Why is the actual size of my hard drive different from what the box says? ~ Ask The Admin

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why is the actual size of my hard drive different from what the box says?

In the old days, when hard drives first came out, the discrepancy between advertised amount of storage and what you get was minuscule. Nobody really noticed that because of a technical disparity, a 1 gb drive (which back than was HUGE) only had a disparity of a relatively small amount of mb. These days the gap is widening.

Dr. Macenstein from Macenstein.com writes:

"Let me ask you something. If I were to sell you a dozen eggs,
would you be OK with opening the carton and finding 9 eggs? If a car company
were to put up a big sign advertising their new mini van had 100 cubic feet of
cargo space, but it actually had about 75, do you think you would have the right
to complain? Then why is it we all just accept the misleading way hard drive
manufacturers advertise the amount of space on their drives?"

I'd have to say this guy is right on his money. Beyond that is the fact that the value of a kilobyte has gone down since then, but what seems minuscule to us now, was not minuscule then, but for some reason people still didn't notice. Can't one argue that todays megabyte is yesterdays kilobyte? One day the lonely byte will also become obsolete, the same way the poor old bit (remember, 8bits to a byte) did. But you better believe even bits mattered then, and yet still nobody boticed, at least not enough to complain about it

Dr. Macenstein goes on to say:

"Even if the potential differences in capacity that result from
the different formatting methods somehow factor in to this intentionally
misleading advertising gimmick, it’s not like there are 4000 different ways to
format a drive. If manufacturers want to advertise a 500GB drive, then they
should have to just put under it (in small writing, like all truth is
written) list the actual capacities under the 3 major schemes, FAT32, NTFS,
HFS+. And in reality, it’s not like a 500GB drive formatted with FAT32 is going
to give you 499.99GB and as NTFS is going to give you 465GB. They are all pretty
close, and all closer to 465GB than 500GB."

It's appalling what goes on in Electronics marketing sometimes. I do believe it's time to speak to us as if we're not blithering idiots, and give us the straight facts about what kind of storage space we can expect to have in only a handful of major formatting methods.

Read Dr. Macenstein's full post here

In the meantime I'll brood over how many gigs of extra space I was promised over the years, and how much i actually got to make use of.

Commodore64 (the one you used to play Bruce Lee on)