Showing posts with label oow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oow. Show all posts

Monday, September 16, 2013


I'm going to be busy.

Here's my list of events:

  • Saturday
    • I arrive in San Francisco on Saturday around 1 PM. If you're arriving at around the same time, let me know, we can share a cab into the city.
    • Beer. After arriving I plan on finding a very cold Pliny the Elder. Or three.
    • ODTUG Dinner. I'm crashing this one. It's Board members only to my knowledge and until someone says I cannot go (especially if fueled by more than one Pliny the Elder), I'm going.
  • Sunday
    • Open World Bridge Run. Not sure if I can make it, but I'm going to try. I'm presenting at 10:15 so it will be a tough decision.
    • 10:30 to 11:30. Thinking Clearly About Performance. Somehow I managed to con Cary Millsap into a duet of sorts. I have him convinced it is the other way around. Either way, it should be fun (I am not nervous!).
    • 2:15 to 4:30, Software Development in the Oracle Ecosystem, Part I and Part II. I'm moderating the aforementioned Mr. Millsap, Sten Vesterli, Markus Eisele and Jerry Brenner (My first boss was scheduled to speak as well, but he had a last minute change of plans, jerk).
    • Oracle ACE Dinner. Evening.
    • Post Oracle ACE Dinner drinks...wherever the night takes me.
  • Monday
    • Oracle OpenWorld - San Francisco Bay Swim - Part II, 7:30 AM. We had almost 20 last year, 33 have signed up (on the page anyway) this year. Come along. Cool t-shirts too, sponsored by Oracle Technology Network and designed by Lauren Prezby.

      Let's not forget the swim caps! Sponsored by the encouragable Bjoern Rost of The portrix group (he's like me, afraid of capital letters) (designed by Lauren Prezby).

    • Oaktable World. You'll most likely catch me here after the swim and before the...
    • Wear Your ORACLENERD Gear Day, 3 PM to 4:30 PM. We'll be taking a group photo around 4:30 PM. If you can't make it for that, come by when you can and get a picture with me. You know I like that sh...stuff. You don't have a shirt/hat/sticker/random-item? OTN Lounge is giving away one hundred cool red t-shirts (Lauren Prezby, again).

      This picture is coinciding with the APEX Developer Challenge which goes from 3 - 7:30 that afternoon/evening. I might even give it a go (fueled, hopefully, by Pliny the Elder).
  • Tuesday
Somewhere in there I'll get a chance to breathe. I'll also attend some sessions, hopefully.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Hard to believe the little monster will be 8 years old tomorrow. Where has the time gone? It was yesterday she was sitting in the grass trying not to touch the grass. (She is still trying to eat her foot...)

Looking back, it's been a good year for Kate. Early on she got an iPad to help her to communicate better. Later in the year, with help from many of you, we upgraded her AAC app to Proloquo2.

Not too long ago, Kris had said that she heard "popcorn" coming from the backseat on the way home from school one day. She'd follow up the use of the iPad with both hands pointing up and saying "pop pop." I sort of forced her to do this video, so it's not organic, but you get the point. A big win in my book.

One of the unintended consequences of the iPad is that Kate is now able to have independent play. She trolls YouTube for Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob, and other videos. This is important not only for her, but for her parents, who desperately needed a break. (We'd sit there with her watching Dora, and if it ended, she'd kinda lose her cool...not fun for any of us. Now we can watch normal TV, football, the Science Channel, etc.)

Word of caution about Dora and YouTube. Apparently a lot of people have way too much time on their hands...there's Ghetto Dora, Dora the ExploraChola, and a host of others that aren't fit for young children.

8 years old.

After a brief stall, we're moving forward again with Kate's care. By stall I don't mean she wasn't receiving therapy or anything, just that we felt kind of stuck in terms of her progress and getting her the right therapy.

On Monday we met with someone from CARD, the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida. One place that we have struggled is managing Kate's care: What should she get? How can we do better? What's her future like? I think the people at CARD will be able to help us with that aspect.

Now she's lying 8. (Really hard for me to believe). Fun times ahead I'm sure.

