Registration, Welcome Reception, Mappoint Launch Dinner -TechEd Day 0

So, I'm in my hotel room getting ready for my powernap, and I have to put down some thoughts on Day 0.

My day started at 8am, catching up with MS Staff and partners, such as the team from dotnet solutions who were busy setting up their booth - well Athena was busy setting up the booth, everyone else was supervising.

I then had a quick catchup with Steve Milroy, who is a down from the US to support the Mappoint launch. Steve is an interesting guy - he is an aussie, based in Denver. He is also one of our Regional Directors, and he has been doing some cool work with Mappoint for paying customers. Not just demos, but real production systems. Steve will be demoing during the mappoint session at TechEd and he will be hanging around the mappoint stand in the exhibit hall.

Then it was all a blur until 3pm when the doors officially opened and the attendees came.

The blur continued as I met 100s of people. Some familiar, some not so familiar. It was a blast. I demoed the mappoint stuff, showed some of the features of VS 2005, explained how to signup to empower, had long discussions on the future roadmap for access development and how to get to managed code. As well as meeting lots of folks who are active in the community through user groups or discussion lists, such as the aus-dotnet mailing list. And best of all it was great to see so many folks turn up for the free day - folks like Geoff Appleby who came in, wandered around, collected stuff (beanie included) and I think got a real kick out of the event. I even had people giving me demos!! The guys from QUT (Richard and  Douglas)who were the Australian Imagine Cup winners showed me their kickass application - the TV Prognosticator. It rocked. But I am a TV junkie.

Richard also put forward a theory about me trying to undermine the fortunes of the local Brisbane AFL team. Richard, how did you find out my secret 😉

I then spent some time in the MSDN Connection Lounge, which is a little area set aside for MSDN Connection members. It had heaters, food, drink - I think this will be a popular hangout.

Then to wrap up the evening, I caught up with Steve Lombardi who was hosting a dinner for all the partners involved in getting Australian data into Mappoint AND developing some local applications to showcase the use of this technology. More on this tomorrow.

Anyways, I better get to sleep. We start off at 7.30am, with the keynote at 8.30. We have a special speaker who has already delivered his keynote in NZ, and it was a smash. I'm looking forward to that. Then after the keynote, we will do the Mappoint session which will include all the annoucements, including the special MSDN Offer.

Ok - sleep time

Comments (13)
  1. Peter Mackay says:

    OK. Who was the smart guy who picked Canberra in the very middle of winter?

    I mean, really!

    It was cold, windy, rainy, overcast and just a hint of snow yesterday, and as I poke my head out in the cold light of a Canberra dawn, today doesn’t look like much of an improvement.

    I have got to say that the Visual Studio beanies go a long way towards being:

    A) A necessity, and

    B) The coolest item of outerware Microsoft has come up with for a long time.

    I mean "coolest" in every sense of the word, of course.

    Having said that, the atmosphere inside the National Convention Centre can best be described as "warm", if not "sizzling". The number of folks attending for a day with not much happening was just amazing. Body temperature and sheer enthusiasm added to the centre’s own heating, and it was very pleasant indeed. In fact I wondered how Frank managed to not only keep his beanie on, but how to stop his many delightful young lady assistants from stripping theirs off. Perhaps they all stripped down in the MSDN Connections Lounge after I left.

    First Day smiles were radiating from every exhibitor’s booth, adding to the sense of warmth and friendliness, and I came within a whisker of signing up for some of their show specials. Gotta admit, there were some awesome products being offered.

    And a lot of them were available at the sprawling Microsoft stand. Frank’s mentioned a few of them already, but I’ve got to say that I’d love to get my hands on the MapPoint Australian data and see what I can come up with by way of a local application. I might just do this yet.

    I circulated amongst the exhibitors, collected my five stamps for a free beanie, approached one of Frank’s lovely assistants, and collected a beanie and a radiant smile. My heart melted as I admired both. Sign me up, Microsoft, I’m yours!

    (As an aside, I chose a red beanie, and there were some radiant smiles and comments of "Oooh, look, it’s Santa Claus!" when I wore it home. Hmmm, must go on a diet.)

    The MSDN Connections Lounge was filling up when I poked my nose in. Some of those lounging in one corner seemed to be pretty full already, but the freebie drinks and chocolates kept coming. The big excitement was the appearance of a real live "swiper" for Connections cards, and I got a suitable thrill when the screen blinked and recognised me. I guess I’m one of the first to see the system in operation, but I dare say there will be plenty more in the days to come. And the months and years as User Groups collect their own "swipers".

    The lounge was full of comfy chairs, goodies and in one corner an XBox was going full blast, with a range of games. I got suckered into playing some racing game around the streets of Sydney, and in hindsight, selecting a Volvo SUV was probably not the brightest move of my racing career, not when everyone else chose a Ferrari or a Porsche. Great fun, but!

    As a nod to my secret life as a Bookcrosser, I released a book on one of the tables. is my journal entry.

    I snarfed up a handful of finger food when the trays were circulated, circulated once again and then made my way back to my car, somewhat surprised that it wasn’t covered by drifts of snow.

    Thanks, Frank, for mentioning the free Open Day entry a few weeks back. I have got to say that it was brilliant value, and I envy all those fair dinkum, money-paying attendees who get to spend more days in technoheaven!

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