Showing posts from June, 2007

Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, and all that

Also see Kibi, mebi, gibi, tebi, pebi, and all that, which are relatively new prefixes designed to express power-of-two multiples.

Kilo, mega, giga, tera, and peta are among the list of prefixes that are used to denote the quantity of something, such as, in computing and telecommunications, a byte or a bit. Sometimes called prefix multipliers, these prefixes are also used in electronics and physics. Each multiplier consists of a one-letter abbreviation and the prefix that it stands for.
In communications, electronics, and physics, multipliers are defined in powers of 10 from 10-24 to 1024, proceeding in increments of three orders of magnitude (103 or 1,000). In IT and data storage, multipliers are defined in powers of 2 from 210 to 280, proceeding in increments of ten orders of magnitude (210 or 1,024). These multipliers are denoted in the following table.

Prefix Symbol(s) Power of 10 Power of 2
yocto- y 10-24 * --
zepto- z 10-21 * --
atto- a 10-18 * --
femto- f 10-15 * --
pico- p 10-12 * --

Prediction: Multitouch Input Pad at WWDC?

Prediction: Multitouch Input Pad at WWDC?

Apple is already making moves towards gesture interfaces. The touchpads on MacBooks support two finger scrolling. And there's the iPhone.
Part of the iPhone's multitouch interface is based on the work of two University of Delaware professors, John Elias and Wayne Westerman. Elias and Westerman owned a company called FingerWorks that sold a multitouch Touchstream keyboard and an iGesture Numeric Keypad, which worked like the multitouch mousepad described above.
Apple bought FingerWorks in early 2005, along with the professors' patents, which look like an entire platform for finger-based interfaces.
For one thing, using your finger seems to help with RSI, according to FingerWorks' testimonials: "I've been a LP user for about 8 months. It's been the best thing that's ever happened to me in the world of computers. I'm a mechanical engineer and I use it for 2D and 3D CAD drafting, as well as 'normal' office …