Now the sappy OOW I had a number of conversations about Kate. I even filmed a video segment with OTN on the origins of this site (the name really) and by the end it was all about Kate. If you look real close, you can see a tear. I'm sure the adult beverages consumed prior had nothing to do with it.

At the Pythian party, I ran into Martin and Jason. (Jason was the one, in 2010, who when I first met him, asked how Kate was doing). They told me how much they enjoyed reading about Kate, about how it affected them in their lives. (I'm sure I cried there too...what can you do?). Bjoern and I talked about her too. Actually, just about everyone asked about Kate. I think that is pretty cool.

So thank you from the Justice/ORACLENERD family for all of your support over the years and Happy Birthday to katezilla!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Fun of Oracle OpenWorld

Another one in the books.

What did I accomplish while there?
  1. I helped organize a Sunday Symposium for ODTUG. I convinced 9 very busy, talented and gracious people to speak. I couldn't have imagined that just a few short years ago.
  2. Oracle ACE Dinner
  3. Interview with Bob Rhubart
  4. I swam in the Bay with other crazy people.
  5. Caught a few sessions at Oak Table World
    • Karl Arao
    • Cary Millsap
    • Tanel Poder
  6. RAC Attack
  7. ...
I had this long list in my head, but I can't remember everything I did.

I got to play catch with Mr. Millsap. That's two conferences in a row, I plan on keeping that streak alive.

What I remember most are the people. Shocking, I know.

- Lunch with Floyd Teter and Jake
- Seeing my old (first IT) boss for the first time in years.
- Being yelled at by people who said I was mean, that I never gave them props for their hard work. Ahem.
- Walking around San Francisco with Jeff Smith and testing the water for Monday's swim.
- The view. Man, everywhere had a gorgeous view (I know, that's not a person).
- The ODTUG crew. Mike, Crystal, Monty, Lauren, Bambi, Jerry, John and Barbara. It's a fun group of people who make work fun, and it shows.
- Catching up with Bex.
- Hanging out with Lillian and Vikki.
- The Blogger's meet-up sponsored by Pythian (among many events). Fuad Arshad has the best pictures too. I'll end up stealing a few of those I'm sure.
- Dinner at the Pier Market with an incredible group of people. Dirty jokes ensued (jam vs. jelly) and then Connor McDonald brought down the house. I couldn't breathe for about 5 minutes I was laughing so hard.
- The walk home from the Pier Market listening to Cary and Greg Rahn talk.
- Foley's. Joe, Tom and Bex.
- Dinner with Jake, David and Terrence. A repeat of 2 years ago. It felt like it had only been a day. That's pretty cool.
- Bjoern Rost. Wow, that guy is full of life. So much fun to be around.
- Tim and Kellyn. Good people.
- And my remora, Alex. I mean that in a good way too. His first time at OOW and he wasn't shy, that's not always easy to do.
I'm sure I could do this all night.

I learned a lot of cool things in San Francisco which I can use immediately. For me it's the opportunity to meet a lot of fun, intelligent, kind people in a very short amount of time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld - Swim in the Bay 2012

Last Monday at 7:30 AM PST, 17 brave souls joined me in the First Annual Oracle OpenWorld Swim in the Bay, a refreshing swim in San Francisco waters.

To be precise, it was at the Aquatic Part near the Dolphin Swim & Boat Club. OK, here's the map to make it easier.

And here's a pretty panoramic:

From Oracle Open World 2012

At my very first OOW, I did this swim 3 or 4 times. I was in much better shape back then. This time, I just thought it would be a fun, easy diversion with a chance to bond with fellow travelers. On Saturday, Jeff Smith and I wandered over to the "beach" and got our feet wet. Here's my interview with him:

Here's part of the crew before disrobing

Note John Hurley's cow hat, that's John in the lime green tank top over to the left. Others pictured here from left to right: Kent Graziano, John Hurley, Bjoern Rost, Gustavo Rene Antunez, I believe the yellow green jacket is Henning Voss, Stanley the ACE Director sitting on Debra Lilley's lap, another Bjorn (help please?) Björn Ole Voß, Connor McDonald and Mogens Norgaard. Now Connor had an unfair advantage, he's currently training for an English Channel Crossing, so I'll photoshop all future pics of him to make him look less like a superhero.

