The “G” company cares about its employees. That's a known fact. For gadget lovers (who is not a one?) I present some of many items I have managed to collect so far.
Let's start with a big bang – a computer geek without a laptop feels like without a hand. In Google we can choose between Thinkpads (originally IBM, now Lenovo) and Macs. The former ones come with Windows, but one can of course install Linux if preferred. Nevertheless, I chose a Mac, tada! It's so smooth, shiny and nice to touch (hmm...) ;-)
Another category of gadgets are naturally t-shirts. The company not only feeds you for free, but dresses you as well. The one below is one of the first ones I got and is also one of my favourites. It appeared shortly after Google Earth was released. I like the slogan “4.7 Billion Years – Still In Beta?” :-)
The next one seems to have some connection to Swiss flag or The Red Cross, but it's designed for mentors. They are employees assigned to help newcomers. One of course doesn't teach them everything; they get three tonnes of documentation and they have to learn. The role of a mentor is to answer questions and recommend what to do next. Also mentors can help with non job-related stuff, like looking for an accomodation, dealing with all the formalities, etc. So far I had two mentees.
Tetraspace – in other words the fourth dimension is the t-shirt for people working on my floor. The fourth floor – as the name suggests (or fifth by American standards). The logo is a hypercube (tesseract), which is the analog of a cube in four dimensions. Before that – one of the recent trophies, a t-shirt dedicated to the project (top secret). Sorry :)
Here, the enigmatic STOR INFR should be deciphered as “STORage INFRastructure”, which among others includes GFS. That's one of the tasks of my team.
Moving away from clothing – for a substantial group of cyclists commuting to work the following gadgets were dedicated:
Unfortunately, I have to admit that more gadgets can be collected in company's HQ in Mountain View, than in oveerseas offices. However, at least once Dublin got something special – biiig umbrellas. Was that some allusion to the beautiful Irish weather by any chance? ;-)
Finally – this is not a gadget, but a funny sticker I found in our toilet. It's well known that Google tries to be a green company etc. so recently the paper towel dispensers got labeled “Save Energy – use the hand dryer instead. Hand Dryers use over 80% less energy than hand towels”. It's a shame the author didn't provide the source for this claim, but even if it was true, the response of one of my witty colleagues from the floor was really on target. He posted the following label on the dryer “Save energy – use trousers instead. Trousers use 100% less energy than hand dryers.” :-)