Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Wikipedia

You're not always right. You're not always popular. Yet, you are, unequivocally IMHO, a remarkable achievement. Congratulations.

Incidentally, I'm surprised by how many people don't know that Wikipedia provides "dumps" of the entire encyclopedia. Amazingly, this collection of every single English article comes to a mere 4.1GB! Almost anybody could fit on their home computer these days if they deleted that season of The Wire they've already watched. The dump doesn't include the revision history, discussion pages or non-text media, but it's enough to be getting on with, eh? (I speak from experience here, having been on many bleary eyed wikibinges where I start at one place and end up somewhere really, really different).

Furthermore, 4.1GB is well within the capabilities of mobile devices these days. This means you can hold an appreciable fraction of the sum total of human knowledge in your hand. Perhaps becoming less useful in this ever-more-connected world, but still astonishingly cool. Sucks for these, though.

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