Now, here's the big group shot, disrobed this time. If you have an issue with bright lights, cover your eyes now.

From left to right: Me, Gustavo, Alex Crane, Jeremiah Wilton, Connor McDonald (who we made stand in the back so we wouldn't look so bad), Debra Lilley and Stanley the ACE Director, Bjoern Rost, Bjorn (help again), Sheeri Cabral, Henning Voss, John Hurley, I can't remember his name, help Björn Ole Voß and finally Mogens again. Not pictured: Kent Graziano and Tom Wurzbach (the guy who gave you me, i.e. my first boss).

Debra getting her feet wet...sparing Stanley the cold. In the background, you can see Sheeri Cabral and Alex Crane (I think).

And finally Kent Graziano all wet.

Good times.

Did you notice I said First Annual up at the top? Well, I did. We're doing this again next year and we have sponsors! Nothing terribly fancy, perhaps a ribbon for your badge saying, "I swam in the Bay." Or ORACLENERD swim caps. Or coffee, lots of coffee after the swim to warm up. The goal is 50 people. If you're planning on going to OOW next year, join us!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Origins of ORACLENERD, katezilla and Stuff

On Sunday I attended the Oracle ACE dinner. This is an annual gathering at OOW of the ACE and ACE Directors who are in attendance (lots). The venue was the San Francisco Yacht Club. Very nice. They made me take off my hat, which I usually do inside, so it was fancy too.

Bob Rhubart of OTN Architect Community fame, asked if I would share the story of the origins of ORACLENERD, how it came about. Since I have a problem saying No, I agreed.

I wasn't very concise about the origins, I rambled for a few minutes finally getting on point. Then I started to talk about katezilla...

Long, tiring day, plus an adult beverage on board and I was just spilling my guts. Near the end, I think I cried, on TV. I asked Bob if he could see tears, he said No.

The following morning a friend of mine in Europe told me he saw the video. I asked him if he saw tears. He said, "No, I was at work, trying not to show emotions, but it was very powerful."

To which I replied, "I was talking about me. :)"

Anyway, katezilla comes on about 6:00 minutes, skip to there if you don't want to hear the whole thing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld 2012 Schedule

Still working on my general sessions throughout the week, but it's pretty packed already.

Sunday's events are part of ODTUG @ OpenWorld.

The Swim event.

If you have any suggestions for me, let me know.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Custom ORACLENERD T-Shirts

Jeff Smith has said for some time now that I need to market the t-shirts better than I do. Selling them has never been a priority. Yes, it's pretty cool seeing the t-shirts out and about. It's cool that people can express their inner oraclenerd like I seem to do on a daily basis. The real reason I put effort into t-shirts and the like, is katezilla.

Recently we got hit with a couple of things: 1, a $190 iPad app for Kate and 2, her ABA therapy co-pays finally came due. For #1, I ran a GoFundMe campaign and encouraged you to buy t-shirts. The GoFundMe campaign raised $420 in less than a day, more than covering the cost of Kate's iPad app. I used the remaining funds to make a payment on #2, her ABA co-pays. I also sold about 10 shirts just after that post and close to 20 in total since.

I am constantly humbled at your generosity.

What does all of this have to do with the title? Well, people have asked for shirts either through Twitter, IM or email. Shirts with specific sayings or different styles. Two weekends ago on a Friday night, Don Seiler suggested a hoodie. Living in Florida I had never thought about it, but he lives in Wisconsin where it gets a little cold. We went back and forth on twitter, I would go on Spreadshirt and spin something up, screenshot it, and send it across the wire. On Monday I had a final product and I named it after Mr. Seiler.

Mr. Seiler (picture) ordered one and so did Mr. Smith. Awesome.
The Don Seiler Hoodie The German Austrian
The other shirt there is the German Austrian edition. Martin Berger was responsible for that one (I have a Cyrillic and Russian version in the hopper for Greg Rahn).

