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New Years Brings GMail Milestone

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It's been awhile coming, but Google's free E-Mail service GMail has finally rolled over to 2.8GB of free storage space this morning, the first day of the new year. I really don't care much about the "new year" since years are an invention of man, something the planet, universe, and reality could care less about. The Earth has seen over 4,000,000 new years since it was born and is likely to see another four billion before it is melted by the Sun. Anyway, I happen to mention all of this because as I sat and watched the Javascript counter Google has on its GMail login page, I found myself wondering exactly how much free space you actually get every second.

Not that it matters, your space quota isn't likely to increase even on a daily basis, as you probably share your space along with a lot of other people on their servers. Google probably just juggles the servers so that no matter what, there is always enough free space so it won't run out in a couple of hours or days at projected growth, with nobody ever really running out. Unless that is they actually accumulate 2GB+ of crap, at which point I'm sure the system just locks them out, rather than actually placing logical space constraints on the system for you.

If you've come this far, then you probably want to know how much space you get every second as I did, and are pissed that I haven't told you by now. Sorry, but you're going to be very disappointed after dreaming up all that cool free space you'll have in the weeks and months to come as it continues to grow into a second hard drive for your email monster.

About an hour before the roll over, I projected the counter to be increasing at just about 3.9 bytes per second. That's just around 120MB per year more free space, hardly worth writing home about. You'll be looking at 2009 before reaching a lofty 3GB, and another 8 1/2 years before 4GB. If I make it to my 80th birthday, I should have 9GB of free space, which is hysterical since after less than 2 1/2 years, I've only accumulated 5MB of mail.

What I'd like for Google to do is not give me 2.8GB of space for GMail, 100MB for GoolgePages, however many I get for PicasaWeb, and the like. I'd prefer that my Google account itself have the 2.8GB of on their servers, and then have it spread across all of their services. That would make the most sense for me, make me the most happy, and it'll never happen.

I suspect the reason Google offers so much storage with GMail is because the vast majority of people will never actually use that much space, and the textual nature of e-mail should make their mail service extremely compressable. Files you store on on GooglePages and images on Picasa on the other hand are far more likely to take up space. Oh well, we can always dream.

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The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.