Tech Ed US 2007 Day 4: The End of the Booth#

Started extra early this morning, probably too early. We scheduled the Identity Panel for 9:15am, in sync with the first break of the morning to draw a crowd. It worked, but I think people were a bit too tired from the Under-the-Influencers party the night before. Four days into Tech Ed, you need to think about these things.

And while I'm thinking about Tech Ed, let everyone be warned: Wear comfortable shoes! The Orlando Conference Center is insanely huge. Even if you never set foot outside, if you take a cab everywhere, you are going to be walking for miles. You need good shoes. Tech Ed is a marathon, not a sprint, be careful with your time and energy.

So meantime, there was the Identity Panel. Great line up of panels, including Ani Babaian, Richard Turner, Michele Leroux Bustamante and Scott Golightly. Pat Hynds handled the mike for me out on the floor, and threw in a number of important questions as we explored the topic of Identity pretty thoroughly. Lots of interaction from the audience, even though it was early in the morning.

After the panel I did not race over to the Strangeloop booth, it wasn't going to open 'til 11:30am, and the Speaker Idol Finals started at noon. So I had time to sneak another RunAs Radio interview in, this time with Richard Turner, fresh off the Identity panel. Only this time we focused heavily into the IT side of Identity, including discussions around Active Directory, server management, and so on.

Next up, the Speaker Idol finals. We had five contestants (instead of the planned for four), and decided to have them present in the order they won in: Bob Roudebush, Alain Tadros, Sarbjit Gill, Rob Windsor and Steve Smith. Joel Semeniuk had to leave Tech Ed early, so our judges were: Kate Gregory, Stephen Forte, Michele Leroux Bustamante and Chris Kinsman.

All five contestants presented the same five minute presentation they did during their heats. All five had adopted at least some of the recommendations that the judges had offered. All five were excellent - as far as I am concerned, they should all have speaking slots at Tech Ed next year.

But only one could win, I only had one guaranteed speaking slot to give away. The judges deliberated for a long time, Carl and I talked for quite awhile with each other and the audience. In the end, the winner was Steve Smith.

There was lots of handshakes and congratulations all around. Then I raced over to the Strangeloop booth, which was closing at 3pm. Only Jon and Josh were left to man the booth. Birgit headed home on Wednesday (and missed out on being here for the Best of Tech Ed win), Kent, Lee and Virginia all left Thursday morning. The last hour of the booth was pretty peaceful, but we met with a few interesting folks catching the last moments of the vendor space. At 3pm on the nose, a huge cheer went up, the air walls were deployed to start blocking the vendor space away from the rest of the conference. Jon and Josh started packing up the booth equipment, I headed back to the Fish Bowl to do another RunAs Radio interview.

This time the interview was with Jeff Sigman, talking about Network Access Protection. While there's lots of different aspects to NAP (and you'll have to listen to the show to hear them all), I went crazy for the concept of having different IP addresses assigned to a computer based on an assessment of risk. For me, this meant that finally, when I'm at a Microsoft office, I'll be able to get bandwidth.

We wanted to get four RunAs shows recorded, and we had three in the can, and just enough time to get one more, so we went out searching for someone to interview, but to no avail... so we ended up with three.

Thursday night at Tech Ed is Attendee Party night. This year the attendee party was in Universal City Walk, at the Islands of Adventure. I raced back to the Rosen Plaza to get changed, then over to the Rosen Center to meet up with everyone. Just as I was arriving, a large contingent of RDs (led by Stephen Forte, of course) were heading to the bus. I really wanted a drink, so Carl and I skipped the first bus and sat with Kim Tripp, Paul Randal and Brian Randall.

They made an interesting proposal: Lets go to dinner at Emeril's Tchoup Chop, which is at the Royal Pacific Resort, right beside the Islands of Adventure. I was ready for good meal that wasn't steak, so I was instantly onboard. We took separate cars, and our driver dropped us at the wrong end of City Walk, close to the OTHER Emeril restaurant there. As I walked in I said to the maitre de "This is not Emeril's Tchoup Chop" and he said "You are correct sir, take the ferry over there to the Royal Pacific Resort."

So Carl and I walked down to the ferry to discover it was closed due to lightning. So then we walk past the Islands of Adventure and all the way 'round to the Royal Pacific Resort. Its jungle steamy out, threatening to rain, and lightning dancing everywhere. We can hear announcements from Island Adventure that the rides are closed due to lightning. Suddenly we don't feel all that interested to go the attendee party.

It was a long walk, but it was worth it: Emeril's Tchoup Chop house is an excellent restaurant, we had a multi-course meal that gave us a number of lovely tastes, almost exclusively seafood, although there were other choices, I'd had enough meat for the week. And the conversation... well, the conversation turned to Strangeloop.

I told the tale of how we got started, and the evolution of AppScaler. Brian Randall was especially excited about it, its totally his area of focus, scaling out web applications. And it was right around then that Carl's favorite moment of the entire Tech Ed took place: When I finished explaining exactly how AppScaler's output cache learns what to cache, when to expire it and how to cope with expiry under load efficiently, Brian leaped up, grabbed my head and gave me a big kiss. I guess he liked it.

Thursday, June 7, 2007 10:04:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) #    Comments [0]  | 

 

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