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Cloning or pre-configuring a batch of Android phones

An interesting question popped up in my Twitter stream today - is there an Android alternative to Apple configurator (for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) that allows to create a bunch of identical Apple devices with some added configurations and applications. The best I could come up with is not as polished, but on the other hand much more powerful option - Nandroid backup and restore (also known as ClockworkMod Recovery backup).

Nexus S review incoming

This is just a quick note that I broke down and replaced my ageing iPhone 3G with a brand new unlocked Google Nexus S. I got it in my hands last Saturday and by the end of the first day it did 90% of what I used my iPhone for and by the end of day two it did 100% of what I used my phone for before this and did it better than the iPhone. I will give it a week and then write up a bigger thing on all the good and bad things I notices from my migration from iPhone to Nexus S.

Test post with an embedded wave

Hello all, the latest craze is the Google Wave preview. I am in, so I am testing how a Google Wave will look when primitively embedded into a blog post using Wavr plugin for Wordpress. And here it is:

Google Wave

So, the latest buzz on the web is all about Google Wave. I would urge everyone developing stuff for the Internet and technological people depending on the Internet for their daily work, to watch that introductory video. The concept is frankly mind-blowing. If this is done right and embraced by all the right people, Google Wave could be the new platform concept that could be used to create new generation of email, instant messaging, collaboration software (CMS, wiki, Sharepoint, workflow, ...), blogging software and forum software and do all that while integrating back with current technologies, like Twitter and RSS feeds.

Cann't tell you more because of the NDA, but is suffices to tell that I no longer plan to move anywhere. A bit sad

Cann't tell you more because of the NDA, but is suffices to tell that I no longer plan to move anywhere. A bit sad.

Now that I have had time to consider my ...

Now that I have had time to consider my reactions, I will write down, what was my experience in Dublin, when I went for a on-site interview for a job in Google. First of all, I had to sign an NDA before entering the office, so I can not tell you about anything that I learnt there. Still this is a huge post, to save my first impression, so that I can look back on it in the future (like tomorrow morning) and see how naive I was. :)

The first thing I noticed after arrival to Dublin was that the highway from the airport to the city was under repair. I was lucky though as I arrive at night and there was almost no traffic. The highway looked strange compared to highways in Belgium, Germany or UK - it had all those strange twists and turns and splits and merges - it looked like the highway was build adapting it into the space between other roads and buildings, like it was some kind of a country road. Oh and that driving on the left side - freaks me out every time.

After I arrived to the hotel and checked in, I discovered that executive suites of 3 star hotel look much like regular suites of five star hotels I've been accommodated earlier in my life. One more fun fact found me soon - the power plugs are all wrong :) When I was in UK some time ago, all homes that I went to used usual EU type plugs, so this was the first time I saw a UK plug in action. Needing power (a computer geek always needs power) I searched for a solution. I thought that I found one, when in the bathroom I found three round holes marked "for shavers only". I responded - "but this is an emergency" and tried to plug my notebook in anyway. Unfortunately they have thought about that - shaver plugs are thinner and just a tiny bit closer, so the regular power plug does not fit in shaver socket. Damn! Oh well, then I'll have to sleep.

Next morning I walked around the area of Google EU Headquarters scouting the surroundings. I found that the building, where the headquarters are, is still under construction - I am sure Google advised the builders on some minor adjustments ;). Just across the street there is a large block of residential houses. Small residential houses. I've seen apartments bigger then some of those houses. I also found several nice apartment houses: from the common "windows that Cappuletti will not climb trough" to modern housing with large windows and modern decor. I also saw the first backyard street in my life - a street less then half a meter wide between two lines of backyards. Diverse life. And that was only one neighbourhood - less then 5 minutes from Google office.

After the interviews were over, I planned to go to see the city center. Unfortunately looking on the map of the city did not provide any clue to discovering any such place. No central building, no central square, no central monument or park. Nothing - just a maze of streets. Well, I hit the maze. What I saw was a flood of people, just like in Riga on Friday night (it was Friday). The difference was that because of the lack of clear centre, the mass of people floated in a larger area. I noticed lots of very special shops that would have not survived in Riga (belt buckle shop?) and a general lack of big supermarkets that we are used to here. Also the people seam to be much more ignorant to traffic rules - it is easy to see people streaming across a street despite a red streetlight.

I can also touch a bit on food, as I tried the food in hotel and in a local fast-food place. Well, the situation in Ireland is much more positive towards fast-food. In Latvia the regular food is both much better and a bit cheaper then fast-food. In Ireland the quality level of regular food seams similar to the fast-food while the price of fast-food is lower. I rated the quality by the taste of meat, where perfect meat is from a wild animal shot in a forest and prepared straight without any additives, and worst meat is slice of fast-food hamburger meat with all the salt and additives they put there. Of course I couldn't get a clear sample within my short stay, but I tried to be as objective as I could.

The conclusion? In my mind, moving from Riga to Dublin will be a downgrade in life quality. Google's offer must be good enough to compensate this, if they want me in. We'll see soon enough. I should have the answer before next week.

P.S. The level of spam in my mail has reached 11 000 per month. Yay! :P

Going out of the house to fly to Dublin for the final Google interview. Ganbattene! Banzai! :

Going out of the house to fly to Dublin for the final Google interview. Ganbattene! Banzai! :D

Also today I got a call from Google offi...

Also today I got a call from Google office in Dublin - I am flying there next Thursday, stay at a hotel overnight and then there will be an on-site interview on Friday afternoon and on Saturday I will be on my way back home.
Looking forward to that challenge.

Finally. I got the reply from Google - t...

Finally. I got the reply from Google - they want me to fly-in for an on-site interview. They will handle the flights, hotels, eating and other relevant issues and all I will have to care about is providing good answers to the questions that their engineers will be bombarding me thorough the day.

Unfortunately this silver lining has a little cloud in the middle - USA is out of H1b visas 'till Oct 2006, so I am asked to work at the Dublin office.

When I analysed the locations they gave me in the beginning, the Dublin office scored just below the Mountain View office. The good things were: being closer to Latvia and being inside EU (no visas, easier to travel), and the bad things were: weather and Irish terrorism.

Well ... let's see what they'll offer me in the end and maybe I will go to the Dublin office and then in a year or two transfer to the new Moffet Field facility or to the Chinese office :D

UPD: I am told that my gut feeling about IRA being a threat in Dublin is very far from reality. I must find out more about this city.

Many people have mailed/irc'd/called/com...

Many people have mailed/irc'd/called/commented asking my what's up regarding that Google thingy. Well ... everything is still up in the air.
Apparently Google recruiters have hard time getting a report back from one of the engineers that interviewed me. :)

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