The Drive to Court

For those of you who have ever bought a computer with a 40 GB hard drive and wonder why in the world your computer says you have only 37 GB of space, you might find this interesting. It seems a group of computer owners are suing several manufacturers for deceptive advertising.

According to the lawsuit, computer hard drive capacities are described in promotional material in decimal notation, but the computer reads and writes data to the drives in a binary system.

The result is that a hard drive described as being 20 gigabytes would actually have only 18.6 gigabytes of readable capacity, the lawsuit said.

This has always bugged me. With drives getting bigger and bigger, the discrepancy keeps growing. My drive is “80 GB” but in reality is around 72 GB–a discrepancy that is twice the size of my old computer’s drive!