> Non-Fiction: “In The Plex”

This is a book by Steven Levy about the Google – the company. I especially enjoyed reading about early days of Google, which was started at Stamford University and then operated from a rented house (including garage).  The rise of Google was pretty amazing, all starting from the insight that importance of pages shown in search result should be based on how many other pages link to them.

Interestingly, Google was not making a lot money from search, even after it became the dominant search engine. Only when they invented and built the AdWords advertising system the money began to roll in. And that hasn’t stopped (witness latest quarterly report).

From computing point of view, I think that Google is fundamentally changing how software is built. At Google you build software that runs on 100,000 machines at once – the “normal” development methods don’t really apply here.

BTW, did you know that Google is the biggest manufacturer of servers? They make more of them than Dell or HP. They also build them from cheapest components. With that many machines changes of a hardware failure are quite high  and the software needs to account for that.

Anyway, I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s neat to have a peek at the wizards behind the Google curtain.

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