Cover photo
Brian Fitzpatrick
Works at Google
Attended Loyola University Chicago
Lives in Chicago
41,741 followers|5,268,659 views


Once again, my annual recycling program test device has arrived!

To quote +Brian Swetland:

"This is a standard recycling program test device. You are intended to separate the bound paper part from the plastic wrapper and deposit them in the appropriate recycling container(s). Your local waste management or recycling provider will register the arrival of this test device, verifying end-to-end operation of their system."

Test complete from my end. Awaiting confirmation of receipt from recycling provider.
Emilio Castellanos's profile photoCheryl Regan's profile photoEric Noyau's profile photoKevin Koch's profile photo
Same goes for the monthly newspaper offers that come in a bag. "Savings" on things you dont need. 
Add a comment...

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
We're everywhere!
+Brian Fitzpatrick this car nearly backed into me. Is it a sign?
John Looney's profile photoNick Francesco's profile photoBrian Fitzpatrick's profile photoBaris Baser's profile photo
Add a comment...

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
Jeff Bates's profile photoG. Hussain Chinoy's profile photomal disposto's profile photoDan Peterson's profile photo
Add a comment...

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
Sunset across Carson Valley
Robert Goodson's profile photoशिवाजी तावडे's profile photoBarbara Davis's profile photoIvan Walsh's profile photo
That is an Incredible shot.  Feel like I'm there.  Thanks Patrick.!
Add a comment...

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
Early Google history from Urs... and Sergey shows up in the comments :-)
15 years ago (on Feb 1st, 1999) I first set foot in a Google datacenter. Well, not really -- in the Google cage in the Exodus datacenter in Santa Clara.  Larry had led me there for a tour (I wasn't an employee yet) and it was my first time in any datacenter.  And you couldn't really "set foot" in the first Google cage because it was tiny (7'x4', 2.5 sqm) and filled with about 30 PCs on shelves.  a1 through a24 were the main servers to build and serve the index and c1 through c4 were the crawl machines.

By that time we already had a second cage, immediately adjacent, that was about 3x larger and contained our first four racks, each containing 21 machines named d1-42 and f1-42 (don't ask me what happened to the b and e racks, I don't know).  I don't recall who manufactured d and f but they were trays with a single large motherboard and a Pentium II CPU.  (Later, the g rack would be the first corkboard rack.)

Some interesting details from the order:

- Yep, a megabit cost $1200/month and we had to buy two, an amount we didn't actually reach until the summer of 1999.  (At the time, 1 Mbps was roughly equivalent to a million queries per day.)

- You'll see a second line for bandwidth, that was a special deal for crawl bandwidth.  Larry had convinced the sales person that they should give it to us for "cheap" because it's all incoming traffic, which didn't require any extra bandwidth for them because Exodus traffic was primarily outbound.

- Note the handwritten "3 20 Amps in DC" change to the standard order form.  At the time, DC space was sold per square foot, and we always tried to get as much power with it as possible because that's what actually mattered.

- This particular building was one of the first colocation facilities in Silicon Valley.  Our direct neighbor was eBay, a bit further away was a giant cage housing DEC / Altavista, and our next expansion cage was directly adjacent to Inktomi.  The building has long since been shut down. 
fan tai's profile photoheart goog's profile photo
Add a comment...
In his circles
946 people
Have him in circles
41,741 people

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
This is fascinating. I've walked past this shack hundreds of times wondering "why?"

Now I know.
Q: So, why is Silicon Valley studded with an implausibly large number of abandoned barns, shacks, and other things that don't look like they belong here?

A: Because this all used to be orchards. This all made sense, fifty years ago.

Q: Right, but shouldn't they have, like, torn them down by now?

A: No. Abandoned barns in Silicon Valley are a better investment than historical stock market returns.

Q: Wouldn't they be an even better investment if there were, like, usable buildings on the land?

A: No.

Q: You have got to be shitting me.

A: Proposition 13 makes abandoned barns an enormously lucrative investment. You see, the assessed value of a piece of property is capped at a rate well below the rate of increase in property values out here. So you can just get the price of the land reevaluated every year and take tax-free loans against the increase in equity. This is a huge amount of untaxable money. Especially if you're an abandoned shed that's worth seven figures, right smack dab in the middle of the Google campus.

Q: Right, but that's just about low taxes, right?

A: Yeah. Well. Uh. I was going to get to the "except" part.

Q: And what's that? 

A: The increase is capped except upon the sale or the completion of new improvements. Like an apartment building, for instance, to partially solve the housing crisis out here. Or a new building on the Google campus. This means that if the value of the improvement is less than the compounded increase in the value of the property absent the improvement, then it doesn't make any sense to actually build anything.

