When will Gmail hit seven gigabytes?

I’m going to make a prediction, based on very limited observation.

The space provided for each Gmail account will reach seven gigabytes (or, rather, 7,000 megabytes–I have no idea whether Gmail’s megabytes are “disc megabytes” or “true megabytes”) on, let’s see now:

The Fourth of July, give or take a week.

Actually, if they’re adding space at a steady rate–which is a huge “if”–then it should be either July 4 or July 5, 2008.

If I’m wrong, I will double my monthly payment for Gmail for the course of one month. That’s as much money as I ever put behind my predictions.

“Disc megabytes” as used in almost all advertising and specs for hard disk space (and, I believe, optical disc and flash drive space) are based on the decimal system–thus, a megabyte is 1,000,000 bytes, and a gigabyte is 1,000,000,000 bytes. “True megabytes” (or “RAM megabytes” if you prefer) are based on the binary system. Thus, a megabyte is 1,024 kilobytes or 1,024×1024 bytes, and a gigabyte is 1,024×1,024×1,024 bytes. It does start to add up–in this case, to roughly 73.3 million characters. You still sometimes see tiny little footnotes on ads because there have been people who sued because their hard discs didn’t have as much storage as was advertised.

Things get confusing because OS tools, at least on the Windows side, usually return “true megabytes” sizes–so, for example, the primary portion of my notebook’s 250GB drive is reported as “238,113,628,160 bytes” and also as “221 GB.” (There’s a secondary partition for recovery–“11,943,071,744 bytes” but also “11.1GB”) So do I have a 250GB hard disk or a 232GB hard disk? The only plausible answer is, of course, Yes.

Updated August 5, 2008: Well, if I’d said “give or take a month” instead of “give or take a week,” I would have been less wrong. Looks like it rolled over to seven gigabytes some time this morning.

2 Responses to “When will Gmail hit seven gigabytes?”

  1. Aftab says:

    LOL I think u lost?

  2. walt says:

    That’s why I wrote this post–which I should have cross-referenced in a change to the post above.