Australia 2005 – Ready to Rock Melbourne

We were up early for our flight to Melbourne. This was a quick flight - only an hour or so. We arrived in Melbourne and got a great ride to the wrong hotel (our fault, not the driver’s – he took us where we told him to go). We finally made it to the correct one, Sofitel Melbourne, in time to get unpacked and grab some lunch before beginning event preps.

After some work preparing some backup machines, we rode over to the Microsoft Melbourne offices for the Community Launch Event. The elevator (er, lift) ride up was the most eventful - there were some disconcerting, loud noises and we found ourselves stuck. Turns out we never left the first floor, but in fact dropped down about a foot. After a quick rescue, we showed up in time for a presentation on the history of SQL Server with VPCs running each release since 1.0.

Returning to the hotel, Andrew Coates and I worked on prepping the VPC images for the newly arrive Shuttle PCs. This had us up for several hours getting files copied around and putting the VPCs in the right saved state. While this was going on, I purchased and downloaded the new Rush live album "R30", which was recorded in Germany.

The Melbourne event went well. The keynote demos all worked, but one of the videos didn't play. Melbourne is home to the XVIII Commonwealth Games in 2006. It was interesting to learn that our keynote speaker, Tony Ward, was a cyclist for Canada at the 1990 games. We later showed this one in the dev track. After tripping on to the stage, I shortened my portion (the Tester) of the life-cycle tools demo a little bit since we were running behind schedule. What I did cover went swimmingly.

For the Melbourne portion of the Steak House Tour of Australia, we went to a Melbourne institution – Vlado's. Vlado’s has been unchanged for over 40 years (since 1964) with a fixed menu containing nothing a vegeterian would like except the bread, salad and dessert. Everything else is meat - from appetizer, to entree, to main course. An excellent pick with a great Penfolds 2002 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz. I dare say it was the best steak I’ve ever eaten.

Friday was a free day, which we spent riding the trams, visiting St. Kilda, and shopping on Chapel Street. Tomorrow morning we fly back to Sydney for the next set of launch events. Unfortunately, it sounds like it's going to rain this weekend.

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