## The Confusion about Kilobytes and Megabytes

We can often hear the terms bytes, kilobytes, megabytes as memory of computers (RAM or capacities of hard disk). Well, of course, this was during the old days; everything now is at least 1 gigabyte. The term kilo is often associated with 103 = 1000 (1 kilometer = 1000 meters) and the term mega is often associated with 106 = 1 000 000 (1 megaton = 1 million tons).

However, in reality, numbers in the field of computers use binary digits, so we are actually using the base 2 instead of base 10. Base 10 is the number system that we use every day.

When we say kilobyte in computers, we generally mean 210 or 1024 bytes (instead of 103 bytes) and when we mean 1 megabyte, we really mean (210)(210) = 220= 1 048 576 bytes.

To avoid the confusion, new units were introduced in 1998, the kibibytes and mibibytes. One kibibyte is now officially 1024 bytes and 1 mibibyte is equal to 1,048,576. That makes I kilobyte = 1000 bytes and 1 megabyte = 1 000 000 bytes.

The usage of megabyte is still not consistent though. In measuring hard disk space, 103 x 103 = 1 000 000 is used. In measuring RAM, 210 x 210 = 1 048 576 is used. In flash drives and old floppy disks, 210 x 103 = 1 024 000 is used.