Mac Applications forum

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How To Display REAL File Sizes?

by Sophya / February 27, 2010 4:58 AM PST

Hello. I work a lot with video, DVD's, etc. This work relies heavily upon the long-time, established standard when it comes to file sizes; that is, that noble of all numbers, 1024.

Sadly, it appears that some computer makers, hard drive manufacturers, and even some ISP's, no longer have respect for the decades-old standard of 1024, upon which the computer industry was built. Thus, to earn a higher profit, and to pretend to offer more than they really are, they have chosen to use 1000, instead of 1024, as their unit of measurement. It makes Internet speeds appear faster than they really are; it makes hard drives seem bigger than they really are; etc. To me, it is plain old greed and deception.

For someone involved with video, where accurate measurements are required, this modern usage of 1000 presents a problem.

Thus, I am looking for a program which will allow me to display REAL file sizes in the Finder -- which relies upon 1024k/Kb, 1024Kb/Mb, 1024Mb/Gb, etc. -- rather than the more modern approach of 1000 units/whatever.

I was hoping that a program like MacPilot, or a similar app, might possess this tweaking feature, but I have been unable to find one to date.

The only thing that I can do for now is to use a program like MediaInfo, which is a halfway point, because I actually want ALL of my files on my hard drives to display the file size based upon 1024, and NOT upon 1000.

Can anyone else?


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File sizes
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 27, 2010 5:12 AM PST

are reported by OS X, up until Snow Leopard, using the 1024 method (Binary).

Apple changed the procedure with the launch of SL and this brought Apple in line with the drive manufacturers and other OS producers.

The Drive makers have been using 1000 (Decimal) as their measure for a considerable number of years, it's not new.

The drives are exactly the same size as they were before, just measure in a different way.

Check this site out it may work for you


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SwitchDiskSizeBase App
by Sophya / February 27, 2010 7:51 AM PST
In reply to: File sizes

Hello MrMacFixIt,

Thanks for your response.

Actually, I am familiar with WhatSize, but it is not what I am looking for. I also looked at another free alternative called GrandPerspective 1.3.0, but it isn't what I was looking for either.

However, someone on the messageboard pointed me to another thread, and a program called "SwitchDiskSizeBase" which switches the Finder, Disk Utility, etc., back to base 2, so that file and folder sizes are displayed, based on 1024, and not on 1000.

If anyone is interested in downloading the program, you will find it here:

I am not the author of the program, so I make no guarantees concerning it. I am just passing along some useful information.

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SwitchDiskSizeBase App Not Working On SL iMac
by Sophya / February 27, 2010 9:50 AM PST
In reply to: SwitchDiskSizeBase App

DRATS! I just tried using "switchDiskSizeBase Build 3" on a 27" 2.8 GHz Quad Core iMac running 10.6.2.

When I run the sudo command in the Terminal, I get the following error message:

"Cannot patch Foundation framework; either it is not a supported version or it is corrupted"

Does this mean that Apple is on to the developer's tricks and does not like it, or does he just need to update his app? I just wrote to him. Maybe he will answer.

BTW, the link I provided leads to a slightly older version of the program. For the latest version of the program, please go here instead:

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Probably the latter,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 28, 2010 12:49 AM PST

he needs to update his app

Thanks for the info


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Still Waiting To Hear From Dev
by Sophya / February 28, 2010 2:29 AM PST
In reply to: Probably the latter,

You're welcome.

I am still waiting to hear from the developer of switchDiskSizeBase. He hasn't responded to either my email, or to the comment that I made on his web page.

Hopefully, that is because he is working on an update to his app. Incidentally, my iMac was built about a month after he released Build 3 of his app.

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Just Heard From Developer
by Sophya / March 1, 2010 1:09 AM PST

Hello Again,

I just wanted to update everyone.

I just heard from the developer of switchDiskSizeBase. He informed me that he needed a copy of the "Foundation.framework" folder in order to determine where the problem lies. He believes that it should be an easy problem to fix. I just sent the framework to him.

I'll let everyone know the results.

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switchDiskSizeBase Build 4 Now Available For New iMacs
by Sophya / March 1, 2010 10:51 AM PST
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(NT) Good Job!
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / March 1, 2010 9:03 PM PST
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Thank The Developer
by Sophya / March 2, 2010 5:43 AM PST
In reply to: Good Job!

Hi Guys...And Gals,

If you own one of the aforementioned iMacs which requires switchDiskSizeBase Build 4, I encourage you to visit the developer's page at the above URL and leave a thank-you comment on the page. Not only will it show our appreciation for his quick work, but it will encourage him to continue updating the app as new releases of Mac OSX are made.


Just another happy user of the app. Happy

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