1832: Photo Library Management
The comic is about the results of how many photos one takes. It is a graph showing multiple areas corresponding to the number of photos taken per day by a user and the total time spent reviewing them.
The comic is split into 6 sectors as described below:
|Left sector / Low Amount of Photos Taken, more than a little amount of time to sort||No problems||With only a few photos to sort, and lots of time to do so, Randall is able to maintain his photo library efficiently.|
|Bottom sector / Area under line increasing where more time is spent as more photos are taken||Can't find the good photos among the thousands of bad ones||The amount of photos being taken is too high for Randall to adequately sort in the small amount of time he has.|
|Top sector / Area above line of negative gradient, as number of photos increases and time decreases||Can't sleep, too busy sifting through photos to find the best ones||Randall has taken too many photos, but has dedicated the time to sorting them. As a result, he is lacking sleep through his determination to complete the task.|
|Middle sector / Area in between both side lines, after No Problems but before cloud storage||Photo library fits on most devices as long as they're not too old||Randall takes quite a few photos, but still enough to fit on a more modern hard drive.|
|Middle-right sector / Area in between both side lines, after 'not too old' but before 'Moore's Law'||Need cloud storage, external hard drives, or frequent upgrades||Randall takes so many photos that he needs more storage than is on his computer to hold them.|
|Right sector / Area after 'cloud storage', going off until the two side lines meet||Photo library grows faster than Moore's Law||Moore's Law is a law that states that technology will keep getting better exponentially. However, Randall's photos take up so much space that even Moore's law can't catch up to the number of photos stored.|
As Randall goes through more photos, he finds more bad ones, erases them and more storage becomes available. This allows taking more photos and still don't exceed the limits of the quota. This is why the "secondary" lines (e.g between the different storage types) are not completely vertical but tilted to the right at the top.
The title text states "A good lifehack is to use messy and unstable systems to organize your photos. That way, every five years or so it becomes obsolete and/or collapses, and you have to open it up and pick only your favorite pictures to salvage." If you know that you will lose everything, that knowledge will encourage you to save what you want the most and leave everything else. It will also help decrease how many photos you have through the same awareness.
- [A line graph is shown. The x-axis is labeled "Photos taken per day" and the y-axis is labeled "Time spent going through photos per day". The content is divided into six sections:]
- [Section 1: Few photos taken per day, no limit to time spent:]
- "No problems"
- [Section 2: Some photos taken per day, a limited amount of time spent going through:]
- "Photo library fits on most devices as long as they're not too old"
- [Section 3: More photos taken per day, less time spent going through:]
- "Need cloud storage, external hard drive, or frequent upgrades"
- [Section 4: A lot of photos taken per day, and even less time spent going through:]
- "Photo library grows faster than Moore's Law"
- [Section 5: Above line increasing where more time is spent as more photos are taken:]
- "Can't find the good photos among the thousands of bad ones"
- [Section 6: Below line of negative gradient, as number of photos increases and time decreases:]
- "Can't sleep, too busy sifting through photos to find the best one"
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Started edit today - mostly easy and self explanatory although suspect someone will explain Moore's law better than I can. Have, unfortunately got to work, but hopefully start and template is good.
I believe that the rightmost section (that increases faster than Moore's Law) should be labeled as the "Kardashian Zone"
18.104.22.168 13:49, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
Not sure why the top-right line (above which is "Can't sleep, too busy sifting through photos to find the best ones") slants down as the number-of-photos-taken-per-day increases. Surely if the amount of time you spend sorting through photos is steady, the amount of sleep you lose due to sorting photos should be steady, too (assuming no other factors).
- I believe this is in reference to the decreasing threshold at which picture sorting will become all-consuming, since there would be more to sort. But yes, based on the axis label, this does seem a bit odd.
22.214.171.124 23:08, 3 May 2017 (UTC)
- Randall is actually correct here. sleep time = 24 hours - other time - photo taking time - photo sorting time, which rearranges to: sorting time = C - taking time, i.e. the negatively sloped line you see on the graph (since we're not given the axes scales). Or put it another way, let's say you need 8 hours of sleep. Then if you extend the top-right line all the way to both axes, the top-left corner would be (0, 16), the bottom-right corner (16, 0), and the midpoint (8, 8). 126.96.36.199 07:55, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Taking photos uses up time in the day, therefore as you take more and more photos per day you naturally have less time left over to sort the photos 188.8.131.52 08:19, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
This comic is in direct contrast to the days of past when cameras used film, and people viewed pictures behind sticky plastic in photo albums. The idea, as I remember, was to take only what you thought were the best pictures and to keep checking the number on your camera to see how many pictures were left (24?). These days, of course, you take as many pictures as your phone will hold, then... well, view comic above ;)
- I've recently sorted through a box of pictures from my wife's high school days that conflicts with this. Just the media and delay were different. If you had as much film as you wanted, or about 200 of those disposable cameras (and enough money to buy that), you can generate enough pictures to make it time-prohibitive to sort. 184.108.40.206 17:18, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
The lines in the middle section really should extend at least into the bottom section and overlap -- not only would you not be able to find photos in the lower right, but your collection would also be growing faster than Moore's law. 220.127.116.11 23:51, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
We need a category for comics that mention Moore's Law. Seems to be a minor recurring concept. 18.104.22.168 07:41, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
Why does this explanation assume everything refers to Randall personally? Usually Exkcd only does that when there's an "I" in the text somewhere, as I understand it.Nitpicking (talk) 11:47, 1 April 2022 (UTC)