Thursday, September 24, 2009


There comes a point in any project when you have the day when it all seems a bit too much, deadlines growl at you, things just... don't come together.

The only proper response is slight hysteria, and a brief burst of creative procrastination.

Here is today's.

mildlydiverting Idea - download wikipedia on to a microSD card, and EAT ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE as an art piece.

Of course, that goes to Facebook (sorry, I know republishing is crass, I just have different friends in different places).

And then I did the maths.

Kim Plowright Idea - download wikipedia on to a microSD card, and EAT ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE as an art piece.
3 hours ago via Twitter

Jen Bolton, Alison Breadon and Lee Warren Magician like this.

Brian Lok Olsen

can you fit wiki on just one microSD. Perhaps a layer cake with microSD's and cream

Kim Plowright
SO - you can get 16gb on a MicroSd.

From Wikipedia's statistics for the English version of wikipedia:

Content pages 3,040,693
Pages (All pages in the wiki, including talk pages, redirects, etc.) 18,062,483

So there are 21103176 pages, of which content makes up (we'll exclude pictures and multimedia for the sake of argument) apx 14.4%

The most recent complete compressed database dump is 2.8 Terabytes - 2867 Gb, as there are 1024 G to a T. 14.4% of that is about 412GB, requiring me to eat 16 microSD Cards. I need to do some research in to the components within an SD card: do they contain circuitboards? Would they break apart during digestion? Is there a dioxin or a mercury load involved, and would 16 cards be enough to significantly damage my health?

All of these questions remain moot.

However, that 2.8gb dump also includes all HTML, and ALL revisions on the pages. I'm only interested in eating the current state of human knowledge: I don't need pretty formatting, or edit wars about Richard Dawkins.

You can actually download a data dump (compressed) from that contains just current snapshots of page articles. This download is 5gb approximately....

So, we could just eat one micro SD card, with a substantial cost saving (£10.59 for 8gb rather than £34.95 for 16gb), and hopefully less long term health risks.

Next decision: how to document this process.

Right, back to steering the oil tanker with a toothpick, and herding the Schrodinger's Cats.