February 25, 2006

One week in Dublin

Posted in: Google

Wow, this week's really flown by. Monday was entirely admin & induction, Tues through Friday starting the immense amount of learning required for my job, interspersed with completing various legal admin stuff like getting a PPS number. The bummer for the week was getting food poisoning Monday night which inflicted itself on me throughout the week and only just now (Saturday) seems to have cleared itself up.

Well, Google seems to be a great place to work so far as I've seen. Fun team, super friendly, accommodating, and the company seems to provide just about what ever you want, including free beer. From a technology standpoint, it's just surreal. Beyond what I had even imagined. The learning curve is however quite demanding - the figure going around is about 2-3months before being substantially useful.

In other news, looks like I'll be in Dublin for four weeks and MV four weeks, part of an attempt to bring more training locally than in the States.

new wheels

I have a bicycle and a scooter (Aprilia Habana '05) too, which has made life a lot more fun. The Aprilia is way nippier than my Skipper, heehee. I've variously heard that about half Irish drivers have never sat a test after the government cleared its waiting list of driving licenses simply just issuing them to everyone who was waiting! On the flipside, the waiting list for a bike license is about two years. Yikes. Good job my UK one's valid...
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 18:54 | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 20, 2006

I love it when a plan comes together

Posted in: Drivel

Spent 13hrs straight packing the house yesterday with the help of Sophie March, the Order Restorer, and Dom Pannell. Dom was (and is!) an absolute star, arriving before 9am and leaving after 9pm.

Nearly 60 medium to large size boxes. Where did it all come from?! And more to the point, where's it all going? :-)

Plane flight was a little close for comfort, and had to empty one of my suitcases as it was too heavy. Not the case that I could just pay an extra fee, it was simply deemed too heavy for the personnel to lift! 36kg.

So as I write this, I'm sitting in the Gasworks, a new development adjacent to Google, snarfing a wireless connection from one of the apartments (node name, "NETGEAR", haha). Oh, and I have to be in reception in a few minutes so best go...

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 09:22 | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 16, 2006

Valentine's in Paris

Posted in: Drivel

After coincidences in both location (Paris) and timing (Valentine's Day) I booked a trip to hang out with Karen as she's touring around Europe watching her nephew race karts.

Rows upon rows of two-person tables filling every terrasse, coy newly-minted couples looking anxious to those in adoring mutually-gazing relationships. It was disturbingly like a production line, the sheer number of couples in rows spookily reminiscent of scenes of the aliens harvesting humans' energy in The Matrix.

The day was spent mostly wandering around various sites, chatting, eating, and drinking. A thoroughly enjoyable time in great company. I turned out easily a day's work during the six hours back & forth on the Eurostar too. It's astonishing what more can be done without a network connection :-)

Apart from the aforementioned Love Factory, we could see virtually no commercialism of Valentine's Day at all in Paris. Almost to the extent that we were wondering if it were actually celebrated here, as though V Day was an English speaking-only phenomenon. This is probably a saddening reflection of how much these events are hijacked by corporate marketeers in the US and UK.

I stayed at Le Grand Hotel (at a heavily discounted rate; thanks guys!). It was absolutely bloody amazing, opulence on a grand and absurd scale, only fractionally let down by having to actually pay for a network connection. It was free in the lobby at The Westin (where Karen was staying).

One final scene that sticks in my mind as a sign of the times was watching a tour boat pass under the bridge by Notre Dame. As the cathedral came into view a sea of little LCDs lit up in parallel the dim shadows around the boat, the soft glow of several dozen digital cameras reporting on their owners' soon-to-be masterpiece.

Somehow I managed to forget my camera but will like to K's when they're online.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at 11:20 | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 3, 2006

I'm so over managing hardware

Posted in: Tech

Yesterday afternoon one of my servers crashed. At 16:20 I got on the case, and it was finally resolved by 20:30. It required putting a new PSU in the server, and sundry post-crash sysadmin jobs. Most of the time spent however was a product of some of the worst customer service I have ever experienced.

It turns out that the company that houses a server of mine was bought out recently. The difference between service from Mailbox before and after has been a stark illustration of the difference between dealing with a company in it for the cash and a company in it for the love of what they do.

Continue reading "I'm so over managing hardware"
Posted by Paul Makepeace at 13:01 | Comments (3) | TrackBack