How many gigabytes in a a zettabyte and why you need to know

Because if you can't handle zettabytes, what will you do with yotta- xona- and vundabytes?

Here, from 2003, is a set of suggestions from Ph.D. and retired U.S. Army mathematician/computer scientistJames Blowers for a set of prefixes extending all the way beyond "vunda" (10 23) to "luma" (10 63) and all the way down to "lunto" (10 -63).

How to convert odd and unusual units of measure

There are other conversion sites, too, of course. OnlineUnitConversion happily calculates that one centimeter equals 10,000,000,000,000,002,048 zeptometers, which is fine if you can remember to replace "meters" with "bytes" when you paste the results.

It runs out of steam when you try to convert centimeters to zettameters (equals zero?), let alone quexameters, sortameters or mingameters.

It does offer to convert plenty of odd measurement units, though. The rood (0.0020401 mile), the miglio (0.8037797 mile) and the li (0.2699784 mile), for example.

It also converts my personal favorite measurement unit of length, the smoot (5 feet, 7 inches, or 1.7018 meter), which was first measured by MIT fraternity guys in 1958 by curling 5-foot, 7-inch then-pledge Oliver R. Smoot up into a ball and rolling him from one end of the Massachusetts Ave. bridge between Boston and Cambridge to the other.

The distance from Boston to MIT, it turned out, was a charming 364.4 smoots, plus or minus one ear, (620.1 meters).

The MIT frat boys painted one mark on the sidewalk for each revolution of the Smoot, distance markers the city of Boston repainted every couple of years until 1987, when it tore up the sidewalks on the bridge to lay down new cement. Rather than marking the slabs every six inches as usual, the construction company made each slab 5'7" long to preserve the concept of measurement by smoot.

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