10raisedtothe27.jpg

Thanks to the prodigious growth of computer storage media over the past couple of decades, most people have a pretty good command of the metric (SI) prefixes for big numbers: a kilobyte is a thousand bytes, a megabyte is a million, a gigabyte is a billion, and a terabyte is a trillion. Some folks are already making noises about “petabyte”–or one quadrillion byte–storage media. After that comes “exabyte,” which, of course, would be a quintillion bytes. And beyond that you get into “Marx brothers” country. More than one wag has suggested that the as-yet-unnamed metric prefix to denote one octillion somethings-or-other should be “groucho” or “harpo.”

But I like this proposal that’s been floating around Facebook even better: Use “hella” to denote 1027, as in “a one hellabyte RAID array” or “the sun weighs 2.2 hellatons and gives 0.3 hellawatts of power.” [via Boing Boing]

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


Related
blog comments powered by Disqus

Related Supplies at Maker Shed

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 28,409 other followers