Aug 30, 2012 - 0 Comments - Uncategorized -

Informal data mining: a mess of PDF files

Informal data mining

I have a folder with random pdf files, occupying almost 2GB of my hard drive.

Every time I notice I’m running our of space, I arm myself with courage and take the firm decision to clean it.

However, when I sort its files by date in order to start getting rid of oldest ones first, I stop for a second when I start noticing that it accurately tells my recent story. I browse trough its documents and find my interests and activities during the last 4 years (since I bought the computer I currently own) are reflected there. I can therefore see how and when they changed depending on whether I was working or studying, and on my job, hobby or research topics at the time.

I’ve found, in chronological order, payment receipts from the last company I worked for in Colombia, then papers required by the Spanish embassy for my student visa, later on registration papers from the university, and more recently, flyers related to activities in the company I currently work for.

And everything is interleaved with manuals and descriptions of various pieces of music gear, that I’ve been checking across time.

After some time going through the files, I lose my initial courage and stop.

I think I will never purge that folder. Instead I will let it to continue growing, and eventually I will change its name to “Nostalgia”.