Monday, October 29, 2007

Seagate sued over Gigabyte Definition

"Seagate Technology, the world's largest hard-drive maker, is offering customers a five percent refund on drives bought during the last six years following a lawsuit over the definition of a "gigabyte". As an alternative, customers can choose to receive free backup software." Reportedly, a group of four people sued the company over the fact that they were cheating customers by mentioning larger number of Gigabytes for their HDDs than what was actually provided. The problem arises from the definition of gigabyte. One gigabyte is actually defined as 2^30 bytes or 1024^3 bytes. But HDD manufacturers have been measuring gigabyte as 1000^3 bytes. The difference turns out to be about 73,741,824 bytes per GB. For 20GB drives this results in 1.5GB loss of space. All other HDD manufacturers like Samsung, Hitachi and Western Digital all measure GB as 1000^3 number of bytes. I have been asking a lot about it for a long time for now, but all of my queries have met with the common answer, "That's how it is measured by HDD manufacturers". It's good to see that somebody has finally sued the company on this issue. The only question is how to claim the refund or the software? I visited the Seagate webpage recently and did not find anything there. I searched for "refund" and nothing worthwhile came up. But I will surely keep an eye on it. I have a total of 6 HDDs that were bought on or after 2001, so I guess I will gain a bit from this. If you know where to claim the refund or the software from Seagate, do let me know. Here are the links to the original article by Peter Judge and the Seagate Website.

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