Welcome to the Prefix wars [WAS:RE: Weekly Classic Computer Trivia Question (20141205)]

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Sun Dec 7 18:46:20 CST 2014

On 12/07/2014 03:02 PM, Tom Gardner wrote:

> IMO the mess really started with Apple's Macintosh which reported memory and
> disk capacity using K in a binary sense without any qualification.  I can't
> prove a negative, but I think no OS prior to the Mac OS used any prefixes at
> all; they simply displayed or printed a decimal number to however many
> digits necessary, sometimes without commas.  It will be interesting to see
> what this group recalls
Oh, it started before the Mac.  Consider, for example, the Technical 
Reference for the IBM PC (first edition).  Clear as day, it talks about 
memory expansion options of "256K".  Even so, consider older CP/M 
machines--many of them used the memory available in the signon as "XXK"

It probably goes back well into the 60s talking about so many 
"kilowords" of memory or mass storage.


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