Did you speak this year? Did you notice that big-ass sign they left on the podium warning you NOT to use to onsite wireless if you were presenting, but instead use the wired ethernet?
I think they should have provided ethernet drops to everyone in the audience in the OGS. The wireless was unusable, even worse than last year. I had to email Declan and tell him that trying to help liveblog was a complete failure, so I would have to beg off helping.
So, wireless-free, I got to see the world with both eyes for once, as John Mayer said in "3x5." Yes, they had violins at the opening General Session. No, neither of them was The Violinist from a couple of years back. And yes, finally, Shatner appeared as the Surprise Guest. No, he did not offer us deals on cheap hotel rooms.
And then there was Vulcan, the somewhat mysterious but intriguing melding of in-house and cloud computing that has been put forward as the direction of IBM's collaborative software efforts. Do we understand what all it means? No. Can you run right out and buy it? No. Was everyone fascinated by it? Of course. Did we chew up a lot of time and space on Twitter talking about it before we really knew anything? Certainly. But we always do shit like that.
Anyway, everyone's presentations, over-rehearsed though they probably were, came off just fine. For the first time in history, a car was driven into the OGS, a big yellow Corvette. Apparently, as we found out later, we had to get a special dispensation from Disney to have the car in the hotel, and because it was rented from Hertz with a full tank of gas, apparently some people had the fun task of taking the Corvette out and burning off most of the fuel on Friday so that it would only have a little bit of fuel when it rolled into the OGS. There's a picture on Flickr.
The OGS was good. But then the week started, and it promised to be better!
I didn't immediately go to a bunch of sessions. I was having a little bit of trouble breathing, so I sat in the truck a while, and then did a tour through the Product Showcase to both check out the vendors, as well as pass out a few business cards in case anyone was hiring. The FaceTime folks kindly equipped me with one of their flashing signboard t-shirts, which we set up to read "HIRE ME!" It was good to see them and everyone else. It's amazing how many of my friends are now working pedestals, but at least this year The Schwartz was not among them. Did you notice that neither HP nor Sun was at Lotusphere? Interesting, since both have in the past been big sponsors and occupied important spots in the Showcase. Not a sign of either this year. however, The Schwartz was free to roam and I ran into him several times.
Later on, in the evening, I hung out for the Showcase Showdown (better known as the Showcase Reception) where the food was good but the excellent Montevina White Zinfandel from past years was gone. Sorry, folks... red or white, red or white. I didn't run into The Bob or Patrick Salois until late in the reception, and after that, things got a bit hazy. I decided not to go over to the IBM Duelling Pianos party in Y&B, preferring to stay over in the Dolphin and Swan. As always, there were plenty of people to hang out with, and it wasn't until quite late that I ventured back to the hotel after a late-night side-trip to Steak'n'Shake for a burger and chili.
I would regret that.
To be continued...