PDC 2008, Day Two


Wow, it’s midnight on day two.  What a day.

I started the day at the Win7 keynote.  It was amazing how the product was received by our customers – I’m really gratified that people seemed to like what they saw.  You know you’re in a group of geeks when the biggest applause line of the demo was “you can boot off of a VHD”.

I was in the way back of the auditorium (speakers were asked to hang out in the back to let the guests have the best seats) so I ended up taking pictures of the monitors – sorry about the crappy quality:

Steven and Julie

Steven and Julie discuss 7.

And Windows 7 with the new taskbar:

Windows 7

After the keynote I ran into Crispin Cowan and we ended up chatting through lunch all the way to his talk.  I sat through most of his talk and then wandered off (he overflowed his room, which is cool).

I ended up in the speakers lounge to run over my slides and commentary again.   While I was up there I realized I had a great view of the conference floor:

The view from the speakers lounge

I also took a picture of the breakfast area – it brings a new level of perspective on just how large this place really is:

Lunch seating for 3500

It was a few minutes after I took this picture that I realized that my cell phone needed to be charged.  So I pulled out my USB cable and prepared to download the drivers for the phone (even though the phone has a USB-B jack for charging, it needs to have a Windows driver installed before it will charge from a PC).  After downloading the driver, I started the install and experienced a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The driver refused to install on Windows 7.  I don’t know why, I’m running Windows 7 on my main machine at work and the driver works just fine (that’s why I didn’t worry about the whole charging thing).  So here I was with a cell phone that’s just about out of juice.

And my demo depends on the fact that I can make cell phone calls during the talk.  If the phone’s out of juice on Tuesday, I’ve got a real problem.

Fortunately there was a Verizon store about 10 miles away that had a charger for my phone, so after an hour or so to drive the 10 miles to the store (and back) I got a charger.  I’ve got to say that I was pretty terrified for a while there…

After the excitement of the afternoon I went back to the hotel and showered and changed from my show duds to the PDC party at Universal Studios.  That was a total blast, they’d done up the place with all sorts of scary stuff:

Universal Studios done up for Halloween

I love taking night photos – even though I only had a micro-tripod, the view of downtown LA was so neat that I wanted to try to get a picture.  It’s ok (the tripod was balanced on a garbage can on a elevated walkway which was shuddering a bit, but I still like it):

Los Angeles at night from Universal Studios

One last nighttime photo, this time from the Jurassic Park ride:

Jurassic Park the ride

The mist at the bottom of the photo is actually the ride splashing down – this is a four and a half second exposure, so all you see is the remnants of the boat’s passing. 

While I was at Universal I chatted with a whole lot of folks, including Scott Guthrie, Scott Hanselman, Scott’s boss Simon, Dave Snipp (ex MSFT) and several other people.  It was pretty fun.

I then came back to my room, uploaded these (and a few other) photos and wrote this.  And now it’s bedtime :).

 

Edit: s/Stephen/Steven/ - sorry about that :).

 

Comments (13)

  1. Anonymous says:

    The most amazing thing in this entry is:  your phone needs a Windows driver installed before it will charge from USB?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Anonymous says:

    Awww… that would have been a great thing to have happen on stage!

    *jokes :P*

  3. Anonymous says:

    ps. did you figure out why the driver is required to charge and/or not install? Will you?

  4. Tim: I find it astonishing as well. And I have no idea why.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In the first picture is it Steven or Stephen ?? :p

    Dave

  6. Anonymous says:

    Celebrating Halloween in L.A. looks very funny ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. DaveShaw: Oops!!!  Thanks for catching my stupid mistake.

    Matt: Actually it was pretty creepy.  Between the guys running around with live chain saws (seriously) and the various zombies and other creeps it got quite uncomfortable for a while.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The driver changes the amperage on the usb port to allow for charging.  Not all phones need it, but many do.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That phone sounds like it might be a Samsung — mine refuses to charge until the driver is installed (and merrily tells you so, too, with a large "Charging Disabled!" graphic or something similar).  Yummy.  I switched back to something less grotty fairly quickly…

    Enjoying the reports and the photos, Larry; looking forward to hearing about your demo, it sounds interesting!

  10. Anonymous says:

    "The driver refused to install on Windows 7.  I donโ€™t know why, Iโ€™m running Windows 7 on my main machine at work and the driver works just fine"

    Hallelujah, Microsoft learns more about dogfooding.  Thank you.  Please do more experiments like this, finding how things work or not in various environments that are different from, but equally normal, as Microsoft’s working environment.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I swear that my iPod Touch requires that it be connected to a system running the various iTunes services before it’ll charge, but no one believes me. I’ve got a powered USB port on the front of my cable company’s DVR that I use to charge all sorts of stuff, but my Touch is a definite no-go.

    Great pictures and overview, Mr. Osterman. Thanks for your coverage.

  12. Igor Levicki says:

    I had exactly the same problem with my cellphone while in San Francisco at the IDF 2008 — it refused to charge off a laptop without a driver and I didn’t have driver disk with me so I had to go out and shell out $25 for a charger which now sits completely redundant in my closet.

    In my opinion, the justice for the OS inability to allow a device to charge without a driver installed has been served. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Igor Levicki says:

    >>The driver changes the amperage on the usb port to allow for charging.  Not all phones need it, but many do.<<

    It could just allow full 500mA to the device which won’t take more than it needs to work/charge anyway.

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