When data gets shared, the format in which it is stored can cause confusion or even errors. Take for example a field that stores the amount of available storage used by files on your harddrive. Given the wide variance in file sizes, we have grown accustomed to seeing the units appended to the end, like 45GB or 3.5TB. But if you stored those values "45GB" and "3.5TB" in your database, how would you start adding them up? How would you be able to total the amount of storage used by .gif files versus the amount used by .mp3s? The logic required becomes mind numbing and maintaining that code requires considering all of the ways in which a user may enter the value. The right solution is to decide on a unit of measure for the storage metric, (Personally, I like bytes in this case) and stick to it. Then you can modify your display algorithms to provide units. Additionally, you have a standard value by which you can transfer the data to any system without worrying about how the information is formatted.
On a slightly different note:
A group of colleagues and I started reminiscing about backup media and what it took to store all those floppies/CDs/DVDs "back in the day". So, I decided to take a look back and see what it would take to store 1 terabyte of information using some common media from our past. Here are the results.
|Media Type||Capacity||# to store 1TB|
|5-1/4 In floppy disk||360 KB||2,982,617|
|3.5 in HD floppy disk||1.44 MB||728,178|
|8 in floppy disk||6.2 MB||169,126|
|SuperDisk - LS120||120 MB||8,739|
|SuperDisk - LS240||240 MB||4,370|
|Zip Disk||750 MB||1,399|
|Jaz Disk||1 GB||1,024|
|DVD (2-Layer)||9.4 GB||109|