Metadata Histogram

Posted by Sotirios Vrachas on February 6, 2017

A seven day laptop usage physical profile. What can the timestamps alone of the metadata that I generating simply by using a computer reveal about me?

Metadata Histogram/CGI

Source Files:


ABS used: 51g

Printing time: ~4 Hr.

Software Stack: Debian GNU/Linux, FreeCAD, LibreOffice Calc, Inkscape, Blender (for CGI)

How it was done

sudo zcat /var/log/syslog.7.gz | awk -F':' '{print $1}' >> log
sudo zcat /var/log/syslog.6.gz | awk -F':' '{print $1}' >> log
sudo zcat /var/log/syslog.5.gz | awk -F':' '{print $1}' >> log
sudo zcat /var/log/syslog.4.gz | awk -F':' '{print $1}' >> log
sudo zcat /var/log/syslog.3.gz | awk -F':' '{print $1}' >> log
sudo zcat /var/log/syslog.2.gz | awk -F':' '{print $1}' >> log
sudo awk -F':' '{print $1}' /var/log/syslog.1 >> log
sudo awk -F':' '{print $1}' /var/log/syslog >> log

uniq -c log > logfreq

Then logfreq > chart.ods > data formating > chart.svg > lines to closed paths > waves.svg > waves.fcstd > extrude paths > wave*.stl

Wanted features

Day 1 and 2 are missing the activity that happen around 23:00 due to shorter data ranges in calc.

Shorter process.

Commands for other log types. Git and Thunderbird store similar metadata but for a longer period of time.

There is a 15 minute gap at day 7 around the time that I captured the data. I added the rest of the data for that day afterwards and added an estimated value to that slot. My logs start at 8:00 every day so I had to capture data twice to get a full dataset.


Metadata Histogram by Sotirios Vrachas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


“I search, therefore I am” Workshop with Kyriaki Goni