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The 'blogosphere' (always hated that term) is a glow once more with a daily flood of TechEd updates. So, Yet Another Tech Ed Conference Update.

I had a depressing start to the day. My first session was terrible, and the speaker was bad. The last ten minutes were what I thought the whole session was going to be about. I need to learn more about the new Office Scorecard Manager so that I can use it on a few upcoming projects (both internal and external). The speaker spent most of the time demoing and talking about BizTalk BAM. BAM is awesome, don't get me wrong, but the topic was supposed to be about scorecards. I learned my lesson, and should of bailed as soon as it was proving to be sucky.

My second session was to be on building Finanical system with BizTalk and human components. Brian L and I thought maybe they were going Borg on us. But then decided that a human heart was likely NOT at the center of any financial system. James pointed out this was possible, if that heart was black, small, and lifeless. Anyway....

This second session turned out to be a waste of time as well. It was mostly a commercial for K2 (which is a fine product), but I felt a bit of bait and switch going on here. Come talk about BTS and big finance systems, and it turned out to be car insurance and K2. No thanks. Being the quick learner that I am (do more of what works, and less of what doesn't) I bailed big time. Moved on to the VS Team Architect session. Loved it. See James' post on this as well. It was great. I love the toolset, and just need to cut over from doing the same stuff in Visio.

I happen to be wearing a blue Microsoft BizTalk shirt today. It was amazing what I was getting away with. In the back of each room there is a table against the wall. These are mysterious tables. Almost like stonehenge. No one REALLY knows why they are there. I would just walk in, move the table, rip some chairs of their twisted DNA chain like assembly, and sit in the back, with plenty of room, laptop setup, etc. Even the door minders (that ask "Can I scan you?" when they really mean "Can I scan your badge?", which are RFID by the way.) would approach me like I had some authority in the situation. One asked if the lighting was fine, etc. Sure, lights are nice. In principal, I guess.

After a terrible meal for lunch (usually the food is quite good. This time the rice was crunchy like chewing on resisters (don't ask why I know that)), I headed on up to yet another scorecard session. I thought I would give it another try. This session was GREAT. It was presented by people from the MS team, so they knew what they were talking about. They have taken the accelerator kit, and turned it into a easily usable platform with a great extension system. They boiled the sharepoint web parts from 9 down to 2! Thats great simplification.

After that session I was asked to pitch in on Brian L's BizTalk Architecture chalk talk in the TLC (technical learning center. the area of the conference floor for lounges with MS product people and hands on labs. This area is renamed more often than Indigo, no, WCF, no WinFX, no .NET Framework 3.0/NETfx.) We were in one of the little theatres with about 12 chairs. Most were filled up. Since we didn't have any content planned, we played 'stump the chump.' We had some great questions. The area was outfitted with a singleton whiteboard. You can use it once, and then it must be thrown out. Not very useful if you ask me. Reminds me of buying dogfood on the Internet for some reason. We tried an eraser, our hands, and even that deathly alchohol spray stuff. The only thing that worked was turning it over to use the second side. Built in archiving I guess.

The GREATEST thing about the talk was that Lee Graber (BizTalk Message Box God) kind of slinked in the back of the space. I didn't want to 'out' him as a product team member, but he eventually piped up and took part in the conversation. It was a great time. He winced when I told him I have an outlook rule that flags ANY email written by him on the MS internal distribution lists. (of which I have access to because of the CSD VTS program.) We had a great time talking about some extreme performance situations, and about a specific need a customer had about BAM and instrumenting when something DOESN'T happen within an SLA. It showed I really need to dig deeper into BAM. Which isn't hard to say. BTS is such a broad platform that it is hard to know alot about alot of it.

Got my picture taken with the Webcast guy. I did that just for Arnulfo, I think he will enjoy the pic.

The last session of the day was on IronPython (.NET native dynamically typed language that is a full and true implementation of Python) and Ruby.NET, which is a bridge between Ruby and .NET. The bridge was cool. You could call Ruby from .NET, and implement .NET interfaces in Ruby, or call .NET classes as well. Great session even though I am not really interested too much in this fad.

There are plenty of other things that happened today (like the reception and the 19 mile walk to a tube station to get on it for 3 stops to get to a restaurant. Note to self, never let Ian navigate.)

But I know everyone is desperate for the swag log of the day.
Here is the pic:

1. Codezone tshirt (just like from the PDC, but smells nicer.)
2. Two Windows Mobile hats. I thought they were handing out mobile devices. Turned out they were mobile hats. I don't know of any immobile hats. Don't know how useful those would be anyways.
3. A small compact screwdriver toolkit thing I stole from the TechNet community booth after being told I had to answer a quiz to get it. I told them I knew all the answers anyway. Greg F gets this, as he is the resident tool gadget guy.
4. Really cool giant foam lego blocks that are branded with the now defunct WinFX naming.
5. Hat for visual studio and central region developers. This one I am keeping.
6. Free sharepoint magazine
7. Three little MSDN hero foam action figure thingys. Got these for kids and Arnulfo (who collects them.) As a side note, I got a Channel 9 guy at PDC, and he lasted about a week until my son ripped his head off. Oh well.

Thats all for now.


Arnulfo Wing said...
6/13/2006 01:16:00 PM  

The picture with 2 out of 4 source fource action figures is hilarious! Wonder if they will go out on a M$ tour this summer.

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