Snow Leopard (10.6) does use Base 10

Discussion in 'macOS' started by darijoe, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. darijoe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    Being in Australia I was very fortunate to be able to pick up a copy of Snow Leopard from the Apple Store in Doncaster, VIC early today (a bit after Fri 9:00 AM AEST = Thu 4:00 PM PDT, Thu 7:00 PM EDT, Fri 12:00 AM GMT).

    All that Base 10 v Base 2 hoohaa a couple of months ago now seems a distant memory, but having now installed it on my Late 2008 Aluminium MacBook, I was happy to see that the Macintosh HD volume was indeed calculating disk/file sizes in Base 10.

    This should hopefully be the beginning of eliminating all the confusion surrounding disk space. Finally, a non-technical user will be able to buy a computer with a "320 GB hard drive" and actually see it on the desktop as basically a 320 GB hard drive.

    In my case, the 250 GB hard drive in my MacBook went from being calculated as 232.57 GB in Leopard (10.5.8) to 249.72 GB in Snow Leopard (10.6). What happened to the other 0.28 GB???

    Also, the amount of used space on my hard drive when in 10.5.8 was 119,724,933,120 bytes, when calculated using the following methods equalled:

    (Old) Base 2: 119,724,933,120 / 2^30 = 111.50 GB
    (New) Base 10: 119,724,933,120 / 10^9 = 119.72 GB

    And when I installed Snow Leopard, it most certainly did wonders for the drive's storage space. My MacBook is now showing that I've used only 111,079,096,320 bytes, which equal the following:

    (Old) Base 2: 111,079,096,320 / 2^30 = 103.45 GB
    (New) Base 10: 111,079,096,320 / 10^9 = 111.08 GB

    So thanks to Snow Leopard's disk space economy, I have now recovered an astounding 8,645,836,800 bytes available hard drive space, which is a mammoth 8.65 GB in Base 10 and 8.05 GB in Base 2. Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal mentioned that he had regained 14 GB of space on one of his MacBooks, but that is slightly incorrect as he would have just looked at the Available space on the drive. If I were to do that, it would go from 121.06 GB available in Leopard to 138.64 GB available in Snow Leopard, 17.58 GB difference. That is taking away a Base 10 figure from a Base 2 figure, which is inconsistent and not right.

    As for other aspects of Snow Leopard, the whole system is a little faster with apps launching noticeably quicker, graphics definitely run smoother, the extra Exposé and Dock menu features are really nice and QuickTime X is surprisingly good (and I expected it to be not so robust and user-friendly). The extra desktop pictures and very slight refreshes to the user interface are also nice touches.
     
  2. clmason macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #2
    I am not happy with this myself. The real question now is there any way to change it, a hidden preference or anything? I really don't like my Mac reporting different numbers from the other OSes I use (Linux, Solaris, BSD, etc.)

    Anyone who can figure this out?
     
  3. Maccleduff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #3
    Youre right, it could get confusing when dealing with multiple operating systems, as filesizes would be base10 in snow leopard, base2 everywhere else.

    The only situation I can think of where it might be a problem is in email attachements, if there is a max file size for attachements. Even so, Snow Leopard would report the fileszie as "larger" than what it is in base2 , so you would always be 'under' the limit.
     
  4. beige matchbox macrumors 6502a

    beige matchbox

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    #4
    Theres got to be an option to toggle somewhere, even if it's hidden away in one of the pref files.

    I'm sure it will come up in the next week or so :)
     
  5. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    Location:
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    #5
    Does the terminal command "du" use Snow Leopard's "new math"?
     
  6. clmason macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #6
    I hope you are right!

    Btw, does anyone know if Snow Leopard *Server* does this too? I can see admins not responding positively to this. If it doesn't, that should confirm there's some hidden preference.
     
  7. clmason macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #7
    Fortunately it appears that both "du" and "df" still use the correct numbers. So, it's just the finder, which hopefully has a hidden setting.
     
  8. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

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    Jun 20, 2005
    #8
    Does that mean that if I have a 320GB drive, 320GB are available to write to?
     
  9. clmason macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #9
    No, it still means you have the same amount of space as before. They are just reporting the space differently. A drive advertised as 320 is really only 298 GB. The hardware vendor has lied.

    So, you still only get 298, but Apple is reporting each GB as less than what is really is, so according to the finder you have a full 320 GB, using their own made up version of a GB.

    Note that SSD drive vendors and RAM vendors don't do these lies, these are advertised accurately, and they won't change.

    Edit: This is easy to demonstrate. Format the new "320" drive as empty. Get a 310 GB file from Windows or Linux, and try copying it. It will fail because it will run out of space.
     
  10. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #10
    Fixed.
     
  11. clmason macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #11
    Well, whatever, they are using a different definition than everyone else. But I think I still got the point across, if you rely on numbers from any other OS and assume they will hold on Snow Leopard, you will find things don't fit.

    Btw, "about this mac" says I have 3 GB, not 3GiB, so what's with that?
     
  12. cathul macrumors member

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    May 5, 2008
    #12
    Probably used by the hidden EFI partition of a GUID partitioned disk.
     
  13. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #13
    Apple is the one lying about size, not the hardware vendor. Apple reports GiB as GB.
     
  14. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

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    Jun 20, 2005
    #14
    But, I thought ALL files are displayed with the new Base 10 sizes. So therefore, with a 320GB drive, you can really put 320GB (base 10) of data on it. Am I wrong?
     
  15. clmason macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #15
    Yes, if you are calculating the GB based on base 10. However, all other OSes (Solaris, Windows, Linux, previous version of OS X, BSD, etc.) don't calculate this way. So any files *they* report as bigger than 298 still won't fit.
     
  16. darijoe thread starter macrumors regular

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    Melbourne, Australia
    #16
    Yeah but if it looks as if it's 310 GB on Windows (which still uses base 2), it will be 332.9 GB on Mac.
     
  17. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #17
    I'm not talking about Windows at all.

    Only using 10.6 Snow Leopard. If you have 320GB worth of files (320GB meaning the amount displayed in the Finder) and copy those files to a 320GB drive (also displayed as 320GB in the Finder) the files should fit. Right?
     
  18. LED macrumors member

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    Oct 23, 2008
    #18
    That is right.
     
  19. darijoe thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Oh. Well in that case, most should fit ;) My 320 GB external hard drive is now showing 319.73 GB, so about that amount should fit on 320 GB.
     
  20. SomeSwede macrumors member

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Location:
    Land of ice and snow.
    #20
    This must be the stupidest idea ever by Apple. A GB is 1024 MB. Always has been, always will be. Hopefully they will rectify this mistake in 10.6.1 after enough people have complained.
     
  21. clmason macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2008
    #21
    I understand they are sick of users complaining that their 320 GB hard drive is only 298 and such, but all OSes have the same issue (which is really the fault of the hardware vendors.) This will make things even more confusing. I don't mind if they keep this as default behaviour for regular users, so long as they make it an option.

    I'm still curious whether this is done in Snow Leopard Server, since it has a very difference audience.
     
  22. zen macrumors 68000

    zen

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    #22
    Agree, it's a pretty odd change. Especially for those of us who regularly transfer files around different OSes. As someone said, a 320GB file won't fit on a 320GB Mac drive now, as it is only 298GB.

    Confusing as hell.

    Which also means, presumably, when you go to download something off the net and the size is listed on the website or tracker or whatever, the file you will end up with will actually be reported as much larger because everyone is using base 2 and your Mac is reporting base 10.

    That'll be fun when your download stalls at 98% and the Finder reports that your startup disc is full.
     
  23. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    #23
    It's not confusing, it's easier - it's the metric system. The only people who should have troubles are the Americans.

    Come on, something that takes up 250,567,765 bytes: you can just say it is 250.5 MB. It makes total sense, instead of reporting this as 230MB, or whatever.

    Zen - that's because it wasn't a 320GB file. All you have to do is check properties on the other OS. It will say something like "320GB (350,432,865,936 bytes)", you then know it was actually a 350 GB file in base 10.

    Eventually, ALL systems will move to it.

    Metric for the win.
     
  24. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #24
    A gibibyte is 1,024 mebibytes. A gigabyte is 1,000 megabytes.

    It's not an "idea". It's Apple finally telling us the truth.
     
  25. simonshek macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #25
    in short: 111,079,096,320 bytes in the old day is still 111,079,096,320 bytes today. Using base 10 for rounding up number is easier.. if you feel it is difficult, take a math/science class.
     

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