The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Sorting through the mess that is my filesystem

A few weeks ago in The Weekly Meeting, Smirk made an offhand comment about the lack of organization in his email. He doesn't bother, finding it easier to let the computer search through his copious amounts of email for email he's interested in (and once a year, the accumated email gets dumped into the archives). What struck me about the comment is the search bit. Google made a business around searching. First web pages, then email, then the Google Toolbar, for searching your files locally.

That was an interesting concept. So I hacked together some code to fully index all my files. Not the contents, no, that's a bit too much to handle. No, what I indexed was information about the files—the names, sizes, timestamps, file types, creation time, all the bits about a file.

It's amazing what I've found. I have 338,516 files (and that's not counting the stuff making up the operating system—that's personal files I'm talking about). The mean file size is 104,654 bytes, but the median size is 3,864, which to me indicates I have some huge files skewing the average. Said 338,516 files are stored in 26,750 directories (or “folders” for you Window users out there). 55% of the files (215,000) are text files of some sort; 86,100 are images. And all these files and directories consume 45G of disk space.

Okay, so maybe it's only interesting to me.

But I showed the program to Smirk and P today at The Weekly Meeting. Smirk saw the value in the program (even as clunky as it stands right now) and about an hour after the meeting, called me with a commerial application in mind, based on this idea.

Not bad for something I hacked together on a whim.

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