    GroundZeroX Searching for logic

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    I thought all of it had to do with how the file allocation tables are set up. When i was a Windows User, I remember getting more harddrive space out of a harddrive when going from Fat16 to Fat32. Thats because Fat16 only lets clusters of information in the size of I believe it was 16k. That means that if a file is like 36k, it would take up 48k. Fat32 made the data clusters smaller, allowing for much less data loss. I know conceptually a lot of this data is old, but back then, thats how it was explained to me that out of a whopping 2.0GB HD, only 1.8 was usable.
     
  6. Stridder44

    Stridder44 Universal Traveler

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    I bought a 10 gig iPod, and found out it was only 9.2 gigs. Thats almost a whole gig difference! It is not right.
     
  7. Pengu

    Pengu Digital Music Pimp

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    The partition type will affect how much space is used as a minimum for each file. For instance, a HFS+ drive that is 2 Gig will show every file as being 4kilobytes or bigger. On a UFS drive of the same file, every file has a minimum size of 1 kilobyte. see how this could save you space? fat16/fat32 is the same sort of thing. so yes GroundZeroX, you are correct. But, the other issue is this:
    The way computers work, they HAVE to use a binary system to store data. Why should apple go out and say, "this computer comes with a 18.6Gb HD", when every other compay using the EXACT SAME hard drive is calling it a 20 Gb hard drive. EVEN the manufacturers. And it is not misleading information. as shown above in the quote, apple shows, and i assume all other companies worth their salt show, that the FORMATTED capacity is less. If Joe Bloggs goes out and makes a computer system that works on a DECIMAL system, yippee for him, he can use a 20 Gb hard drive, and it will BE a 20 Gb hard drive.
    I don't know if any of the americans here, or anywhere are aware, but the rest of the world recognizes the US as the land of sueing one another. These idiots are just out to make a quick buck.
     
  8. Arden

    Arden Where mah "any" keys at?

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    An HFS disk has a maximum of 65,536 allocation blocks. To find the minimum size of a file on an HFS disk, you have to divide the capacity of your drive by 65,536. Enter HFS+: now you can determine the minimum size of allocation blocks. With Apple's built-in tools, you're limited to 4 KB; with other tools, you can set the size of your allocation block anywhere from .5 KB to 8 or 16 KB (though why you'd set it to 16, I have no idea).

    This is still a different issue, though, than the original post. The topic isn't about the size of allocation blocks, but by the definition of a gigabyte. Computer makers typically define a gigabyte as 1000 megabytes instead of 1024 to make their drives look bigger, and hopefully this lawsuit will change that practice.
     
  9. Cat

    Cat Registered

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    Actually, no. Harddisk makers define their HD's perfectly well. According to the International System of measurement units they are right: 1 GB = 1 billion bytes. That's the definition of Giga after all. Kilo = 1000 and not something else.
    When you actually want to use a disk, you have to format it. In formatting you cannot but use base 2 numbers, so a 'kilo'byte takes up 1024 bytes instead of 1000. Therefore less 'kilo'bytes (and 'mega'bytes etc.) fit on the HD.

    Who's lying? Well, nobody actually. You just need to distinguish the base ten kilobyte from the base 2 'kilo'byte.

    Compare to paper. On a A4 piece of paper would technically fit 100 lines. But in order to read the lines you need a wee bit of white space between the lines, so actually only 80 lines fit on the sheet. Same story. Or a glass of water. You can fill it to the rim (30cl), but mostly you don't (25cl). It's the difference between total maximum theoretical capacity and actual practical usability. As customer you should know these things and the companies do provide disclaimers, like "actual formatted capacity less". *shrugs*
     
  10. Arden

    Arden Where mah "any" keys at?

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    And I'm saying that they should distinguish between base-2 measurements and base-10 measurements, as are these people from Los Angeles. As it stands, hard drive specifications are still misleading unless you look for the part saying that the actual capacity is not what it says it is.

    The real difference is between size and capacity. The size of a drive is what the manufacturer says it is, like 100 GB, 120 GB, etc. The capacity is the actual amount of data the drive will hold, which is less than the size because this measurement is base-2. Look at your System Profiler for proof. The hard drive on this computer (the G3) has a 4.3 GB size, but only a 4 GB capacity.
     
