Google’s wildly extensive calculator feature is useful for all sorts of things, and blogger Phil shows us one particularly helpful use: figuring out how long that big download is going to take.
Whether you’re downloading large files on the internet or transferring files over a FireWire 800 cable, it can be handy to know how long it’s going to take before you start. Download speeds are often measured in megabytes per second, but big files can be measured in gigabytes rather than megabytes, and the time it takes is probably going to be a matter of minutes or hours rather than seconds. As such, converting it all in your head and doing a straight up calculation isn’t exactly easy. Luckily, Google’s got all those units stored in its database.
Transferring a 500 GB file over a FireWire 800 connection? Just type (500 gigabytes) / (800 Mbps) into Google to get a transfer estimate. Phil also recommends accounting for overhead and other slowdowns by taking 80% of that transfer time, since they’re rarely as fast as advertised. So, with that in mind, searching for (500 gigabytes) / (800 Mbps * 8) would give us a more realistic time. Downloading a 6 GB torrent? Assuming it’s got a good swarm going, I know I can rack up at least 1.5 Mbps, so I’d search for (6 GB) / (1.5 Mbps). Sure, your BitTorrent client probably already gives you a time estimate, but it won’t be accurate for a minute or two while it gathers all the peers. Thus, using this for BitTorrent is pretty useful, as it gives you an estimate faster than your client is able to. Hit the link to read more.
How Long Will That Image Take? [Phil Hagen’s Scratch Pad]