Why are 1024 bytes instead of 1000 in kilobytes?

1024 bytes

Remember the famous joke when an IT specialist asks for a loan: “Could you lend me 1000 rubles? Well, or for an even account 1024! ” Remember the famous joke when an IT specialist asks for a loan: “Could you lend me 1000 rubles? Well, or for an even account 1024! ”

Indeed, many of you know that a kilobyte is not at all 1000 bytes, but where did such strange numbers come from?

To understand this, you need to know how the computing system in computers works. It works on the basis of the binary system, in which exactly the number 2 is of key importance. In fact, any unit of information in binary code is 2 to some extent. For example,

1 byte is 2 0 (two to zero degree).

The amount of information began to grow very quickly back in the 60s of the last century. There was a need to somehow denote large amounts of data. The most logical way was already considered to be the addition of prefixes of the international SI system: “kilo”, “mega” and so on. Taking into account the peculiarities of the binary system of calculus, we selected the value as close to 1000 as possible, it turned out to be 2 10 (two to the tenth power). That is why

1 KB is 2 10 bytes or 1024 bytes

Accordingly, the remaining values ​​are calculated in such a way: 1 MB = 1024 KB, 1 GB = 1024 MB and so on. By the way, now you will probably be able to understand why memory cards or flash drives have such “strange” volumes: for example, 8, 16, 32 GB and so on. The reason is still the same – it’s 2 to a certain extent.

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