Late last week I talked to Lisa Dobson. She got one last year for OpenWorld and wanted a new one, with a twist.
The Lisa Dobson The Lisa Dobson Pink

Upside down logo (she's British). So I named it after her. Note, the pink version is only available in the US, that brand isn't carried on the European Spreadshirt site.

So, if you have an idea (Mr. Seiler has designed two now, the long sleeve baseball jersey and the hoodie), send it to me and I'll spin something up for you.

How could I forget the APEX version (Joel Kallman)? Or the OBIEE version (Adrian Ward)?

Because I'm forgetful. I'm sure there are others.

Just so it's clear, there are two shops: North America and Europe. They're not exactly the same as it's two separate systems, but I'm trying to keep them in sync.

Send me your suggestions...all proceeds go to a great cause katezilla.

Monday, August 27, 2012

ODTUG @ Oracle OpenWorld

I really need to learn how to say no.

I, somehow, got roped (pun intended) into helping to put together a Sunday Symposium for ODTUG at Oracle OpenWorld this year. If you've been following along for the last couple of years, you'd know that I have this thing for DevOps (devops to me). For KScope 2011, I tried to put together a Sunday Symposium on this very topic. Lewis slapped me down though, "Tools Justice, tools." So we amended the Sunday Symposium to focus on the tools while doing those devopsy kind of things. Much better.

This year I tried to do the same thing. (Side note: The reason I am so "obsessed" with this topic is because I think things like testing, source control, and testing are done very poorly in the database world, the Oracle database world specifically. I know there are places that do it right, my first organization did it right, and then made me a bitter old cynic at each successive organization I came across. I also realize that doing some of these things on/in the database are much more difficult than wrapping up a binary or a web application. Data. It usually comes down to the data. Blah blah blah.). Kris Rice of Oracle SQL Developer fame ran KScope 12's Sunday Symposium...I gave him the topic, and he made it happen. Bonus points for Kris as he won the ODTUG Volunteer Contributor of the Year Award. You can find the slides from that Symposium here.

So here I am again, pushing the methodology or process involved around Oracle Database development. I think it's important. Very important. Fortunately I have a mentor who has spent way more time thinking about this than I. That would be Dominic Delmolino. Cary Millsap had sent me a presentation that Dominic had done at UKOUG in 2010. It was fantastic and about 23 hours worth of material. That was the original inspiration behind the 2011 KScope Sunday Symposium and I have tried to kept it going ever since.

So, back to the ODTUG Sunday Symposium at Oracle OpenWorld this year.

When: Sunday September 30th, 2012, 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Where: Moscone West - 2009
Who: Anyone can attend (provided you have an OOW pass of course)
Title: From Dev to Ops and Back Again: Insight into the Development Lifecycle from the ODTUG Experts
  • Gwen Shapira - Pythian, Oracle ACE, Oak Table
  • Dominic Delmolino - Agilex, Oak Table
  • Timothy J. Gorman - Evergreen Database Technologies, Oracle ACE Director, Oak Table
  • Robyn Sands - Oracle, Oak Table
  • Stewart Bryson - RittmanMead, Oracle ACE
  • Kellyn Pot'vin - Enkitec, Oracle ACE
  • Dan Norris - Oracle, Oracle ACE Director Alumnus, Oak Table
  • Cary Millsap - Method R, Oracle ACE Director, Oak Table
Pretty impressive line-up isn't it?

I'll be posting more details in the days and weeks to come. If you're heading to Oracle OpenWorld this year, check out one or more of these sessions, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pearl Jam + Oracle OpenWorld

So, it was announced today that Pearl Jam would be playing at Oracle OpenWorld's appreciation event today. You can read the news here.

For about 6 months now I've been thinking how cool it would be to get someone from the band to wear an oraclenerd shirt. Originally I had approached staff at Oracle about somehow getting in touch with the band, but that wasn't to be. "Think, McFly, think." Umm, Twitter anyone? How about a campaign on twitter? Yeah, that'll do it.

