Some Updates From California

I’ve been living in Cupertino, California for about a month now whilst working at Apple and I thought I’d write up a few small updates.

1. Arrival

The first thing I did after getting through passport control at San Francisco airport was to take a taxi to the Apple store. “That’s weird… normally it’s hotel or something…” muttered the taxi driver after I asked him to take me there. As my first experience of a taxi ride in San Francisco, I’d like to account that this was not at all dissimilar from playing the video game Crazy Taxi. The driver even scored a few $ for performing some crazy drifts through the four-lane highway. Alas, future cab rides were not to be as fun as this one.

2. The iPad

Once I got to the Apple store I asked the nearest genius for an iPad. To which he replied, “we’re all out of stock”. So after $40 taxi ride, after an eleven hour flight, after a three hour wait, after a two hour flight, after a three hour wait, after setting off at 1:30am; I couldn’t get hold of an iPad…! I would later join a two-week waiting queue in order to get a reserve one at my nearest Apple store in Valley Fair. In order to pick it up I would have to queue for an hour outside the store, and all this after three months of the product being released. So what’s all the hype about? Well, what we have is a device that is once again changing the way people are envisioning portable computing with a combination of tremendous functionality alongside superb interface design and ease of use. Despite the generous size of the multi-touch screen, the device itself can be lifted between two fingers positioned on the bezel of the screen and tucked into the smallest of bags. But what really threw me about the iPad was the amount of functionality that’s its taken from my laptop. It’s amazing how much you can actually do on an iPad, and I believe I can do about 80% of my daily computing activities on the iPad, such as browsing the web and sending emails, reading books and watching YouTube. And of course the phrase, “there’s an app for that” applies to even more now than it did on the iPhone, and my favorite couple of apps at the moment are Air Video (an app to stream videos from a PC or Mac to an iOS device, with video conversion on the fly), and Fruit Ninja (a humorously fun, fruit-chopping game). I really do think that this is the beginning of a shift away from laptop devices to slate devices.

3. American Life

Alongside technological discoveries, I’ve become a bit of a baseball fan. At first, my roommate’s endless love for the Yankees (he never misses a game) put me as a New York Yankees fan, but after going to my first baseball game at AT&T Park, San Francisco, I’ve immediately become a Giants fan after they beat the Dodgers 6-5. I’m also loving the Fish and Chips alternative… Burgers! Burgers are everywhere and ranging in value from a $4.99 drive-thru to a $30 gourmet, and “I’m loving it”.

The whole geography of northern California is pretty awesome. Silicon valley has been seeing light clouds in the morning which blow over to reveal a perfectly clear blue sky by about 10:00am, and a consistent high temperature of 25°C. Moving further north to San Francisco, the temperatures drop as soon as you reach the city. Some areas of the city will be shrouded in fog, whilst others will be completely clear, but one thing across San Francisco varies more than the weather itself; the elevation. I’m pretty sure I received a free workout trying to find my friend’s car after watching the July 4th fireworks.

4. Apple

My work at Apple seems to be going pretty well, and the iMovie product is both captivating and thrilling to work on. Of course I can’t write about anything specific I’ve been doing for Apple, but I can say that it’s great to see some of the changes I’ve been making working, and to know that some day in the future they’ll be out there on every Mac computer. I’ve already learned a tremendous amount about software and programming, as well as how to work within a company, and I’m sure I’ll continue to cram my brain with new techniques and skills right up to the last day of my internship in late September. I thought I’d share one of the most important things I’ve learned using an analogy that springs to my mind…

5. A Closing Thought

A swimmer is trying to swim from a beach to a nearby island. When the swimmer first enters the water, it is hard for them to drown. The swimmer happily enters the cool water and begins swimming, the journey begins. The simmer may reach the island at some point in the future, but the important thing for now is that he or she keeps moving forward, and keeps his or her head above the water as much as possible. Very regularly, large waves pass over the swimmer, plunging them underwater. The swimmer can’t see or breathe for this considerable lapse of time, until he or she reemerges from the water. Then, everything becomes clear again.

When I’m introduced to a new topic or area of knowledge, I most often feel completely overwhelmed by this lack of understanding, I think to myself that I may never fully understand, or that it’s going to take me a prolonged, tedious and stagnant period of time to eventually learn. It’s these moments that are always the hardest to get through.

Please feel free to drop me a comment about any of the stuff I’ve discussed in this post. 🙂

Please feel free to drop me a comment about any of the stuff I’ve discussed in this post. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Some Updates From California”

  1. Hello,

    I’m really interested in doing an internship with Apple.
    How do you do for finding this internship?

    thanks for your time,

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