Typo patrol at the 2008 PDC

Typo patrol got off to a very quick start. One of the flyers in the attendee goodie bag is from a company which offers two free months of service to PDC attendees. The first step in obtaining the service is "Just signup and mention the PDC by January 31, 2008."

Okay, just hang on while I fire up my time machine.

Bonus grammar typo: signup is a noun; sign up is a verb.

The second typo is kind of important. In all the PDC documents (including the voucher to pick up your attendee goodie bag), it says to go to Kentia Hall. This is incorrect. If you try, you'll find a locked door. The goodie bags (and all other Kentia-related services) are actually in Parking B, which is next to the south entrance to Kentia Hall.

Other PDC 2008 notes:

  • The badge colors are the same as they were in 2005.
  • My talk is scheduled for Wednesday at 3:00pm in room 406A. I will be available in the Windows 7 lounge after the talk, where I will remain untl Ask the Experts begins, at which point I will move to the Windows 7 Ask the Experts table. I will also be in the lounge on Thursday morning until noon. And if you see me wandering around the PDC or just sitting at a table pretendng to do work, feel free to come up and introduce yourself. You're not interrupting anything. (If I didn't want to be interrupted, I wouldn't be out on the floor!)
  • I stopped by the Geeks with Blogs booth since I subscribe to their master feed just to see what everybody is chattering about.
  • In the Speaker Prep room, there's a monitor showing real-time speaker feedback statistics as the results are counted, complete with trend lines (ooh, everybody loves Anders) and attendee comments (uh-oh, technical problems with Bob's talk really hurt him). It's oddly fascinating for about 30 seconds.
  • It may be due to language problems, it may be due to poor training, or it could just be laziness, but Microsoft's attempt to reduce the environmental impact of the conference has not been a rousing success when it comes to waste diversion: The compost bins are littered with glass and plastic waste. Glass bottles, plastic bottles, and milk cartons go into the container recycling bin; plastic waste goes into the trash. We've been doing this in Redmond for quite some time, so it's frustrating seeing people get it wrong and spoiling the entire batch.
  • I learned of a new species of animal: The Overflow Room Vulture. These are people who don't decide ahead of time what talks they will attend, but rather hang around near the overflow rooms and attend whatever talk shows up there. The theory is that if a talk overflows, it must be pretty good! (Of course, this assumption is not always correct. Talks which the organizers know are going to be popular are assigned larger rooms. An overflow indicates that demand was higher than expected; it's a relative measure, not an absolute one.)
Comments (17)
  1. Mike Dunn says:

    I’m surprised to see any compost bins. It’s the first time I’ve seen anything beyond basic recycling (aluminum/plastic) in LA.

    [Posted from the PDC keynote room :)]

  2. Me says:

    Umm…what about the fact that January 31, 2008 passed a long time ago?

  3. BradC says:

    Umm…what about the fact that January 31, 2008 passed a long time ago?

    Hence the comment about "firing up my time machine."

  4. EricH says:

    "signup" irks me as much as it irks you, and yet … I think it’s a losing battle.  Languages change, and I am pretty sure in 50 years "signup" (and many other single words that you and I think should be two words) will be standard; and you and I, if we insist on keeping them separate, will simply be anachronisms.

  5. A says:

    Darn, I’ve still got the 2005 badge. I could have attended for free…

  6. Tanveer Badar says:

    "… where I will remain untl Ask the Experts begins, …"

    untl? Really? Or is it some trick question?

  7. Mark Sowul says:

    Ironically, "untl" is misspelled in the second bullet point.

  8. DEC says:

    If I saw you wandering around, I’d be glad to introduce myself…except that I don’t know what you look like, so recognizing you without reading every name-tag I see would be hard. =)

    No luck finding a photo with a quick web search.

  9. John says:

    I would introduce myself as Norman Diamond. :)

  10. Robert Hir says:

    Per a photo of Raymond Chen – > Google Images "Raymond Chen" turned up


  11. Me says:

    Doh – what about the fact that I can’t read – **shame**

  12. Roger says:

    The overflow room vulture strategy is exactly the same as used by peahens selecting a mate.  The peacocks all parade with a good condition tail indicating they are disease free and sufficiently good specimens to keep the tail in shape.

    A few peahens start selecting who they think is the best specimen.  The remaining peahens then use the simple strategy of picking the same peacock some other peahen has chosen.  (And then the remaining peacocks go home empty handed.)

    Picking the same partner as someone else has chosen is a very effective strategy.   It is somewhat analogous to voting.

    In the computer world we see the same thing.  People borrow code from examples that are popular with others often not even looking at anything else.  (Why yes all my programs did start out as Petzold’s :-)

  13. Steven says:

    Did you catch Julie referring to the Taskbar Notification Area as the system tray in her keynote?

  14. Worf says:

    Ah yes, the compost bins. Meeting at Microsoft in one of the new conference rooms with all the Windows Embedded and Windows Mobile gadgets, and we were served lunch. When I went to put the plate away, there were 4 bins – garbage, recyclables, compost and something else.

    The compost bin said “compost” and had pictures of the utensils, which confused me, since they seemed like… normal plastic utensils. Eventually I just went down the line, glass here, cans there, fork/knife/spoon in the compost bin, and the napkin in the garbage (I think the plate was compostable, too).

    I later learned the forks and spoons, as long as they were Microsoft Fork, Microsoft Spoon, etc, were corn based.

    But it was confusing for a bit, and while I had time to figure out the system, I’m guessing the others don’t, or are just plain confused. Maybe some text rather than illustrations, and maybe some prior warning – either in the attendee materials (printed/electronic/whatever), or a short presentation on how Microsoft is going green. Not quite PDC related, but useful and sometimes the oddball presentations stick around and may encourage others to do the same.

  15. Jason says:

    Typo Patrol has to report an first-degree offense on The Old New Thing — "pretendng" is misspelled in the second bullet point. Come out with your hands up!

  16. John Muller says:

    Not just Corn, Potato as well (which I found out shortly after using one), which is why I bring my own fork, being quasi-allergic to Potato.

  17. PeterHGUK says:

    Hey, the geeks with blogs "categories" tab is blank.  This means we have to read everything…

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