Did I mention that all of this helps pay for katezilla? Yeah, it does. Let Eddie know!

Help me out here. Let's see if we can make this happen.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

katezilla + AAC

About 8 months ago one of the staff at Sydney's School suggested we let katezilla try out one of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) iPad apps. My parents let us use their iPad (v1) and bought the app that was suggested, My First AAC.

She's mostly used this at school, only really getting into it at home over the last month or three.

Fortunately, she has outgrown it. I say fortunately because it's great for her, but "bad" for us. I like to joke and say that Kate will have to pay for her own college and wedding as she's spent all of our money (I've been saying this since she was two). Of course, it's not true. I would spend all the money in the world on Kate if I had it.

So she's outgrown the current app. Her teacher has suggested that we upgrade to Proloquo2Go. Here it is on iTunes.


Now, our insurance has been great, a lot better than we initially expected. Most of her therapy is covered...but we've learned recently that we've missed her co-pays...going back to January. Ugh. Would have been way easier to deal with on a weekly or monthly basis, but staring at it with 6 months, not so fun.

More bright side, her tuition has gone down this month and for the upcoming year. Yay for that!

So how can I help?

Great question. I figured I'd do a t-shirt drive to help pay for Kate's AAC app. Oracle OpenWorld is coming up and if you're going, you need a shirt. Even if you're not going, you want one of these...I know you do. Go here if you're in the US.

I've heard from a few of you that shipping across the pond is simply cost-prohibitive. It should be easier for you now, I created a European "shop" which you can find here. No more excuses. Go buy one.


There are a few others (and I obviously need to study my geography a bit better).

Go buy one. Please.

(Apologies to those in other countries, India for example. Or continents, Latin America. Working on that. Hit me up if you're going to OOW, I'll bring some shirts with me so you don't have to pay for shipping.)

Update 2012/08/06 01:22 EST

Some people don't want or already have a t-shirt. If you'd like to simply donate, you can. Here. Actually, everything has a widget these days:

Update 2012/08/06 12:20 EST
Wow! Made goal in less than 12 hours. How awesome is that?

Finally, some katezilla goodness. Just in case you needed a reminder of why I do this stuff. She's interspersed throughout the video. The girl with the long black hair with a flower in it is one of Kate's friends.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

OOW 2012 Twitter List

I've been urged to provide a Twitter list for OOW 2012 attendees. You can see last year's list here.

Check out the Storify story of how it unfolded on Twitter (love Storify).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

OOW 2011: No Soup For You!

For those that don't understand the reference.

I didn't ask for bread, I didn't break any of the rules...but I will not be attending Oracle OpenWorld this year.

Family matters require that I be home.

I'm sure I've suffered from some level of depression over the years since Kate was born, it hasn't kept me from working (an escape, to be sure), but it has affected me. I don't think I've understood the extent to which it has affected my family, as a whole though.

So I'm taking some time to help where I can.

Of course I'll miss seeing my friends, hanging out with the smart other words, being there.

Family is simply more important.

Monday, September 19, 2011

OOW: Predictions

I haven't seen too many (ok, none) of these this year, but one today hit home:

Predicting OBIEE by Joe Leva.

I've been lucky enough to hang out (err, stalk, as he would say) with Joe in the recent past, he's a smart dude. Here's his prediction in short:

Prior keynotes have brought us Exadata (and Exadata 2) and Exalogic. The Oracle database is clearly a pillar of their business, it was a good first choice for a machine. The middleware stack is another large area of the Oracle product line, hence Exalogic. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could run OBIEE on the Exalogic? What would we call an OBIEE machine? ExaIntelligence? The Oracle BI Machine?

Now, just in case I’m right on this, how do I support this? The packaged software and hardware in the “machines” is a way for Oracle to capture revenue that would otherwise go to implementation partners. The BI machine is a logical inevitable progression, if it doesn’t come this year it will be next year. The economics demand it.

Now wouldn't that be cool, an OBIEE machine a la Exadata or Exalogic? I'll take 1, or 2.

