Have you ever wondered why your hard drive or USB flash drive has less available memory than the manufacturer has specified? Instead of the promised 1TB drive, you’ll suddenly see only 931GB – apparently for no apparent reason. In fact, this confusion of numbers is based on a simple conversion between two number systems: the decimal system we use in everyday computing, and the binary system our computer uses.
Data carriers calculate differently from manufacturers
The information on the data carriers is known to be designated by kilobytes, megabytes or gigabytes. To illustrate this, we have an external hard disk with a storage capacity of 2 terabytes (TB) according to the packaging (Figure 1).

Kilo or Mega are prefixes based on the decimal system by physical definition. The decimal system is the number system we learn...