“In The Plex” is a book by Steven Levy on Google that attempts to explain the factors behind its rapid growth and spectacular success and what makes it really different from other companies. It differs from the other such books on the company in that the author was granted unprecedented access by the normally-secretive company. This makes the contents of the book fairly accurate and turns it into a great book to read if you are curious about the inner workings of this company.
Archive for 2012
[2012-10-18] “In The Plex”
“Buddha” is an eight-volume manga created by Osamu Tezuka, perhaps more famous as the creator of Astro Boy. This magnum opus is a fictional account of the life of Gautama Buddha and has more than 3,000 pages that took over ten years to create. Despite its length and the time it took to create it, the volumes read as a coherent whole, with the stories of several characters interleaving with that of Buddha. It is a joy to read this set of books and one cannot help but marvel at the amount of love, effort and discipline that must have gone into creating something like this.
[2012-07-27] ICFPC 2012
I took a stab at completing the task presented in ICFPC 2012 a couple of weeks back. The task was to guide a miner in collecting as many lambdas as possible from an underground mine while avoiding falling rocks and expending the least amount of energy (quite like the old Digger video-game). As usual, this task had to be completed within three days and once again, I was far from done by the time the deadline arrived. It was however a fair amount of fun for me.
[2012-06-03] “Steve Jobs”
Walter Isaacson's “Steve Jobs” is the authorized biography of Steve Jobs, finished just before his death and released shortly afterwards. Steve was the creator of some of the most iconic (and best-selling) products of our times, as well as the person who rescued Apple from near-death upon his return there and built it into the biggest company in the world by market-capitalization. It is natural for us to look for insights from this book on just how he managed such feats. While the book succeeds in showing us his human side, revealing aspects of his personal life that were otherwise well-guarded this far, it does not quite throw much light into his design-sensibilities or business-acumen or how they helped him create such a spectacular turn-around at Apple.
[2012-03-23] Blogspot Blog Imported
I have imported into this web-site all the posts from my Blogspot blog (into which I had previously imported the entries from my Advogato diary). I feel it is better to have a single infrequently-updated web-site rather than a couple of such web-sites. It also consolidates into a single web-site most of what I have been polluting the World Wide Web with since the year 2001.
[2012-03-18] “Wolf Hall”
I felt a strong urge to read “Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel when I read her frank article in Intelligent Life on how she perceived awards as an author, in particular the Man Booker Prize that she (deservedly) won for this novel. The book is historical fiction set in the period 1500-1535 and tells the story of the rise of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII of England. The relentless pursuit of Anne Boleyn by the king and the resultant set of tumultuous events that led to the English Reformation separating the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church forms the backdrop for this novel. This book is very well-written and is well worth the time it takes to read it.