Why blocks and not MBs?

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User Info: FredSavage27

6 years ago#11
I think it's a relic from when Nintendo used their own propriety memory cards that had nothing but game saves from that console, so kilobytes didn't really matter. It doesn't explain why they STILL use it for SD cards that have 9999+ blocks, though.
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User Info: Nin3DSFan

6 years ago#12
Muljo Stpho posted...
I'm pretty sure it is just to make it easier to understand for people who simply can't bring themselves to understand any term that sounds technical and conputer related. An arbitray, but even number of blocks is easier for people to take in.

That's pretty much what I was going to say. It's "user friendly".

I thought the reason they display in blocks though, is because SD Cards store in "blocks"

Meaning any file that is 129-256 kB will take 2 blocks on the SD card. If they displayed "free memory" I think people might end up confused as to why they have memory, but can't put anything into it.

I could be wrong, but thats how I've always understood the technology

I hadn't heard of that before but it's an interesting suggestion. I could see that being part of it too. (This wouldn't be a property of SD cards though. They'll display sizes in bytes, kilobytes, etc. on your computer, the same as any other storage medium you could possibly use. It's not like SD cards have some magic new way of storing data that doesn't involve some method of encoding a bunch of ones and zeros.)

Remember storage space uses the 1024-based system, i.e. 1 kilobyte = 1024 bytes, 1 Megabyte = 1024 kilobytes, 1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes, etc.

Yep, everything is a power of 2 since it's all binary in computers. 2^10 = 1024

If anyone here doesn't know and is curious: a binary value (1/0, on/off, high/low, etc.) is called a bit and 8 bits make 1 byte.

But then, is it 128 kilobytes or 128 kilobits? If it's 128 kilobits, it'd be 23.4375 Megabytes.

As I understand it:
b = bits
B = bytes

And then to go off on a tangent here, I've also heard that:
K = kilo = 1024 scale
Ki = kibi = 1000 scale
M = mega = 1024 scale
Mi = mibi = 1000 scale

(So 1 KB = 1024 bytes while 1 KiB = 1000 bytes.)

And on that note, that is probably why they decided to just invent an arbitrary scale and call it "blocks". It bypasses the entire question over whether we're talking about bits or bytes and whether the prefix denotes 1000 or 1024.

Other way:
K = kilo = 1000
Ki = kibi = 1024

1 MB = 1 megabyte = 1000 kilobytes = 1000000 bytes
1 MiB = 1 mebibyte = 1 mega-binary byte = 1024 kilobytes = 1048576 bytes

User Info: Muljo Stpho

Muljo Stpho
6 years ago#13
Other way:
K = kilo = 1000
Ki = kibi = 1024

1 MB = 1 megabyte = 1000 kilobytes = 1000000 bytes
1 MiB = 1 mebibyte = 1 mega-binary byte = 1024 kilobytes = 1048576 bytes

I was going off of something I remembered reading online once, rather than anything that's been covered in any of my classes. So if you've got more accurate information on that point, fine.

But as I understand it, the kibi / mebi / etc notation does not exist in normal numbering and was only invented because of computer terminology's misuse of kilo / mega / etc. As I understand it, "kilo" for computers never means the same thing as "kilo" in any other context. (Or at least it's not supposed to.)

I don't know. If I remember correctly, the article where I read about this was talking about a mismatch in the way the size of a hard drive is reported by the manufacturer and the measurement that your computer comes up with when it tells you how much space is actually available on that drive. It brought up this notation to help explain why we don't actually get to use the full amount of space that the packaging says that we should be getting. The argument was that they labeled the size in GB when the number reported is actually in GiB. The manufacturer counts by 1000s instead of 1024s.

But maybe I remembered it wrong and/or read it wrong? It somehow stuck with me either way though, despite never really seeing that notation come up anywhere else since then. My classes have all used K=1024.
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User Info: Megaman Omega

Megaman Omega
6 years ago#14
1 KB = 2^10 bytes = 1024 bytes
1 MB = 2^20 bytes = 1'048'576 bytes
1 GB = 2^30 bytes = 1'073'741'824 bytes

Only nazis and Wikipedia do the kibi/mibi stuff. A kilobyte being 1024 bytes has always been alright, why would that suddenly be a problem now? Stop this kibi nonsense.
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User Info: Minamo

6 years ago#15
Because megabytes are offensive to children.

User Info: L0L_FAQ

6 years ago#16
yeah, a block is the smallest piece of storage. If you have a 56kb block left on your memory card, you can't store two 26kb files on one block. if there were a lot of "uneven" files in your memory, you'd "have" a few hundred MBs "left" but with no ability to store anything and then people would get confused.
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