Le Grand Détour

Silicon Valley

13 July 2017

So far, I have not had a reason to mention the fact that professionally and as a hobby, I work with computers. I am a software developer. Now, cars are also a hobby of mine, as you might imagine. But so are board games, video games, roleplaying games (tabletop), history, politics and writing.


The view from Stanford Foothills, looking down at the San Francisco Bay. Try to avoid going there when it is really hot, like we did.

During my time at university, I studied computer science. And while I still work back in Copenhagen (when I am not driving around North America), at least one of my friends from that time had been employed by Apple. What was doubly nice about this, is that I finally got to speak God's own language again: Danish.


Two tourists taking pictures of a wildlife advisory.

I stayed in Sunnyvale in this region that has obtained the nickname 'Silicon Valley', even though it does not have this name officially. The valley, the name refers to, is Santa Clara Valley. And while the chip-making industry that gave the area its name have moved out of the valley in previous decades, there is still a lot of sand, of which silicon is a major component.


Me explaining something. With my fist. This may be the first picture of me on this journal so far.

My friend, who worked for Apple, [1] invited me and his wife, who were also there for this month, to eat at the Apple campus. Now, I do not know how much I can reveal about my experience from this facility, but I will reveal this much: Apple has not figured out to manage queues. That food court was a crowded mess.


Look at that handsome dashboard! Oh wait, I am in Silicon Valley, should probably show some images of that.

One would think that a company like Apple would be able to solve something like queueing. I know the British have not, but they are proud of queueing. And I believe solving queueing means getting rid of queues, or at least reducing their time. [2]


I got the opportunity to have a picture taken of my Xantia in front of the main Apple campus on Infinite Loop.

After enjoying sightseeing seeing Apple and Google compounds (and other tech industry names), we went to the History of Computer Museum. This was a pleasant surprise, actually. My friend and I both feared a gimmick, but it was laid out as a regular museum, focusing on a thematical history, so it was chronological and thematical at the same time.


A DVORAK keyboard. From a better time. I think, I did not live in the 1970s.

Silicon Valley is a strange place. I guess I can understand why similar industries mingle in the same area, but it always yields a strange sense observing it. It is sort of like Las Vegas, an incredibly sight, and - if you really have nothing to do there - quite an odd one. Like a picture just slightly out of focus.


[1]I really wish they had not abandoned the 'Computers' part of their name as it just feels awkward saying 'Apple' alone like that. Like working for a fruit.
[2]Fun fact: The person I stayed with in Montréal had been a researcher on a documentary that had just been released called Taming the Queue about - you guessed it - queues and the theory of queueing.