You're going to have to wait a little while longer for the Computer History Museum, Silicon Valley Wandering and San Francisco based updates I had in mind, since I still haven't found a good way of adding the images I wanted to. In the meantime, I thought I'd tell you about my morning, in a similar (if significantly smaller in scope) fashion to Tim Bray's semi-famous post.
Now, Google is very transparent internally, but also has fairly strict rules about what you can and can't talk to people about, regardless of whether you're talking to your friends, your family, random people on the street, or potentially random people on the information super highway (that's you). I haven't entirely gotten my head around them yet, so I'm limiting myself to things you could find out by yourself, either via the internet, by wandering around in the general vicinity of a Google office, or being invited in as a lunch guest. This latter option is not too uncommon; it's actually something we're encouraged to do (up to a point).
Be that as it may, this morning I drove in to the campus, and parked in a nice easy space a reasonable distance from the building. I'm not entirely used to driving on the
right wrong side of the road and I'm not going to take any chances, so I was looking for a space with no other cars around. Someone had left one of the Google bikes next to where I parked, so I jumped on, rode straight past the the building my class was due to be in (I'm here for training) and headed over to one I knew had a cafe which served a decent breakfast.
Side note: the Google bikes are distinctive in many fashions, one of which is that they lack brakes. This is good knowledge to have, and personally I would have liked to have found out when I was a little further away from the speed bump. Now you know. You're welcome.
I stood the bike up near the door, next to a pack of its siblings, and badged my way into the building. The breakfast did not disappoint, and I actually broke down and grabbed a smallish portion of the french toast /crispy bacon / maple syrup combo which always tests my willpower (but thankfully doesn't seem to be an option at the London office). It was, on the whole, a very good breakfast. It does, however, leave me with a bit of a dilemma: do I return to this cafe tomorrow, or try a different one?
As I was leaving, a girl walked her bike into the cafe and propped it up while she filled a takeaway container with yummy, yummy breakfast food. Then, as I was gabbing a coffee before my class, a guy wandered past with his St. Bernard. Google is a very different kind of a workplace, that's for sure. Did I mention the building my classes were in yesterday has a four lane bowling allay and a dance studio?
After that, I... REDACTED ...all of which was very interesting. In all seriousness, though: I'm getting a lot out of this trip.