Q: That's horrible. Why aren't people, like, vandalizing abandoned buildings to get rid of them?

A: The only way you can vandalize anything in California that solves the problem is to literally build a new improvement on the property without the landowner finding out. That resets the tax basis and gives them an incentive to stop holding the land off the market.

Q: That's... double horrible.

A: Yeeeeeeah.
Laston Kirkland's profile photoKartic Krish's profile photoBrian Karlak's profile photoScott Torrey's profile photo
Maybe these buildings are what actually 'belong' and everything else is just visiting?
Add a comment...
Coffee nerds, you should definitely get one of these:
John VanRoekel's profile photoChris Smith's profile photoJeff Axelrod's profile photoBrian Fitzpatrick's profile photo
Add a comment...

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
How Google deals with search warrants.  You should watch this.  It has cows. Also, "Nice Moustache."

Way of a Warrant
Douglas Hedges's profile photoDaniel Jarausch's profile photoHan-Wen Nienhuys's profile photoKieran Barry's profile photo
I don't claim to speak Cow, but my cat just said that the cow at the end just said "Just kidding suckers". My hunch is that my cat is just messing with me as usual.
Add a comment...

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
Sometimes entropy just needs a helping hand

(Wait for the part where they drop in a bunch of engine blocks)

A cars worst nightmare / Maszyna do mielenia samochodów
Jeremy Seifert's profile photoMatt Byrne's profile photoMike Johnson's profile photoSteve Benting's profile photo
Oddly enough, the mangle inside a paper shredder and this are very similar, just different in scale.
Add a comment...

Brian Fitzpatrick

Shared publicly  - 
This is how to get Glass users to remember things.  :-)
what was I supposed to remember again? #throughglass
Add a comment...
In his circles
946 people
Have him in circles
41,741 people
Data Liberation and Transparency Engineering at Google
  • Google
    Engineering Manager, present
  • Apple
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
New Orleans - Rome
Liberator of Data, Creator of Transparency, Googler, Open Source Dude, Geek.
I love the internet.
  • I fight for the users
  • I work at Google.
  • I founded and now lead Google's Data Liberation Front.
  • I lead Google's Transparency Engineering Team.
  • I co-founded ORD Camp
  • I used to work at Collabnet.
  • I used to work at Apple.
  • I used to work at onShore.
  • I recently finished restoring my 100 year-old Arts and Crafts American Foursquare house.
  • I live in Chicago.
  • I used to live in Rome.
  • I grew up in New Orleans.
  • I refuse to move to Silicon Valley.
  • I've worked on open source software on and off for 15+ years.
  • I'm a Subversion author, but I haven't worked on it for 6 years.
  • I use Mercurial now.
  • I wrote cvs2svn, which was one of the hardest problems I ever solved.
  • I travel too much.
  • I am not a werewolf.
  • I am just a simple villager, although frequently a moderator.
All of my uploaded images are provided under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license:

