May 2004 - Posts

Matthew Hardman trying out for Singapore Idol

Hey, I just found out my friend Matt Hardman (Australian, works at Microsoft Singapore) is trying out for Singapore Idol!  For that one you can be up to 30 years old (no fair, at Canadian Idol the cut off was 26).  I'm 28.  Anyway, root for Matty if you're in that part of the world.


Tech Ed Pictures

It looks like Enjoy Sandwiches Boy (Kent) got some pictures of us.  Most poignant is the third picture, it brought a small tear to my eye.  Thankfully I'm finally back home today where there is no shortage of the missing items from the third picture.


Datagrid Girl BOF

I hosted one of those Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions last night, and it was really fun (for me at least).  I didn't prepare a presentation (who needs more powerpoints after days and days of them in the “regular” sessions).  I also made people pull the chairs out of their rows and put them in what I had first thought would be a circle, but it ended up being some shape I'm not able to describe mathematically, but the point was that we not all sit in rows, and we accomplished that goal.  I made everybody say something--their name, where they work and/or are from, the most interesting thing they've seen at the conference so far, and any Datagrid questions that are on their mind, or experiences that they've had.

The topics started out somewhat Datagrid focused, which is great, like strategies for adding new rows (include in the Footer, make a separate “add” area outside the grid, etc.), and nesting one Datagrid inside of another (and the eventing problems related to that).  Then we ended up talking about a lot of non-Datagrid topics, which was even more fun, like Yukon and Sql cache invalidation, test-driven development, third-party components, language preference/orientation, naming standards, and programming-related books.  It was really fun, and I appreciate all the people who came along.  Eli took several pictures, so we'll try to get those on the site one day.  I know I learned several things during the session, and I hope you all did too.  Thanks for coming.


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Tech Ed Evaluation forms

I'm not sure I understand the logic behind having online-only evaluations for the sessions at Tech Ed.  What's the incentive for an attendee to go take their own time, sometime after the session, to fill one of these things out?  In days past when these things were on paper, there was someone standing at the back of each session to collect them and so you filled them out so you wouldn't have to feel bad when passing that person.  At least put the people who fill out evaluations online into a prize drawing or something, so that there's a reason (and a reminder) to go and do an evaluation.  I would think most people under the current system would only go to the trouble if a session is either really good, or really bad.

Anyway, just a thought.


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Tech Ed Snack update for Wednesday

I couldn't spot any Krispy Kreme doughnuts again this morning, but there were plenty of bananas and banana chips.  There's always plenty of fruit found on the snack tables, but little else.  The running joke I heard from one RD is that Steve Ballmer lost weight, but why should we have to?  In the afternoon, there was still some kind of snafu (snackfu?) with the snacks, and I actually heard some of the Tech Ed crew yelling at one another, and unkind words were exchanged.  I'm not entirely sure what that was all about, but apparently there was some kind of miscommunication about what snacks should be placed out on the tables and when.  Anyway, the snack supplies (and lack thereof) continue to disappoint.  I finally gave up after the 3pm snack time and dragged 3 of my cohorts down to the ice cream snack up the street so that we could consume the proper amount of much-needed sugar.  One positive thing I must note is that there has been no lack of available sodas, including my favorite caffeine delivery mechanism.


P.S.  Strawberry smoothies should not be brown.

Richard Ersek

I'm looking for Rich today, if you see him, tell him some girl in pink is looking for him.


Purple Cow

On the plane(s) on Monday I finished reading The Purple Cow, by Seth Godin.  I love reading marketing books, and the gist of this one was that marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department--you have to bake the marketing right into the product by being remarkable. 


"Rectangular orange turd"

Dave Walker has a very funny and insightful post about the orange Xml icons we use for RSS feeds.  (Via Scoble)

You know, I think Dave's right.  Use an autodiscoverable feed.  I do like having something though where I can right-click and subscribe with whatever aggregator I'm using.  Besides, right now how do we *know* which pages have a feed?  I'm sure we're all dreaming of a day when all pages (at least the interesting ones) have an auto feed, but for now we need some kind of visual indicator that the page is “subscribable“.


American Idol Fans at Tech Ed?

I really don't want to miss American Idol this week while I'm here, does anybody want to get together and watch the finals?


Tech Ed Bloggers Party

I just got back from the Tech Ed Bloggers party, with Drew and the rest of the Sagestone gang, whom I will leave nameless at this point since they don't have blogs to link to.  One of them is an RD and is hosting a talk on Thursday about blogging.  But doesn't blog, go figure.  Anyway, the party was fun after I remembered to go to it, Eli called me at about 11pm to ask how it had gone (started at 9pm), but I had fallen asleep around 6 so I missed dinner and the first half of the party.  (Fortunately I have those leftover snacks).

Anyway, I also got to meet in person some other people that *do* blog, like Michael Earls (Cerebral Kitchen), Sandwich Guy , and Christoph Schlittko.  I realize now that I actually at the Sagestone offices when I came down to Michigan last year to give a Datagrid talk, they had good cookies.  Anyway, fun party tonight, looking forward to more.  There's probably enough people blogging the sessions, so I'm thinking about just blogging the parties.


P.S. Drew said that Tech Ed Bingo was mentioned on Tech Ed Bloggers somewhere, but I don't see it in my aggregator, so I would really appreciate any blog love for Tech Ed Bingo...thanks!

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