OT Wrong advertised specifications

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Bill wrote:

The UMA graphics is fine unless you're doing CAD/CAM or high-powered gaming. However it does mean that you're going to want to go to 1.5GB or 2GB even for Vista Home once you subtract the memory that the video card is using.
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Terry wrote:

If it's this one:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_idY69100
She got a 2.4GHz machine with 160GB SATA drive. For $498.00 (with 17" LCD monitor, keyboard, mouse, DVD drive, VISTA Home Basic, a bunch of crap software, etc.)
Specifications on WalMart's web site include:
"256 MB shared graphics memory"
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While I agree that the advertising is misleading it is common practice to report installed memory as opposed to 'usable' memory.
Likewise for hard disks, where the size is often reported as unformatted, which is completely useless, of course. Then depending on what file system it is formatted in (NTFS for example) you get a big chunk devoted to the file system and not available for your stuff.
Same thing could be said for FSB (front side bus) speeds and the like.
Once consumers became more computer literate and learned what 'numbers' to shop for, manufactures built machines that 'looked' good.
Celeron. Need I say more?
So in this case I don't blame wally world.
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snipped-for-privacy@spam.com says...

No, there is no difference between formatted and unformatted disk size (unformatted disk drives don't exist in the wild). The issue is that disks are sold by the decimal megabyte (10^6 bytes) rather than binary "megabytes" (2^16 bytes) as memory is.

What "same thing"?

Celerons aren't horrible anymore, unlike the original.

Of course not. WallyWorld doesn't know any more about computers than the average reader of these groups. ;-)
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Keith

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hmmm, OK. But the consumer sees 300GB and gets 286GB, less is less whatever the reason.

Same thing = putting forth 'good' numbers that are not really a true indication of what you are getting.

Because people stopped buying them. Those old Celeron had some very impressive MHz ratings, but ran like molasses. Same thing. :)

Hence the point, consumers learned just enough about the 'number' game and advertisers took advantage of that limited knowledge to sell what looked like impressive machines cheaply.
Old saying still applies: You get what you pay for (no matter how pretty the package.)
YMMV
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kpg* wrote:

The units of measurement are often dependent on the object being measured. Consider "K"(ilo) vs "M"(illi). Someone used to ordering paper (measured in "M"s) who specifies he wants a machine with "512M" of memory will not get what he's expecting.
It is the responsibility of the buyer to conform to the industry's standard.
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wrote:

I used to hear "M" for mega- and "m" for milli-.

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110 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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No you're wrong again. Disks are indeed just blank platters until formatted which is why when you buy a hard drive it does not say "for PCs only." You can take any SCSI drive for example and use it in a PC, MAC, Unix, VMS, IBM, Cray, Unisys or whatever - all sharing the same interface, all incompatible file systems and drive formats and logical architecture. Depending on the OS and the file system, there is loss due to allocation table overhead and also due to the fact that under NTFS and most others such as FAT and FAT32 there are the same number of sectors per track. Very few OSs actually use variable sector mapping. Oddly enough the old Commodore 64 was one. You fit the same number of sectors on a center track as an edge track therefore you lose more space at the outside of the disk. Picture a pie cut in wedges. Originally, disk drives were actually drums for this very reason - far easier to work with and the only way they could get any respectable capacity - and where we get terms like cylinder from. The next factor is the cluster size itself. Smaller clusters require more management but are less wasteful. Larger clusters waste more space but are better for ECC and performance.
For the sake of this discussion, NTFS has about a 10% file overhead. A 160 GB drive will format out to about 145-148 GB. The rest is just wasted space and table space. This is a general rule of thumb as NTFS chooses the cluster size based on the partition size. You can however, change that. You can run NTFS with different cluster sizes but it introduces other issues. As disk formats go, NTFS is one of the more wasteful. But it really does not matter since the cost per gig is so incredibly low.
Class dismissed.
Paul
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pmBERMUDA snipped-for-privacy@gte.net says...

Wrong. Hard disk are formatted at the factory. They're non- functional without formatting. I haven't seen a disk marked "for PCs only" since the year of the flood.

