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# Imperial vs Metric

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FAT64 - Nor does the earth revolve around the sun in 365 days. its 365 1/4 days, hence a leap year

My brother is a carpenter, and he just loves the measurement system. Wood comes in 8x2 (measured in feet) x 9mm thick but, and here is the major thing, the boards are actually cut in 8ft x 600mm x 9mm . Screws come in metric, piping comes in imperial....

Basically it dont matter what he has to work on he always has to convert one of his measurements into imperial or metrics to order the materials *lol*

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FAT64 - Nor does the earth revolve around the sun in 365 days. its 365 1/4 days, hence a leap year

Indeed, and it isn't quite as simple as that even (we also have leap centuries). The Earth is gradually slowing down of course, so maybe one day we could metricise time (if only for a while).

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The units you choose to measure distance, volume etc in are fairly arbitrary. One system is no more accurate than another.
Metric is more accurate.

distance travelled by light in absolute vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second

Read that 2nd link for what it was based on before metric knocked some sense into them. Something based on the speed of light is generally going to be more accurate, and make more logical sense, than something based on the average man's thumb width.

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Nah, a measurement is only as accurate as you take it. If you measure in mm and get it wrong, it's wrong. If you measure in inches and get it wrong, it's just as wrong as the inaccurate mm. The base system doesn't affect the accuracy. Its not like if you convert from mm to inches and the measurement is suddenly wrong. How many times have you taken and object like dividers, a piece of cardboard or string and taken a measurement to transfer to something else, done what you needed to do and in that whole process you never used any system at all. Accuracy is in you and your tool.

@phkninja- "but us Irish like the extra 64ml smile.gif " Of all the rationalizations and excuses so far in the interest of metrics, yours has at least some merit.

Mark

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The units you choose to measure distance, volume etc in are fairly arbitrary. One system is no more accurate than another.
Metric is more accurate.

distance travelled by light in absolute vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second

Read that 2nd link for what it was based on before metric knocked some sense into them. Something based on the speed of light is generally going to be more accurate, and make more logical sense, than something based on the average man's thumb width.

Don't agree, imperial is as just as accurate.

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@ DL & MAVERICKS CHOICE: We aren't really talking about the same thing. Perhaps accuracy isn't the best word.

You are correct that in most common scenarios the system of measurement doesn't really matter. A marked string would suffice for most daily measurements of distance.

But what about scientists? What about recording a measurement that can be understood and replicated in 500 years? What about passing a precise meaurement to someone around the world over the phone? Reliable definitions are what make these things possible.

Metrology is an interesting field, though most people don't really consider how important such things are.

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But what about scientists? What about recording a measurement that can be understood and replicated in 500 years? What about passing a precise meaurement to someone around the world over the phone? Reliable definitions are what make these things possible.

As you say, they only need a reliable definition. It doesn't matter which system they use. Once they have the definition, they can take the measurement and then convert to the system they like in 500 years. That is if they are counting in Earth years. Like the page you referred to says, it has to do with calibration (aka definition).

Beyond a certain point, measurements can to be done by optics and interpreted by machine. You still have to tell the machine in what format you want the measurement displayed.

DL

Edited by DL

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(just like there are 1,000,000 bytes in a megabyte - mebibytes are different)

Say what you will, but Megabytes is universally accepted to mean 1024 Kilobytes, which equals 1024 Bytes. Which means there's 1,048,576 Bytes in a Megabyte. You can keep you Mebibytes, and shove it.

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(just like there are 1,000,000 bytes in a megabyte - mebibytes are different)

Say what you will, but Megabytes is universally accepted to mean 1024 Kilobytes, which equals 1024 Bytes. Which means there's 1,048,576 Bytes in a Megabyte. You can keep you Mebibytes, and shove it.

Agreed.

It's not because marketing really cocked everything up that binary bases should be changed to decimal.

1024 bytes in a Kilobyte, 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte, 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte and 1024 Gigabytes in a Terabyte.

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1024 bytes in a Kilobyte, 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte, 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte and 1024 Gigabytes in a Terabyte.

Which reminds me. Do these numbers look familiar? 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128

That's right, they are the denominators in fractions of an inch. Use them all the time, don't we?

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For many applications....

They measure it with a yard stick,

mark it with chalk

and cut it with a chain saw.

And, they call that accurate!

B)

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For many applications....

They measure it with a yard stick,

mark it with chalk

and cut it with a chain saw.

And, they call that accurate!

B)

I thought that was the meter stick.

That is a good and old saying but it is a criticism of method, not measurement. Just clarifying. Standard measures have been evolving for a long, long time and will have had the opportunity to pick up more sayings, expressions and 'rules'.

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(just like there are 1,000,000 bytes in a megabyte - mebibytes are different)

Say what you will, but Megabytes is universally accepted to mean 1024 Kilobytes, which equals 1024 Bytes. Which means there's 1,048,576 Bytes in a Megabyte. You can keep you Mebibytes, and shove it.

Agreed.

It's not because marketing really cocked everything up that binary bases should be changed to decimal.

1024 bytes in a Kilobyte, 1024 Kilobytes in a Megabyte, 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte and 1024 Gigabytes in a Terabyte.

You can say this, but it is confusing and error prone to have different values for the same prefix. That's why the IEC introduced the binary prefixes.

An example: The PCI bus runs at 33MHz, and is 32 bit wide. What is the theoretical maximum bandwidth?

Well, 33MHz * 4 byte makes 132 MB/sec. True? Yes, but this is a decimal Mega because the Mega in MHz is decimal.

The answer which makes more sense is 125.9 MiB. A difference of 4.8%

An other point: How much time will it take to download a 2GB ISO over a 4Mbit line? Well, that is... Wait, the 4Mbit, is that 4*10^6 or 4*2^20? How should I know?

Edited by Mijzelf

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metric is much better then imperial, imperial makes no sense.

metric is much better because most of it is derived from SI units which have special definitions so that the unit can be replicated anywhere

except kilo is a bit funny because that lives in Paris.

a megabyte will always be 1024 kilobytes its just manufactures and stuff that try to tell you its 1000 kilobytes i think

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