June 19, 2004

"You pull up to Applied Minds unimpressed. It's in an industrial area of Glendale (who knew there even were industrial areas of Glendale?) - windowless one-story warehouses with nameplates like "Airfoil Distribution, Ltd" or "Light Plumbing Fixture Manufacturing, Inc." Once inside the non-descript edifice, you're greeted by a low-ceilinged version of an internet start up - the requisite espresso maker, late-modern furniture, flat-screen displays, etc. But really, nothing worth writing home about. In fact, the place felt a bit cramped and claustrophobic.

"That all changed once Danny came out to meet me. After chit chatting for a few minutes, he took me to a small room - no wider than my outstretched arms - at the far end of which stood one of those classic red English phone booths. We stepped inside - a bit cramped - and Danny lifted the receiver and dictated a passphrase of some sort. Presto - the rear wall of the booth opened, and we stepped into - nerdvana.

"From a cramped phone booth into massive pure-white-lit space two-stories high, adorned with all manner of things strange and beautiful. Over to one side stood the Terminator-like skeleton of a forty-foot dinosaur, it's 15-foot pneumatic legs gleaming and exposed. Nearly blending into the walls, itself painted movie-set white, was a tricked out Hummer-like RV refitted as a communications/command center - complete with built-in kitchen and bedroom. The space was a great big project lab, with happy geeks combing over various assemblages of wiring, motors, processors and plans like ants on a summer picnic. It's Willy Wonka's chocolate factory for geeks."

Posted by William Blaze at June 19, 2004 04:16 PM