TechEd Wednesday

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Morning tea - fruit and donutsWednesday started off early – that would be the sun rising at some unearthly hour. So much for sleeping in without the kids being around!

I caught these sessions:

I was hoping to see "ARC301 - Philosophy of Software Quality" but the room was packed to overflowing. Disappointing as Joel Pobar is always worth hearing.

Donald's use of early 1900's business process manual extracts and images just goes to show that the more things change the more they stay the same. I knew that there use to be people who's job title was "computer", but didn't realise they had pivot tables (or close enough) back then.

Nicholas described some impressive stats for how some customers are using SQL Server and the kind of loads and performance that are possible.

Before August's presentationAugust picked up from where yesterday's keynote left off. Some really interesting ideas and concepts. I'll be hanging out to watch that one again when they publish it up at http://www.msteched.com/2010/Australia


Hands on LabsFrom 3.30 – 7pm I had my first shift helping out in the hands on labs. That went well, though your feet do get tired after standing up for all that time!

Some lego to play with!

So that's how they build software components!

Our Pivot in TechEd 2010 Keynote (TechEd Tuesday)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Getting there

Tuesday morning started with a mad scramble to get the kids ready for school and then saying a quick farewell before rushing off to the airport (don't worry, we didn't leave them to fend for themselves!)

An uneventful flight to Gold Coast airport, and then a friendly taxi driver took us to our hotel room. We're staying in an apartment in the Phoenician Resort in Broadbeach, a 5 minute walk from the convention centre. The apartments are managed by Broadbeach Holiday Rentals – they're in the same complex as the Mantra but are separate. (I booked through World Tourism Travel.)

Narelle is very pleased with the room, and there's lots of space for her to do her scrapbooking (one of her main priorities on her well-deserved holiday while I'm conferencing!)

Getting started

Registration was straightforward, though I discovered that as a TLG (Technical Learning Guide), I didn't get a delegate bag (or so I thought).

Next was an orientation meeting for TLGs, where I got my TLG shirts, and discovered that yes we will get bags later in the week. Pity it will be too small to fit my laptop in.

Straight after that it was time for the opening keynote. In a first for TechEd Australia, the keynote was held on the Tuesday afternoon (apparently to leave more time for sessions on Wednesday).

Michael Kordahi did a nice job as "MC". If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine I was listening to the Frankly Speaking podcast Smile

August de los Reyes' keynote talk on natural user interface (and what might be next) was quite interesting, and I really enjoyed the fast-paced way he used PowerPoint to enhance his presentation.

But without doubt, the highlight for me was seeing our Pivot being demonstrated by Michael K near the end.

I was so proud to see our work being showcased to the whole of TechEd, that I may have been the person who "yeehaa'd" Smile 

The evening finished with dinner in the expo area. Once again I'm reminded how good a job the catering guys do here.

Options for getting to CodeCampOz 2010

Thursday, 19 August 2010

I'm impressed that Mitch got virtually all of the sessions and speakers organised for CodeCampOz 2010 by July and this year the event isn't until November (20-21st)!

There's some good topics being covered on the agenda, but how would I go about getting there now that the "FLC pool" car we had access to at the Uni (back in the old days!) is no longer an option and what would it cost?

Car hire

Getting to Wagga Wagga from Adelaide is a good day's drive, and something I'd really only undertake if there were others to share the trip/driving with. But assuming that was sorted, and you were hiring from the Friday to the Monday (eg. driving there on the Friday, driving back home on the Monday), Hertz list options including a Toyota Corolla Hatch for $158 or a Toyota Camry for $207. Don't forget to allow for petrol, and of course the cost of 2 days that you won't be working.

Flying

Wagga has a regional airport, but it is only serviced by flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Ideally you'd fly in on the Friday afternoon, and head home on the Sunday night.

WebJet lists a few options. I've listed the cheapest I could find here:

Date

Flight

Time

Route

Cost

Total Cost

19/11

QF736

12:15pm-4:40pm

(ADL-SYD-WGA)

$286

$286
 

JQ775

3:20pm-5:05pm

(ADL-MEL)

$99

 
 

ZL3286

6:35pm-7:40pm

(MEL-WGA)

$139

$238

21/11

QF223

5:00pm-10:20pm

(WGA-SYD-ADL)

$286

$286
 

ZL3281

4:50pm-6:00pm

(WGA-MEL)

$139

 
 

TT8039

9:00pm-9:50pm

(MEL-ADL)

$74

$213

So choosing the Melbourne options would cost $451, via Sydney is $572. But you'd still need transport once you got to Wagga – so either hire a car once you get there, or get a taxi from the airport and hope someone can give you a lift out to the campus.

Accommodation

Don't forget you have to stay somewhere. Last time I stayed at the Central Point Motel – nothing fancy but it did the job. Wotif lists them at $98/night.

Lunch is normally provided (in the form of Pizza), but allow for breakfast and dinner expenses.

Non-financial costs

And all this assumes that my family is willing to let me take off for another weekend not that long after spending a week away at TechEd on the Gold Coast!

Even attending Adelaide's own CodeCampSA had a similar expense as far as my family is concerned. That ended up being a two full days that I'm not around to share the load, do family stuff and spend time with my wife and kids. While I love to learn new things and pursue professional development opportunities, when it comes to the crunch family should be the more important of the two – so anything that takes away from time with the family had better be worth it.

Another famous person.. Ian Reid

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

I was doing some housecleaning in Google Reader and noticed an old RSS feed for Ian Reid (my old boss at UniSA). In checking to see if Ian had an updated blog, I discovered that:

  1. No obvious new blog
  2. but Ian has a new homepage
  3. and Ian is on Wikipedia (cool!)
  4. and he's been on Wikipedia since 2005
  5. which strangely I don't think I knew

Google App account migration

Sunday, 15 August 2010

I received an email from Google a few weeks ago informing me that soon the @gardiner.net.au accounts hosted in Google Apps will be able to access virtually all of the suite of regular Google Applications (eg. Blogger, Reader etc). About time!

"Google Apps" is the name of Google's hosted app service for a specific domain – not to be confused with Google Applications which you can access with just a regular Google account.

Up until now, Google Apps users were limited to a small subset (Mail, Calendar, Docs, Chat and Sites). This also meant if you wanted to access non-App applictions, you had to have a separate Google account, though it could have the same name as your Google app account.

This change is a good thing in that now the one account will be used to log in to both the App services as well as the other applications.

If you have a Google account with the same name as your Google Apps account, the non-Apps account will be renamed so that it is now unique. Any services/applications that were attached to the non-App account will remain with with that account.

So while all the services that I used to access with my old Google account are still there, they are now attached to the renamed account instead.

One thing that is helpful in the interim is Google have recently added the ability to switch between multiple accounts (Windows Live IDs have had this for some time), however I'd prefer to have all my services under the same account. Unfortunately there is no automated migration path to transition application settings between accounts.

The only solution is to manually move settings over. eg. For Reader, export my feeds to an OPML file then import them (which is fine for feeds but doesn't migrate your "shared items" nor the "people you follow"). For other services like Blogger, Google Groups and Google Code, you need to re-register with the new account.

All this is a pain for me, but the other tricky part is that I'm not the only person using my domain. Google does tell me that there are other family members who are in a similar situation but for privacy reasons they won't tell me exactly who or what those users are. I'll have to wait for them to contact me so I can help them out. At least my domain just has a few users – this is going to be a much larger job for enterprise customers!