Higher resolution images are available.  Please contact me for terms.
Bragging rights
Received Award for Exemplary Service from the River Reversal Division of Orchard Field. Role: Commandant.
  • Loyola University Chicago
    A.B. Classics: major in Latin, minor in Greek. Equiv. minor in Fine Arts
Basic Information
Looking for
Other names
The gold standard of computer book publishers, and composed of amazing, kind, and thoughtful people.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
I've lived in half a dozen neighborhoods in Chicago, and Pert is my favorite neighborhood cleaners yet--I've been going here regularly for about six years. Anything you need, they can do, from minor alterations to cleaning your HUGE down comforter. They'll ask you when you need to pick up your items, and they've never been late for me. You rarely get customer service like this nowadays unless you're paying through the nose, and their prices are incredibly reasonable to boot. I really can't say enough nice things about Pert--Tony and Frank are super friendly, and it's always nice to see them when I drop off and pick up my cleaning. Highly recommended if you live in the area or they're on your daily commute.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Keep your eye on Balsan, because it's going to be making headlines soon on the Chicago restaurant scene. We went there for dinner and were flat out blown away by the taste and quality of every single dish that graced our table. The charcuterie and cheese plate that we started with was to die for--some of the finest melt-in-your-mouth foie gras and prosciutto, and the cheeses were exquisite. I moved on to a salad of young lettuces that I had no particular expectations of, but was sent reeling by the intense taste--the dressing was a work of art, and it took an incredible amount of restraint to not ask for a glass of it. And on to the spare rib. Oh, the spare rib--at this point I didn't know how I'd even be able to eat it as I was already pretty full, but as soon as I took one bite, I knew I'd have no problem polishing the whole thing off. Finished off the night with a great cup of French press coffee and the pear financier. Fabulous. Oh, and lastly, they carry a whole variety of rye whiskies, which means that they know how to make a real Manhattan, and let me tell you, it was one of the best Manhattans I've ever had. I can't wait to go back.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
This is the only place I will take my knives to get sharpened. It was recommended to my by several local chefs and even an executive chef in the San Francisco Bay Area. For two years running now I've taken my knives there to get sharpened, and I've returned home with knives that I could shave with. On top of that, they've got great prices on kitchen supplies and the people are great. If (heaven forbid) I ever move out of Chicago, I'll be mailing my knives back here to get sharpened.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
9 reviews
We found Stonecutters because they had a nice sample kitchen counter or two over in the Abt, so we drove by one day to check them out and talk to them about materials and finishes for counters (we needed a *lot* of countertops!). The people we talked to were super-nice, no-bullshit, but professional. They gave us a small (3"x3") sample of the exact granite and finish that we wanted (absolute black honed, which is somewhat uncommon), and when we decided it was time to get our counters, we asked them for a quote. They gave a reasonable quote, sent us to pick out the slabs we wanted, and cut our counters on their advanced computer-controlled equipment. They even cut a corner countertop for us in one piece at our request so that we wouldn't have any seams in our kitchen (mind you, that's not actually possible if you have a super-long stretch of counter, which wen didn't have). They did a great job installing the counters--very professional, and very careful of our floors and cabinets. The counters look amazing. Lastly, I'd like to give an example that shows how trustworthy and reputable these guys are. In total, between the kitchen and 2 bathrooms, we had *10* different pieces of granite and marble. One piece (a small 24"x37") piece of marble came with the wrong edge. No problem--they cut and prepped a new piece ASAP and Mike (one of the owners) came out to install it two days later. That piece turned out to be waaay too short (whoops!). Mike apologized, re-measured, and then came back with *another* piece. This piece came from part of the marble slab that had some weird swirls in it that we didn't want. No questions asked, no arguments--they said that if we didn't want it, they'd re-do it. Well, they re-did it with no complaining and they made it right. Sure it was a bit of an inconvenience, but never did I think "hey, these guys are just going to leave me hanging". An upstanding company and I'd gladly do business with them again.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
I've been going to D/Vision for over three years now, and I couldn't be happier with them--I've referred over a half dozen of my friends from the office and they've all come away happy customers (with cool glasses :-). Ezra is very helpful and thorough, and most importantly, takes the time to explain everything he discovers from your exam--most eye doctors are in a big hurry to push you out the door and railroad their next patient in, but not Ezra. In the front of the house, folks are extremely friendly, and very customer-oriented. Chris has taken the time to show me dozens and dozens of frames--always patient, and always willing to give his opinion and not just tell me what I want to hear (and believe me, for someone as fashion-retarded as I am, that's really appreciated). Lastly, they take my vision insurance (VSP) and that's really the icing on the cake, because some of the really fancy frames can get a little pricey--not that they're cheaper anywhere else--it's just the nature of the beast. Anyway, it's a great business, and I hope to keep going there for my exams and glasses (my wife is a customer too!) for years to come. Even though I don't live anywhere near the office, I gladly hop off the Blue line at Division for the two block walk over to their office.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
Abt is like Disneyland for adults. Imagine a Costco that sells nothing but stoves, ranges, ovens, fridges, range hoods, whole kitchens, grills, ipods, hundreds of TVs, wine fridges, and even entire home theaters. It's really awesome. Abt knows customer service. Period. Two years ago we bought a washer and dryer from them. My mom bought an HDTV from them this summer. Today I bought an HDTV plus wall mount from them. We're re-doing our kitchen soon and have been there probably 4 times in the last year. Everytime I've been there, I've encountered polite, kind, and helpful salespeople who have made it a breeze for me to spend money. And while their prices aren't the lowest around, they've always done a great job of either beating or coming very close to prices from their competitors. Either way, their customer service is what brings me back time and time again. Take today for example: We bought the TV and the mount--paid with a credit card, got our receipt and our salesman directed us over to merchandise pickup to get our goods. He recommended that we swing across the atrium to get a hot chocolate chip cookie and a cup of coffee on the way and assured us that our stuff would be ready when we got to the pickup counter. Sure enough, it was. They even waited while I brought the car around and loaded it into the car for me! It's really a pleasure to do business with a company that has such great service.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago