300px Matt Mullenweg 3000MB does not equal 3GB

Matt Mullenweg image via Wikipedia.

I find it so annoying when companies and individuals, who are in the technology business or are technically inclined, incorrectly calculate storage space. For example WordPress founding member Matt Mullenweg, in his “Free Space to Three¬†Gigabytes” post states that the free space on WordPress.com will be increased to 3,000 MB, yet the title states that it will be increased to 3 GB. If the later was true, then a simple calculation will should that he space should actually be 3,072 MB. What ‘s worse is that Kristen Nicole from Mashable, a technology oriented website, simply restated the announcement instead of correcting it.

Below you will find a simple storage space numerical explanation.

Bits & Bytes
1,024 bits = 1 kilobit (kb)
8 kb = 1 kilobyte (KB)
128 KB = 1 megabit (mb)
8 mb = 1 megabyte (MB)
1,024 KB = 1 megabyte (MB)
128 MB = 1 gigabit (gb)
8 gb = 1 gigabyte (GB)
1,024 MB = 1 gigabyte (GB)

The easiest way to go about calculating how many gigabytes  a number of megabytes or kilobytes would be is to divide by 1,024 your megabytes number, or divide twice by 1,024 your kilobytes number. Or start multiplying by 1,024 if you need to get down to specifics. I recently had to do this when I was configuring Postfix message and attachment acceptable size. I wanted the acceptable message size to be 15 MB, but the number I needed to set in Postfix was in bytes. So I multiplied 15 MB by 1,024 to get the number into kilobytes, then I multiplied it again by 1,024 to get it into bytes.

What erks me the most is when web hosting companies do this to customers. Their price plan gives the space in gigabytes, but the admins set the actual account space to that number with few zeros tagged behind it, instead of calculating it.

Techie readers, are you also annoyed by such misleading statements? Let me know by leaving me a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “3000MB does not equal 3GB

  • 2009/02/04 at 12:40

    Actually if you try out WP.com you’ll see we actually give 3,072 MB. :)

    • 2009/02/04 at 14:20

      Hello Matt,

      Thank you for addressing this. Although I am please to learn that WP.com does provide the actual 3 GB equivalent in megabytes to its users, my reaction was directed toward your post, Mashable’s report and other articles of similar nature. I suppose rounding the number might make the reading flow easier as a person reads the article, but as someone who looks for accuracy I was simply irked by it. It’s just something that has bothered me over the years, especially with hosting companies!

      I am bothered by this, because a lot of people who use the Internet and are looking to start their own site are not always technically inclined, nor do they understand this numbers and their conversions. They assume that numbers round to a zero and go to the next increment, like in everyday life, and thus they are taken advantage of.

      The second reason why I am bothered by this is because people learn and form their opinions from what they read and see on the web. So the more writers round the numbers the mover misinformed people there will be. We have an opportunity to teach and demonstrate through our writings. In my opinion not disclosing the actual numbers is the same as a teacher teaching its students that 2 + 2 = 5! Although I have heard that that can be proven true in 17 steps of simple calculations …. JK.


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