kbps,Kbps & KBps

  Greengage 12:05 22 Mar 05

Can anyone please enlighten. Looked up the definition of the first two above through a Google search and it stated that they are one and the same. In carrying out speed tests, on A Beltron and McAfee, the first shows 699.68kbps (87.46 KBps) and the second as 412.4Kbps (51.55 KBps). What do the letters and figures in brackets represent?
Incidentally, is there any reason the two readings ( carried out at the same time)are so different. Yesterday I had the first at 930 kbps and the second at 340 kbps. I am on NTL cable and should be receiving the upgraded 1mb.

  bertiecharlie 12:14 22 Mar 05

1 Kilobyte (KB) = 8 Kilobits (Kb) click here

  Wilham 13:03 22 Mar 05

Greengage, unfortunately errors with units abound, not only on this forum but even in commercial adverts.

Biggest mistake is confusing lower and upper case b. Small b is for bit and capital B is for byte (=8 bits generally)

Lower case m is for metre or milli (=1/1000)
Upper case M is mega (generally 1 million)

K is for Kelvin, k is for kilo (generally 1 thousand). Very common for mix-up here, and unfortunately K is becoming accepted in numerical context for k.

I use the word 'generally' where the fastidious can point to exceptions, but to an intelligent readership (as in this forum) it is worth distinguishing the rigid from the fuzzy.

SI abbreviations ought to be rigid, but megabits per second (Mb/s or Mbps) are not SI.

I think it important for students particularly not to pick up bad habits with units.

This may help, and there's much more, just put SI in Google. click here

  Stuartli 13:20 22 Mar 05

A small k is often used as well for the mileage of used cars in advertisements such as, for instance, 17k (17,000 miles, not kilometres) to further confuse)...:-)

  Wilham 14:04 22 Mar 05

Stuarti: In your example the k is used correctly, of course, for numerically 1000.

I couldn't write on units without at least one error, and I thought Stuarti's eagle eye would spot it. I'll leave it for other sharp minds to find, it wasn't deliberate but is clearly a mistake.

To answer Greengage's other query about speed tests....
Our BB data transfer rate on average uses only a fraction of what is available, so our line capacity is shared with other BB customers. Speed tests reveal how busy things are.

  Greengage 16:13 22 Mar 05

Thanks everyone - I have been educated!

  Stuartli 17:50 22 Mar 05

You flatter me highly, but I wasn't pointing out any "mistake", merely an alternative (and somewhat confusing for some people) use for "k"...:-)

  Mr Mistoffelees 18:21 22 Mar 05

about SI units and prefixes, and the correct abbreviations, can be found here:- click here A link at the bottom takes you to the list of prefixes.

  Wilham 19:57 22 Mar 05

Mr Mistoffelees. You won't mind me commenting on your link:

It is American with US spellings and tends to be old-fashioned. they are way behind Europe adopting metric/SI, and frankly they make more mistakes with units than we do.

Bits and bytes are not at present SI, so we need more than is given. Celsius isn't SI, nowadays it is written with small c except as here beginning a sentence. Americans write temperature C with degree symbol to distinguish from coulomb C, whereas Europe is dropping degrees with celsius,- you might notice our TV weather presenters are moving toward this. The reason is to dimensionally match non-degree SI kelvin.

I admit I found the extended link to the prefixes interesting/useful, but I'm amused by the homage to the French CIPM.

Sorry to go on so long, I've a thing about units.

  Stuartli 11:50 24 Mar 05

..forgot to point out that many UK job adverts include the use of k or K to indicate the annual salary in thousands i.e £15k or £15K or £75k or £75K.

Might also stand for krona if you work for a Swedish firm...:-)

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