April 13, 2007

Inside Google: interview with Eric Schmidt


An insightful and rare interview with Eric Schmidt about the inner workings of Google (via Amit.)

From the article:

I've always said that if the company were founded today on an empty lot, we would build the buildings brick by brick. We can't imagine someone else building our buildings, we'd have to build it ourselves. This is a build-it-yourself culture. The good news is there's no free land, and so we have to rent the buildings, rather than build them. But the culture is around building things. In that sense, by the way, it's similar to some of the companies (Intel, Dell, Sony) that I mentioned earlier.

[...] And there were a number of times when I frankly had no idea what to do. But the solutions didn't come as a result of me sitting in a room and inventing it. I don't think Larry and Sergey sat in a room by themselves either. It was an iteration that involved the interactions of five or ten people over a period of time. And the characteristic of such group decisions done right is enormous buy-in.

The characteristics of most companies, in my observation, is that you don't have a lot of buy-in. The decisions are top down or they're driven from some external thing. People are like, “Oh, screw that, they don't really buy in.” But a decision-making process that is a sum of its iterative process, which is how Google works, generates commitment and passion that makes my job very easy.

Posted by ovidiu at 10:15 PM | Comments (0) |

October 05, 2006

Google Code Search


You can now search source code with Google's new tool, Google Code Search. You can use regexp, choose programming language, phrase search and many more. Cool stuff!

Posted by ovidiu at 12:24 AM | Comments (1) |

June 21, 2006

Google Picasa for the Web


Google released Picasa for the Web. It's a pretty cool web application which lets you update pictures from your Picasa application (Windows only unfortunately).

I've uploaded some shots on Picasa web, check them out if you're interested.

Posted by ovidiu at 10:34 PM | Comments (2) |

February 02, 2006

Google Tech Talks


Google started to post some of the internal tech talks on Google Video, check them out here.

Update (February 14, 2006): Sylvain complained a while ago the tech talks were not visible from France. I'm happy to report they should now be available to users from France, as well as from Germany.

Posted by ovidiu at 03:41 PM | Comments (1) |

August 19, 2004

Google's IPO


Exciting news today, Google went public!

I was pleasantly surprised to see the stock price remain pretty much constant throughout the day.

Posted by ovidiu at 11:23 PM | Comments (0) |

June 14, 2004

Richard Stallman at Google

Emacs | Google | People
Saint IGNUcius of the Church of Emacs

Last week Richard Stallman, the father of Free Software, visited Google. He gave an introduction to free software and what it means. He emphasized on the differences between free software and open source, and why Linux is really GNU/Linux.

Having followed his arguments for few years now, they sort of make sense. I can see however why people have so many problems with his personality and ideology. He tends to quickly dismiss most of the questions with a "it makes no sense" type of answer.

As a hacker however, all the respects to him, he has managed to get us a long way from where software was in 1984 to where it is now. Emacs, GCC, GDB, most of the standard Unix tools that run on Linux today are directly due to him.

Posted by ovidiu at 09:46 PM | Comments (2) |

May 20, 2004

gmail tips and tricks


If you're a gmail user, check out the gmail gems blog.

Especially useful are the search operators and the keyboard bindings.

Posted by ovidiu at 10:19 AM |

May 11, 2004

Google's official blog


Long overdue, Google finally has an official blog. This will hopefully help dissipate some of the misconceptions surrounding Google.

Posted by ovidiu at 09:13 AM |

April 29, 2004

Googleplex fun


Fun day today! I've managed to do quite a bit today, but only early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Midday, exciting news hit the Googleplex.

I haven't seen the press noticing the pun our founders intended with the amount Google wants to raise: e * 10^9. Quite witty!

Posted by ovidiu at 10:55 PM |

March 31, 2004

April 1st: Google kicks ass with new email service


Read all about it! And check it out here.

How true could it be? ;)

Posted by ovidiu at 10:18 PM |

April 15, 2003

Google Daily Menus


Steven, this might interest you: Google Daily Menus (directly via

Yummy stuff: Charlie and his team are amazing! He also treats us daily with Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, Steve Kimock and other good stuff.

Posted by ovidiu at 11:40 PM |

February 18, 2003

Google and Larry Page


Check out Bradford DeLong's notes from a talk given by Larry Page.

Posted by ovidiu at 12:33 PM |

February 17, 2003


Google | Weblogs

Google buys Pyra, the company behind Blogger.

Dan Gillmor: Google Buys Pyra: Blogging Goes Big-Time
Tony Pierce: Account of the public announcement at Blogosphere
Evan Williams: Holy crap. Bloogleplications
Jason Shellen: Well, looks like someone scooped us on our own story.


Kevin Burton: Where are the Google Bloggers
Matthew Langham: Google goes blogging
Anil Dash: Google's first mistake
Jeremy Zawodny: Oh, wait. Google is the enemy. I work for a company that hopes to kick Google's ass.
Phil Ringnalda: Guess I'll have to rethink that whole "Google may not set cookies on my computer" thing, eh?
Doc Searls: Pretty amazing: I was there and even now I still have less to say about the Bloogle Thing than anybody else.

Suggestions for Google:

Matthew Langham: GoogleBlogs switcher campaign, searches for more like this weblog both in the blogsphere and in GoogleGroups, weblog comments on news articles.
Mena Trott: expand weblogs content base

Congratulations to everyone involved in the deal!

Posted by ovidiu at 05:52 PM |

January 22, 2003

The first week at Google


It's been a week already since I started with Google. Phew, how fast it went by! I haven't had much time reading blogs these days, that's for sure.

I met a lot of people with whom I share past and current interests. [Content edited to protect the innocent]

It's for the first time I see such a large engineering group developing exclusively on Linux. Development happens in C, Python and Java using (X)Emacs and/or vi. Everybody seems to be a Linux hacker, with their own desktop and emacs customizations. I was originally planning to do development on my MacOS X laptop, but I've quickly decided to go back to my roots and use XEmacs on Linux.

I'm trying to get familiar with the source code base, and understand the architecture of the whole system. To get familiar with the existing code, I've started prototyping an idea I had for a long time. The scale of the deployment is just beyond any imagination, it's hard to imagine a system more complex than this. The interesting/scary thing is the current system is still expanding...

The work environment is very free, engineers can contribute to internal projects as they wish. The cool thing is that most ideas that you see on the public Web site are driven by engineers. This freedom is something I enjoy very much, as I don't like being constrained by a particular project.

In short I'm having a lot of fun. And by the way, Steven, the food is great! ;) I still need to visit you though for a good Belgium beer...

Posted by ovidiu at 09:05 PM |

January 13, 2003

My new job at Google


Tomorrow will be my last day working at HP, I've accepted an offer to join Google. While I'm sure I'll miss a lot of colleagues at HP I've worked with, I'm really excited about the new job. I'll get a chance to work in the most successful start-up in the Valley at the moment, and get to do some really exciting things.

I will say no more at this moment, it's really premature to talk about the future. My first day at Google is Wednesday, January 15th. Wish me luck!

Posted by ovidiu at 08:17 PM |
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