Overall Value of Time Spent and Benefits Derived:
As a super quick executive summary (I will provide longerdescriptions of the events that I attended) it was a verybeneficial, productive day, and I’m very happy to have gone. Theinformation was top notch and well presented, and (as Mark Relphmentioned in the comments) there was the benefit of the free copyof SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition (you also get VS2005 StandardEdition, but most devs already have a development-legal copy of abetter version of that via MSDN. The SQL Server can actually beused in production, or so I am led to believe). I’m writing this assomeone who has been using Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005in various incarnations for quite a long time – I’ve actually givencorporate presentations on the benefits that SQL Server 2005 bringsto the table. Nonetheless, I still found the session veryvaluable.
As always, they gave out pens and notepads. Why are the brandedpens they give out at these sorts of events always the cheapest,worst pens that money can buy (or maybe that you don’t even needmoney to buy) I realize that the obvious answer is “becausethey’re cheaper”, but I really think that’s the wrongplace to save money. When I’m sitting there looking at yourbranding on a pen, and it’s tearing through paper with its rusted,cubical, ultra-cheap nib, it rubs off poorly on your brand:I’m correlating something cheap and shoddy with your brand. Pony upfor some nice gel pens or something.
All of these pictures were shot on a little P&S SonyDSC-P150, and to avoid being a jerk they were all shot with theflash disabled. It’s remarkable that most of them turned out aswell as they did (I’ve gotten good at being remarkably still whentaking the shot). I didn’t want to be a pretend-journo with thedigital SLR, though the ISO 1600 and much brighter lens would havebeen very beneficial in this environment.
It is amazing how long it takes to drive anywherein Toronto. Given that the Launch Tour here in town was hostedbeside the airport, driving was the only real option (versus beingat the TO convention center, which would have been a much moreconvenient GO commuter train ride). I left at 7:30 in the morning,and still didn’t get there until 9:15am. Thankfully getting throughregistration and into the keynote was a breeze, and I really didn’tmiss anything.
Getting the day started. Yes, this car is a mess. It’s a225,000km commuter car that has served me well.
Keynote. 7 screens, all about 9’x7′. Remarkably they all are brightand clear. While there are empty seats evident, this was due to thevery large number of late arrivals – the place was packed to thebrim at the halfway point.
Keynote. While Biztalk appeared in many of the slides, at all ofthe presentations I went to it was largely MIA – barely mentioned.That makes sense given that it doesn’t actually come out until nextyear, so I wonder why it was included with the branding of thisevent: Did they originally think they could pull it off and releaseit now when they originally planned this?
Intel vs AMD (a 32-way Intel box is used to demonstrate thehigh-end, and a 4-way AMD Opteron is used to show the immense poweravailable even on a “low-end” box, in this case servicing 18,000simultaneous SAP users)