Z.eus

Chiu Yau's Log.

Basics Computer Knowledge Must Know

In the computer world, the unit of calculation is very complex and its standard is not perfect. So, I am going to write down the standards of most of them.

K1000Upper Case (K)
k1024Lower Case (k)

It is unbelievable to me at the very first, that, K and k, the upper and lower case one are representing different values in computer world, 1000 and 1024 respectively.


Next, it comes to the smallest countable unit in computer, bit (b), while eight b (8b) equals to one byte (B).

b1 bit (1/8 Byte)Lower Case (b)
B1 Byte (8 bit)Upper Case (B)

Computer is a binary-based machine, while operating systems are also. Therefore, the concept of binary system is extremely important to know.

n-bit2^nn-bit2^n
01112048
12124096
24138192
381416384
4161532768
5321665536
66417131072
712818262144
825619524288
9512201048576
101024212097152

It is easily to understand why k stands for 1024 now.

is 2^10, 2 power of 10, 1024.

Some ask: “Why is K for 1000, and k for 1024?”

In reality, we always use to represent 1000, you know, “a thoudsand” “thoudsands” we always say.

But in computer, everything is base on binary system, therefore, to represent “a thoudsand”, we use 2^10, 1024. This makes the real storage cpacity is less than that stated on the storage devices, computer recgonize k as 1024 while storage devices manufacture recgonize k as 1000.

No worries. It is not that hard to remember the differences of “K” and “k“. When you are confused, just think about when is the unit invented and is it related to computer. If that unit exists before computer is invented, then it should be “K“, stands for 1000, vice versa. If that unit is not related to computer, then it should be “K” as well, vice versa.


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