The Real Paul Jones

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Google to NC mountains

They’re already in Chapel Hill, but now it looks like Google will also be in the NC mountains near Lenoir (where they can really use the jobs). NC is paying tho with some serious incentives. AP reports here. (thanks Fred).

Rick Smith of WRAL has the most details I’ve seen here.

I may be part of a News and Observer story on the Google-NC site if Jonathan Cox takes anything from our conversation. I hope he uses the part where I say something like: “What Walmart, FedEx, Food Town and the like do with atoms, Google will be doing with electrons. That’s using spokes and hubs to localize service, avoid highway jams, anticipate needs and supply redundancy for their systems.”

Update: Here’s what Jonathan said I said in his article (News and Observer Business section) — and he was taking notes so he’s probably got it right

“The reason that Food Lion, Wal-Mart, Federal Express, all those places, work is they have an incredible delivery system based on hubs delivering atoms,” said Paul Jones, an associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and director of, a digital library. “This is the same kind of thing, just delivering electrons.”
Robert X. Cringely has his ideas about what Google is up to here (and in SC where Cringely lives).


  1. I’m the sole member of the City Council or County Commissioners who voted against the incentives. I oppose them on philosophical and political grounds. As happy as I am to have Google coming to Lenoir, I’m afraid the incentives may really hurt the other Lenoir taxpayers over the next thirty years.

    T.J. Rohr

  2. id like to be the first one from chapel hill to relocate to lenoir, buy some property, and work for the google. especially if they plan to replace the traditional ISP for casual Internets usage.

    but surely the avg pay of 48k quoted in the articles is suspicious. if so, i dont suppose they are looking for anyone but L1 support and wire-pullers. all of the real knowledge work is still in mountanview, and the Lenoir site, Goose Creek, etc will just be server farms staffed by farm hands.

    so the arrival of the google in nc isnt really any good news to skilled engineers. probly they bring in a squad from HQ to do the setup, then leave the daily ops to the various hicks in the hick towns where they place their puters. this makes me very sad, as i had looked forward to pushing for an early hire at a senior level.

    otoh, this might be just the downsizing opp i was looking for. i am sick of being so damn clever and solving all of the problems and making aabsolutely everything work. id like to just pass the buck to some brighto back in ca, where all the really smart people live. then go home and check for eggs in the chicken coop and see how the goat cheese is fermenting… and live like the hick that all nc natives really are deep inside.

  3. Paul

    1/24/2007 at 3:56 pm

    Pyro, is that really you? Mah gawd! Where are you these days?

    Being a server farmer might well suit you.

  4. yah, its me. i googled google+lenoir and got this bloggy thing of yrs…

    ive thot a lot about being a server farmer. i thot even more about getting off of the i-40/us-85 corridor, which may be raising the value of my land, but is encroaching very badly.

    shan & i live out in hillsborough, on some acreage with a beautiful deck house that we call “Crazyland”, origanally because we were crazy to buy so much land. Crazyland is a wonderful place, even with the encroachment which any city-dweller would scoff at. im the IT department for, an online FX trading site. Mostly it is BearStearns bank that uses it, but we keep trying to bring in new customers (all secret, of course).

    the most fun thing ive done lately is setting up an LVS director to balance traffic to the servers in our cluster. ive learned to be an oacle dba, and i do have a bit of an ISP set up on a cisco 3550 layer 2/3 switch (vlans). 2 crammed racks in cary host us. shared storage, extensive monitoring. i designed a much better way to get warnings and errors out of an application, which the java developers implemented so we have live graphs of system and application performance, as well as really automated notification without some bloddy perl regex reading a text file constantly. among other contributions.

    currently, we are hosting an outbreak of the orange county flu, so i wouldnt want to be very sociable, but itd be great to have you out to h-town for a steak or some gumbo. the nightlife is fairly hopping on churton street, warm weekends have everyone eating and drinking on the sidewalks, very nice, and a Cup-a-Joe right around the corner.

    drop me an email on the will not be published address, and maybe we can have a reunion dinner after everyone has stopped coughing and sleeping 18hrs a day. it would be gr8 2cu again.

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