  11. Cat

    Cat Registered

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    *shrugs again* Well, uh, yes that's what I said. You must distinguish between base 2 and base 10. Marketing _is_ misleading, however everybody plays by the rules: the size actually is 100GB, the formatted capacity is less. Manufacturers and Computer Companies say so. i don't really see the problem, nor a reason to sue anyone. It's not as if I can sue someone because I didn't pay attention or was ignorant.

    By the way, now that you mention the profiler. I think the whole argument is nonesense. Do Cmd-I on your HD. Capacity etc is in GB, used disk space is reported in GB and in actual bytes. Notice that not just the capacity but also the usage is in GB, so less than the actual theoretical max, BUT THE ACTUAL USAGE IS HIGHER. If capacity and use are both reported in base 2 GB and in actual bytes, and if the byte count is correctly higher than the base 2 GB, then it means that you don't really lose diskspace ...
     
  12. fryke

    fryke Moderator Staff Member Mod

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    Stupid lawsuit. Stupid. Whatever the reasons, it's been like that since I was a freakin' little boy. And I'm 29 now. ;-) ... If they'd suddenly start to count in base 2 GB (the harddrive makers), I'd totally lose control! I buy a 160 GB drive, and in the back of my head I _KNOW_ that I won't see 160 GB free space in the Finder. Now if it were suddenly sold as a 150 GB drive, I'd expect less and buy from a vendor who still lies... ;-)

    Let's tell those lawyers to get a life, shall we?
     
  13. Pengu

    Pengu Digital Music Pimp

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    fryke, while I agree with you that the lawsuit is stupid, who says it was filed because they want it to change. The big companies (Dell, IBM, etc) may just pay them to make it go away.

    I think I'll sue the top 10 Best Selling Authors on the planet for contributing to the destruction of forests around the world, and ultimately giving me (insert random disease caused by higher carbon dioxide here). Oh wait. THAT'S ridiculous. of course it is, it's just a way to make a quick buck or two(million)
     
  14. GroundZeroX

    GroundZeroX Searching for logic

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    Pengu, I agree with you. The harddrive can easily stay 160GB, and they will never have any problems at all, just don't hook it up to a computer. This is just like the moron who sued because he got fat at Mc Donalds, or the lady who spilled coffee on herself, then sued Mc Donalds because her coffee was hot. The people who do these types of stupid lawsuits, are the people that make the US look bad.
     
  15. brianleahy

    brianleahy Colonel Panic

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    My two cents:

    A lawsuit is a little extreme. However, we *should* have a uniform standard to express drive capacities, and for that, we must standardize on a definition of mega/giga/tera etc.

    Which version to standardize on? There really isn't any choice: binary computers (and believe it or not, there *have* been digital, but non-binary computers in the past) measure storage in powers of two. They can't help it; any whole number of binary bits can express a maximum value that **is** a power of two (less one).

    For this reason, computer storage of any kind has historically been measured in powers of two, not ten. Humans are more flexible, we can alter the way we use words like giga and mega. And when we are SPECIFICALLY referring to data storage:


    1k = 1024
    1Mb = 1k * 1k
    1Gb = 1Mb * 1k
    1Tb = 1Gb * 1k

    My two cents.
     
  16. chevy

    chevy Maverlous Da Vinci Staff Member Mod

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    It reminds me the problems with CRT screen size.... 17" screen with 15.5" viewable area...

    The difference between disk size and available size has nothing to do with 1000 or 1024 B in a kB. The difference would be just 2.4%... this has to do with formatting ! Before you use your drive, the OS writes some information on it to be able to follow the tracks... this takes bits and therfore reduces the free space for your data.
     
  17. GroundZeroX

    GroundZeroX Searching for logic

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    I think I'm going to sue McDonalds because my quarter pounder with cheese isn't REALLY a quarter pounder after they cook it. If this law suite wins, I think I will win.
     
  18. brianleahy

    brianleahy Colonel Panic

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    Actually, by the time you get to gigabytes, the difference is 6.8%

    1024 * 1024 * 1024 = 1,073,741,824
     
  19. chevy

    chevy Maverlous Da Vinci Staff Member Mod

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    Good point.

    So basically as they are two definitions used, so one should mention which definition is used on each product.

    http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html
    mentions:
    (2)_ 1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less.

    So the definition is there, no discussion.
     
  20. Arden

    Arden Where mah "any" keys at?

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    Meow.
     

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