Sunday, 27 August 2017

reference desk or site-seeing

From Life Hacker we get the incredibly useful tip that the whole of Wikipedia is available as a data dump any time by going here. It is currently some fourteen gigabytes of compressed information, unzipped to around sixty and can easily be tucked away onto a USB drive to have a version at one’s disposal whether on-line or off to satisfy the curiosity of the moment or merely for the pleasure of pursuing daisy-chains of related ideas down rabbit holes.
It’s a little too big to tote around on one’s mobile devices (and should one try to employ an abridged version, it feels like defeating the purpose with limitation) but the Wikipedia app is worth having—only taking up nominal space and having a very tight turning-radius owning to the fact it’s not laden down with the usual advertisement targeting software—and has a quite interesting feature, provided that one is will to share one’s whereabouts with Wikipedia: it informs on what locations in one’s physical proximity have articles written about them and what heading one should take to visit them. It’s quite useful for orientation and sight-seeing when in a new place for the first time and is really the only tour guide that one needs.