Google's latest Doodle is an homage to the Lego, the multi-colored plastic building block that snaps together, allowing children to test their construction mettle by building fire trucks, police cars and even little people during recess and play times all over the world.
Many people may have heard that Google has Legos scattered all over their offices. During a visit at Google's New York office last fall, I saw a Lego recreation of the company's Chelsea-based building. It was quite good.
I didn't see anything as stellar out at the Mountain View, Calif., HQ last month, but then again, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have had ample time to build things from Lego blocks.
You see, the Lego has a special place in the search engine founders' hearts. Page and Brin used the building bricks as the casing for 4-gigabyte hard disks for a server they were making when they were developing the Google search engine (other reports quote Page as saying the blocks were actually knock-off versions of CostCo but I won't get into that whole trademark issue).
Apparently, the original server casing is on display as part of an exhibition chronicling 80 years of computing machines at Stanford University. More on that at Legobuildersoftomorrow.com here.
Google is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Lego today with this Doodle:
Lego, of Billund, Denmark, is noting the Doodle thusly: "We are honored to have the iconic Lego brick celebrated in this way by Google, because we know the 'Doodle' is reserved for only the most special of themes," said Lego CEO Jørgen vig Knudstorp in a statement acknowledging the Doodle today.
"Mr. Brin and Mr. Page are prime examples of who we often refer to as 'builders of tomorrow' - people who embrace the power of creative exploration and curiosity that leads to lifelong innovation and creativity."
Whoa, there. Let's not get too carried away. Complex search algorithms are light years ahead of building toy edifices or vehicles out of plastic rectangles and squares (somewhere, this point will be argued over for the length of a world-class chess match), but I get the point: the Lego is a symbol of creative advancement and construction.
If the Google guys were inspired by the Lego to build a product millions use every second of every day, then that is fantastic. Just don't build a server out of them. It might have been fine for hard disks but I don't think Legos have been battle-tested to withstand the heat of today's server.