Metric or imperial?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by The Grood, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #1
    Megabytes, Megahertz etc...

    Has there ever been an equivalent imperial measurement?
     
  2. Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    Only when measuring certain parts of the anatomy judging by some comments around here. :p
     
  3. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #3
    I would argue that Megahertz is imperial.

    Metric to me is all base ten so 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour and 24 hours in a day would seem more imperial. Swatch beats, on the other hand, I would consider metric....:)

    I know that the SI unit of time is the second, but the whole non-base 10 doesn't seem metric to me....at that rate neither do bytes... 8-bits to a byte... that seems more imperial as well...
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #4
    Just thought that since most of the computer industry started off in the US in the 70's/80s, didn't these guys have imperial measurements for performance/capacity etc.

    Like 'a yard of speed' or 'an ounce of memory' or something:

    'Wow, my new officebox system packs three yards per second and nine pounds of memory. Cool!"

    If so, what happened to them?
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Communard de Londres
    #5
    Cycles, megacycles etc etc, *rides away on unicycle*
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #6
    Fair point, but the prefix 'mega' is tres METRIC...

    What about some random word (foot)?
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    ham_man

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    #7
    Ummm...Megahertz is a metric (i.e. base ten) unit for wave frequency. Megabytes I would consider a binary (i.e. base two) measurement with a metric prefix for simplicity...
     
  8. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    I want my microprocessor speeds measured in furlongs per fortnight, and I'll wager that I'm not the only one.
     
  9. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #9
    Ouch!! That Megahertz ;)
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #10
    reason for that is because computer are base 2.

    Base 10 and base 2 dont really line up much at all. Now base 4,8 and 2 all line up really nicely but it because they area numbers in base 2.

    I personally thing it still metric. in selling computer parts like hard drive it is all base 10. So you lose al ittle bit when ti translated back to base 2.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #11
    Computer specification are in base 2 because digital logic is all based around base 2 math. This is very fundamental, logical and for good reason. It has nothing to do with metric vs. imperial.

    Anyway, I wish imperial would just go away. I can't figure out why the US insists on hanging on to it. I work in a machine shop, and to me a 9/32" socket wrench simply isn't more intuitive than a 7 mm wrench. Afterall, it's much easier to figure out that 6 mm is a little less than 7 mm, but if you ask me the relationship between 5/16" and 9/32" I'm going to have to sit and think for a minute to figure it out. But if you ask any of the other people in the shop, they'll say that metric confuses them and only imperial makes sense. Huh!?!?
     
  12. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    Trust me, it gets much worse when you have some people working in mils (milliinches) and others in millimeters. (40 mil is about 1 mm.) But the names are so similar that confusion is sure to arise.

    B
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    canada
    #13
    Imperial measurements are all base 10 too.. :confused: There's 12 inches in a foot, not B inches, or 1100 inches. The varying units for each measurement just line up oddly. The numbers are still in base 10. :D

    It would be nice if we could all agree on one system, but the switch-over would be a real pain.

    P.S. Doing physics in imperial is evil. Slug? There's a reason they invented metric.
     
  14. Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #14
    Actually the biggest non-base 10 "problem" with imperial measurements is their reliance on fractions which are more base 2 than base 10. Going back to mduser63's examples.

    5/16" = 01010/100000
    9/32" = 01001/100000

    The denominator tells you how many bits you need, while the numerator tells you the bits themselves... There's a reason that most of the time we deal with fractions that are 1/2^n. :p

    B
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #15

    simple to anwswer you next question. People are lazy (this is world wide people are lazy) and the US poplulation is not going to switch very fast. The poplulation knows Imperial. Everything we use is that way and as a whole we not as fimilure with metrec. I like metric for doing caclulation but at a glace I dont know the lenth of a meter but I know the lenght of a foot and can eastimate the size of things really easy in imperial cannt do that in metric because I dont use it offen enough messerment wise.

    Switch the poplulation will take generations and slowly doing it because it just takes a while to cause it to happen. A lot of things are dual messured in the US and everything is sold with both imperal and metrec on it.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    emotion

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #16
    Here in the UK we're pretty much metric (like the rest of the EU). Apart from using miles on all our road signs (and pints for beer and milk).

    Most people under the age of 30 here don't understand imperial measurements anymore anyway.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    iAlan

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #17
    Not only how to measure in metric, but how to spell it too :D

    I would suggest that the US change to metric after all the old people are dead :rolleyes:
     
  18. macrumors 603

    gekko513

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    #18
    But seconds is the base unit, so a hertz which is per second is both imperial and metric. An example of a hertz-like unit that I would consider imperial is rpm.

    Is km/h a proper metric unit? I'm guessing not.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    dubbz

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Alta, Norway
    #19
    If I'm not mistaken, the "correct" way is to use meters per second, ie. mp/s. But I pretty much only see that if there's scientists involved.
     
  20. Wes
    macrumors 68020

    Wes

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2001
    Location:
    London
    #20
    I believe 'scientists' prefer meter per second (m/s, no need for the / and the per, they have the same meaning.).

    But my physics teacher always said that the convention is not to use m/s but m(s^-1), which are semantically the same.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    atszyman

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #21
    Furlongs is pointless in processor speed, since they are usually sitting still when used the Furlongs would be zero. However cycles per fortnight would be a valid speed for computers....

    My computer runs at 1.8144 Peta-cycles per fortnight....
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Tom B.

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #22
    Do you think we will ever switch to a metric clock, as in 100 seconds per minute, 100 minutes per hour and 10 (or 20?) hours a day?
     
  23. mpw
    Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #23
    True, anything more than 10" = megahurts.
     
  24. macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #24
    Why would we considering the Earth's rotation speed?
     
  25. dcv
    macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #25
    What, like that Jersey foot of yours? ;) :p
     

Share This Page