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Q: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?
Category: Computers
Asked by: thedread-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 02 Mar 2005 12:56 PST
Expires: 01 Apr 2005 12:56 PST
Question ID: 483603
Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?  We are launching
localized pages providing downloads and need a "definitive" answer as
to whether something like:   256Kb   will be understandable no matter
what language we localize our pages for.
Subject: Re: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 02 Mar 2005 15:31 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

I conducted some Google searches that should set your mind at ease.

Searching on [ "256Kb cache" ] returned 69,200 results -- the quotes
confine the search to the exact phrase.

A similar search on [ "256K cache" ] returned a similar number -- 45,200 results.

Without the quotes, results were even closer:  

256K cache -- 224,000 results 

256Kb cache -- 241,000 results

As you can see, both K and Kb are widely used as a well-recognized and
readily understandable abbreviation.  Both abbreviations are used
regardless of whether the sites were in English or in another

Repeating this experiment with other phrases like [ 256K sram ], [
256k file ] or even 256K on its own -- and then comparing the results
by substituting 256Kb -- generally produces the same sort of results.

Both terms are widely used, and are used interchangeably in multiple languages.

Either choice should be readily recognizable by users of your sites,
but I agree with some of the comments you received earlier -- use of
Kb is preferable to avoid any potential ambiguity.

I trust this information fully answers your question.  However, please
don't rate this answer until you have everything you need.  If you
would like any additional information, just post a Request for
Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further, and I'm at
your service.

All the best,

thedread-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 02 Mar 2005 13:55 PST
There is no single "correct" abbreviation for kilobyte. However, 'Kb'
is less subject to misinterpretation. I think it's a better choice
than 'K', which can be an abbreviation for other things, such as
'karat' or 'Kelvin'.
Subject: Re: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?
From: thx1138-ga on 02 Mar 2005 14:00 PST
My colleague pinkfreud is quite correct, there is no one single
correct version but Kb is usually understood (that's what I use)

"In computer literature, kilobyte is usually abbreviated as K or Kb.
To distinguish between a decimal K (1,000) and a binary K (1,024), the
IEEE has suggested following the convention of using a small k for a
decimal kilo and a capital K for a binary kilo, but this convention is
by no means strictly followed."

A kilobyte contains 1,024 bytes of information. 'Kilo' in decimal
systems stands for 1,000 but in binary, a kilobyte contains a little
more. Because of this, a kilobyte or a 'k' or a 'kb' is frequently
referred to as 1,000 bytes.

If you want to be really exact in your measurements, I've heard that a
capital K is used to indicate a binary kilo (1,024) and a lower case k
is used to indicate a traditional kilo (1,000).

If on a floppy disk you have 720k of information, then it contains
720,000 bytes or characters."

"However, the standard-keepers of the SI dislike the usage of an upper
case "B", which stands for bel or "K" which stands for the kelvin, a
unit of temperature. In 1998, the IEC decreed to call 1,024 bytes a
kibibyte (KiB) ? a term which is only slowly catching on. During the
transition period, the IEEE suggests using a lower-case "k" for the
decimal kilo (1,000) and, if properly pointed out, an upper-case "K"
for the binary kilo (1,024), thereby taking the historical development
into account. Unfortunately this is not extended to the higher order
prefixes and has never been widely recognized."

Very best regards

Subject: Re: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?
From: garyking-ga on 02 Mar 2005 16:45 PST
KB is more widely known. This is because you can easily change it to
MB for megabyte, GB for gigabyte, and they all follow a similiar
structure (i.e. they contain B at the end, 2 characters, they are
capital, etc.)
Subject: KB = 1024 bytes; kb = 1000 bits
From: bavi_h-ga on 02 Mar 2005 23:21 PST
May I suggest you always use a capital B to mean bytes and a lowercase
b to mean bits. Although it isn't a hard rule, the lowercase b can
mean bits in some contexts. (Most notably, when indicating the data
rates of MP3 files and such, kb/s means thousands of bits per second.)
The capital KB is usually always understood to mean 1024 bytes.
Subject: Re: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?
From: mcnoob-ga on 03 Mar 2005 10:12 PST
In hardware design it's common to use 'b' for bit and 'B' for byte.
Networking rates generally use bits per second while storage and
processors use bytes. These aren't hard and fast rules but one common
Subject: Re: Is K or Kb the universal abbreviation for kilobyte?
From: volterwd-ga on 07 Mar 2005 14:28 PST
K simply stands for Kilo...

you wouldnt say i weigh 230k would you? you would say i weigh 230kg...

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