20050922

Jack's Off

From the Guardian's Ask Jack column:

USB limits
Is there a restriction on the number of files that can be saved to a USB drive?
Jim McAllister


JS As far as I know, the only limitation is that imposed by the file system. A USB thumb drive, memory card or phone is likely to use FAT16, the "file allocation table" system from Microsoft's old DOS disk operating system. This can store a maximum of 512 files in the root directory — and this assumed 8-character file names! If the card is 512MB or larger, it probably uses Windows 95's FAT32 file system, which has no such limit. Since using 8.3 filenames (eg Track001.mp3) is probably impractical, you may need to store FAT16 files in separate folders.


What the hell is he on about? "Store FAT16 files in separate folders"? What on earth is a FAT16 *file*? FAT32 does have a limiting size -- 2^16 within a single folder, according to MS. I don't know whether Jack is the victim of bad editing, or just bad information.

2 comments:

Matt said...

The BBC posted a "computer literacy" quiz recently, in which they revised the answers closer to reality as they went along.

Particularly notable was the question on how many simultaneously displayed colours the VGA standard specified - at first you could pick four exciting options, none of which contained the values '16' or '256'.

This all sounds like fantastic attention to detail, but it's not; my co-workers who'd taken the pre-revision test were simply suspicious of my result. :)

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