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Thread: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

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    Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Seagate is the first big hard-drive manufacturer to offer refunds for stealing your GBs, apparently, but it's not as clear cut as that.
    Read more.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Firstly, as a pedant, I can deal with drives being in GB and not GiB.

    I have to deal in bits when I'm working on designs at chip-level, and bytes when I'm working on program code.

    But I'm not exactly 'the rule'. Since HDDs started coming in external enclosures, and people could actually buy them and use them without any hardware knowledge, nobody (except us and a few other places) has endeavoured to spread the word about the difference between giga and gibi.

    I think the ruling is unfair, however. Sure, HDD manufacturers use a different base, but technically they haven't misrepresented. Instead, Seagate, and indeed all HDD makers, should have been forced to specify in GiB.

    That would have the greater benefit.
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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    how about if the hard drive was in a system from dell or fujitsu? then are we able to get our 5% as well or is it just for those who bought the drive itself?

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Quote Originally Posted by freddie View Post
    how about if the hard drive was in a system from dell or fujitsu? then are we able to get our 5% as well or is it just for those who bought the drive itself?
    drive itself i bet.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Why would Seagate refund 5% of that system - you bought a HDD, you would have to go after Dell - etc... for the rest if you think its fair...?

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    I find the whole thing utterly daft. It's certainly not something that keeps me awake at night..
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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    I agree it's daft, but if all of Seagate's customers decide to take 'advantage' of the offer, it's going to cost somewhere in the region of $50m in cashback.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Quote Originally Posted by dangel View Post
    I find the whole thing utterly daft. It's certainly not something that keeps me awake at night..
    exactly, 5% of a £60 drive is..................
    £3....
    not much but unless you hate seagate then why bother.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    A few points of clarification - as the story referenced in our piece makes clear, the refund applies only to drives bought separately from systems (which I personally find more illogical than the overall ruling itself).

    What's also clear in the original is that this - wouldn't you know it? - applies only to drives bought in the USA.

    Oh, and why do I, unlike some of my colleagues, think that it's not unreasonable for Seagate to be hit this way?

    Well, my thinking about selling stuff is shaped by the old UK Trades Descriptions Act, which aims to stop products being misrepresented when they're sold.

    Folk who've bought themselves hard disks have been left hacked off thinking that they're paying for particular capacities, only to discover that they're actually getting rather less.

    Typically, those who aren't in the know technically always start off worrying that there is something wrong with the drives they've bought because, according to the operating system, the drives' capacities are less than they paid for.

    And today - given that hard disks have such large capacities and are so cheap - it's that worry, in my view, that's the real issue, not the loss of space.

    Hopefully, though, worldwide, all makers of drives and drive media (and system builders, too) will now realise that they're at risk of penalties and will make serious efforts to ensure that all their promotional material - printed, on the web, whatever - tells the truth.

    Then, if people still end up getting confused and worried about the difference between the assumed and actual capacities of drives, it will simply be because they haven't bothered to read the small-print - or, hopefully, the not-so-small print.

    As has already been said, we at HEXUS are trying to help educate people but, relatively speaking, very few of the people who will be caught out by the capacities anomaly are likely to be HEXUS readers - so it really is up to the manufacturers to explain the situation to end users and this may be the kick up the bum they need to get them to do this at last.
    Last edited by Bob Crabtree; 02-11-2007 at 12:37 PM.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    We're dealing with base 2 systems here so why would HDD manufactures quote in base 10 even if they are not wrong with the numbers they quote? I have always found that baffling.

    They're asking for trouble and have been asking for it for years and now it is hitting Seagate. I wouldn't be surprised if more suffer the same fate. Quoting in base 10 goes against the grain of how computers work: base 2....quote relative to base 2: Common sense.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    nobody (except us and a few other places) has endeavoured to spread the word about the difference between giga and gibi.
    H'apologies for being iggerant, but could one explain to me, or direct me towards an article that does explain the difference?

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tumble View Post
    H'apologies for being iggerant, but could one explain to me, or direct me towards an article that does explain the difference?
    Gibibyte - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    normally we use kilo mega giga which are in the order of 10^3 10^6 10^9 and so on.
    so when they say kilobyte, they mean 1000 bytes, which is just under a computer kilobyte which is in fact 1024 bytes ( 2^10) because the computers work in binary.
    decimal = base 10
    binary = base 2

    thats why its 2 to the power of 10, 20 and 30 etc
    and thats why we always lose some hd space because they quote it in gb and not GiB

    also check out
    Binary prefix - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tumble View Post
    H'apologies for being iggerant, but could one explain to me, or direct me towards an article that does explain the difference?
    Just in case you're not having a laugh, I include here the link that appears in the seed message of this thread.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorza View Post
    We're dealing with base 2 systems here so why would HDD manufactures quote in base 10 even if they are not wrong with the numbers they quote? I have always found that baffling.

    They're asking for trouble and have been asking for it for years and now it is hitting Seagate. I wouldn't be surprised if more suffer the same fate. Quoting in base 10 goes against the grain of how computers work: base 2....quote relative to base 2: Common sense.
    Yup, that's how I feel, too.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Crabtree View Post
    Hopefully, though, worldwide, all makers of drives and drive media (and system builders, too) will now realise that they're at risk of penalties and will make serious efforts to ensure that all their promotional material - printed, on the web, whatever - tells the truth.
    That, in my opinion, is the real story, but I'd go a bit further in that I'd like to see not just the strict technical truth told, but I'd like to see it told in such a way that misleading impressions aren't given.

    I don't want to see marketing doublespeak relying on technical terminology to leave consumers thinking their getting one thing, when they're actually getting something else. Legislation actually requires that some UK contracts have terms explained in clear, understandable English, not legalese, and we need a similar ethos in technical specs.

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    Re: Seagate pays the price for quoting misleading hard-drive capacities.

    Isn't this about marketing though? You can't suddenly start offering capacities of 1,073,741,824 bytes or try and educate beleaguered consumers of the unique charms of the gibibyte over the gigabyte. So now they'll just have to stick some asterisk after each capacity which will point people to a bit of explanatory small print that nobody will ever read, but which will protect the company from being sued.

    As far as I can understand, base 10 is not actually involved at all, except to provide a neat figure to round up to. And I think it's right that if they are rounding up and not making it clear that they're doing so then they should be punished and not be able to continue with this practice.

    So here in a nutshell we have the core challenge faced by the technology industry: how to convey geek concepts to non-geeks. I guess that's what Hexus is here for

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