Do you use Gmail? You’ve probably seen their logon screen (they typically make you log on with your password every few weeks from even a trusted computer). At the side it has a little counter: how much storage they’re using to store email etc. online. It looks like this:
Well the geek in me wondered, what’s with that little counter (showing 7645.52… MB in the screenshot)? Is that a real number? Is it meaningful? Is it random? Does it change?
I started writing it down every time I saw the page – meaning about every two weeks. Just jotted it down and moved on. After a few months, I had some data points, so I graphed them out, and they chart like this:
This is based on the real numbers they displayed between late August and early November.
So at least we know the numbers aren’t random. Are they meaningful? No idea. My gut says that these #s probably shouldn’t really be on a straight line if they reflect real usage. I’d expect to see some variance. But that is one straight. Adding a computed trend line shows the exact same line. Crazy.
My guess? They just calculate a number based on an algorithm. But I’ll keep writing down the #s just to see if they change – maybe they ‘true up’ once a year based on real data. Once again proving, I’m a geek.