20 Apr

Saving Google Video and other assorted gimmicks

Category:Events, Hardware, Howto's

Google Video is shutting down as of the end of this month. Video’s will be available for download for some time after that, but then it gets the big shift+delete over at the Goog. The Archive Team sprung into action once again to save this potential treasure trove of digital information that would bite the binary bullet if not saved in time. Currently, there is an effort to save all the material at Google Video before they pull the plug. I decided to join in on the fun, since i have a metric shitload of bandwidth and storage to the point of sheer irrelevance. The amount of material is estimated to be between 100 and 200 TB (or more if some sources are to be believed) There are some guestimates, but i’m not sure we can accurately say yet.

To help out, first read this page: http://archiveteam.org/index.php?title=Google_Video, and then decide how to help out. You can use almost any operating system imaginable, and there are people working on improved instructions and scripts all the time. Personally i’ve used both ubuntu and windows to do some downloading.

You can:

  • Help index videos (if you have lower bandwidth and/or storage
  • Help download videos and later upload them to archive.org
  • Help people out on IRC (#googlegargle #archiveteam and #boincgoogle on the EFNET network)
  • Help improve or test scripts and methods

It has been awesome watching the community at work. Within a matter of hours, multiple people were downloading videos, and we have hundreds of gigabytes down already. People were working day and night (thanks to timezones)  developing scripts and helping people out. Jason Scott of textfiles.com fame is also an active with Archive Team, and is on IRC helping out as well and organizing things on different levels. There are people buying time and storage from the Amazon cloud to help with the effort. The dedication and friendliness of the people is simply amazing. People just show up and help with the effort without any personal gain. On the contrary, people are willing to offer their own personal time, storage and bandwidth for such an altruistic cause. Sure, most of those videos are probably irrelevant, but then, who can say what is going to be interesting to see in 10, 20, 30 years? Local news from Malaysia? “Real life Mortal Combat” ? Who knows. That’s kind of the point behind all this. Saving stuff that would otherwise be lost forever.

The Archive Team have so far dished out like 140TB of storage, with more promised as we start filling that up.

So anyway, if you feel like this is something you could get into, go read the page and see how you can help out. Personally i’m downloading videos and putting them on my fileserver that has a (mostly) empty 1TB drive. And what the hell else would i use my 200/10 Mbit bandwidth for if not this? Sheesh.

In other more generic news, we think we may have found an apartment. A three room place, not far from here. It should be fully renovated, and the rent is cheaper than in our current (too large) apartment. We’re going to go look at it tomorrow, but it’s already reserved for us, if we choose to take it. I have a good feeling about this.

I’m still trying to get rid of the aquarium, and i’m also in the process of selling my 2003 Nissan Primera stationwagon. I need to clean it out a bit first, and get it checked out so it’s street-legal.

Work is busy as ever, and i am very thankful to all Christians who have kindly provided us with the four-day weekend this week. And all this because of the death of an imaginary jewish carpenter zombie. Imagine that.

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