File system <> formatting. The OS can install its own filesystem. It *cannot* format a modern drive. Without formatting the hardware has no clue how to access the drive - no index marks, no track marks, no clocks, nothing.

No, modern disk have more sectors on the outside tracks (see: "zoned recording"). The sectors are the same sized though. Variable sectors aren't worth the overhead, given the size of disks these days.

Meaningless to the discussion...

Also meaningless...

Demand a tuition refund.
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bah.. unfamiliar with low level factory formatting I see.. (which really is irrelevant to the disk size issue, they simply use a different definition of a megabyte, manufacturers define it at 1,000,000 bytes, while the os works only in numbers divisible by 8, starting at the kilobyte) maybe this will help with the formatting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_level_format#Two_levels_of_formatting
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So does the SI.

Pig ignorant lie. Even the MS OSs often report the decimal format.

It clearly didnt help you.
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snipped-for-privacy@ifuwantit.com says...

I'm quite familiar with the concept. You, OTOH, haven't heard that LLF went out with button hooks. It's been at least 20 years since users were capable of doing a LLF. The hardware ain't there.

Which is what I said.

Divisible by 8? Not many PCs use octal.

Whatever...
Like I said, demand a refund.
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[snip]

Low-level format is a necessity. If your drive wasn't low-level formatted (which must be done at the factory), it would be unusable.
HIGH level formatting is what your computer does. That's writing the OS to the sectors created by LLF.
To confuse matters, people are CALLING something they can do a LLF, when it just writes 0 bytes to existing sectors. It's not a LLF at all.

None do. They use binary. Other bases (octal, decimal, hexadecimal, etc...) do not exist within the computer, but are just ideas present in the users' minds.
Maybe the number you're looking for is 1,048,576 which is 2^20.
[snip]
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snipped-for-privacy@xmail.com0.invalid says...

Bullshit. It is *only* done at the factory as part of the manufacturing process. The drive cannot function without the formatting. That is, the user cannot LLF a modern drive. Speaking of a drive's LLF is meaningless.

The LLF is done by specialized hardware. LLF is really a meaningless concept on modern drives. There is no "unformatted size".

Nope. It's writing '0's to the disk. ;-)

Of course, sorta. The PDP-11 was an octal machine (three-bit op-code fields), even some documentation and panel markings were in hexadecimal. It's just as correct to call binary the figment of the imagination.

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No it isnt.

That doesnt make it an octal machine.

Nope, thats what the hardware does, the others are just representations of binary that are more convenient for humans.

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Sure it does Ron, as much as it is a binary machine. Of course you're only in this for the argument, as usual, so I'll let you have it your way.

Nope. I choose to group the hardware in threes. It's then octal.

I'm not the one with Ron syndrome either.
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Nope. Binary is the fundamental organisation of the machine.
Octal and hex are just convenient representations of binary for humans, a different matter entirely.

Corse you never ever do anything like that yourself, eh ?

You get no say what so ever on that or anything else at all, ever.

Nope, the PDP11 doesnt even do that. Most of its ops are on bytes, not 3 bit groups.

Nope.
You clearly have a massive problem between those ears tho, whatever you call it.
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Apparently some really unusual definition of "bullshit".

You admit it's essential...

As I said.

Read your own writing...

Also strange. Something can't be both meaningless and essential.

Sure there is. Consider the density of stored information within a sector, and apply that information to the entire surface(s).

Exactly what I said. Try reading before you try to disagree.

Which DOES NOT make it octal. It's just 3-bit binary (just like 394 is a 3-digit decimal numeral, not base 1000). Octal is a HUMAN representation of what's going on. Nothing to do with the computer itself.

Actually those are alphanumeric characters. Hex is your interpretation. Anyway, they're for people to read. Nothing to do with what the computer is doing.

Wrong. Binary has a 1:1 correspondence with the computer's internal data processing. No other base does.

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[snip]

It's powers of 2 (1 kilobyte = 1024 = 2^10). 8 = 2^3, just one of those powers.

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They're not padding anything. The machine has 1 gig. Just because she doesn't understand computer architecture doesn't mean she's getting ripped off.
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