Do you have any predictions for what will be announced this year? FMW will be big I'm sure. There's a big announcement on September 21st (Wednesday), maybe it's the Exadata Mini(-me)?

Let's hear some more fun predictions...

The Exadata Mini - Exclusive Picture!

Early this morning ZDNet's Larry Dignan reported that Oracle would be announcing the "Exadata Mini" edition: Oracle's 'Exadata mini' would aim for midmarket

Well, through tireless research and a lot of hacking, I've found a picture of said machine:

Vern Troyer, the actor who plays "Mini-me" from the Austin Powers movies, stands 32 inches tall, which for the rest of the world, is 81.28 centimeters.

It stands at 20" tall, and as Mr. Dignan reports, this could fit under your desk.

If you're curious to know how Oracle was able to reduce the size...check out this video:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Prepping for Oracle OpenWorld 2011

SQL> SELECT TO_DATE( 20111001, 'YYYYMMDD' ) - SYSDATE time_to_oow
  2  FROM dual;

Wow. Just a little over 2 weeks to go. Time certainly flies.

As I'm wont to do, I've put off just about everything. For the last 2 weeks I've been scrambling to get a room. Two days ago I looked at the prices in downtown San Francisco and I thought I might be living sleeping on someone's floor, or sleeping on the street (don't think I haven't done that). It was even more serious because I had promised a friend of mine that I would cover his accommodations; he had helped me out last year when Kate got sick by buying me a ticket to get home immediately (end of the month, I was out of funds).

Yesterday I finally scored a place through airbnb. Somewhere on Lombard street, Russian Hill? Whatever. It's 1.7 miles to the Moscone Center.

In San Francisco, 1.7 miles is nothing. Far too many great distractions (people watching) for it to feel like a long walk. Bonus points for staying (getting) in shape while there. Bonus points for helping the effects of the beer wear off before sleep. Negative bonus points if I get lost, which I will, especially if I am alone. No sherpa this year unfortunately.

As soon as I booked my room, I booked my flight. They're still cheap too.

I haven't even looked at the sessions yet. Shocking.

Lots of activities planned though:

- Sunday - Oracle ACE dinner thingy.
- Monday - Customer meeting and OTN party.
- Tuesday - Nothing yet.
- Wednesday - Blogger meet-up, Appreciation Event
- Thursday - Nothing
- Friday - OBIEE Meetup thingy with product development.

Somewhere in there I'm supposed to fight with Kellyn Pot'Vin. Additional fun will be a repeat of last year's game, The Piwowar challenge. Personally, I like Pot' Wen(ch), but that might get me punched again.

I've been throwing a little bit too. They have this Home Run Derby...area, where I can go and throw my arm out trying to see how hard I can throw after 10 years. I may be in a sling after the first day.

It's gonna be a hoot. So excited to hang out with a bunch of smart, passionate people and talk shop (or beer). I don't think I've left my house in weeks, I really need to get out.

OOW 2011 Twitter List

For the past couple of years George Woods has been compiling a list of Twitterites who will be attending Oracle OpenWord. 2009 and 2010. I realized this year I hadn't seen it yet, so I emailed him. Unfortunately he will be unable to attend, he's working with that other database right now.

There is no planned event for us yet, but it can't hurt to have if something does come up.

If you plan on attending, please fill out this simple form; twitter handle is the only thing required.

You can find the document here. If I can figure out how to embed the list here, I will do so.

OK, I just stole the iframe method from the above form. It's ugly, but it's better than nothing.

If you know of a better (and easy) way, let me know.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

T-Shirt: Now in Pink

I haven't done much with the T-Shirt collection lately. For whatever reason, I finally decided to do one in pink.

You have one month until Oracle OpenWorld...and did I mention it goes to a good cause?

Monday, June 6, 2011

OOW: And So It Begins

Registration has been open for a month or 2 now for OOW 2011. What wasn't open was the blogger registration...until...until recently. I didn't seen an announcement of it on Twitter, I just happened to be perusing the site. Go here for blogger registration. It was kind of hidden under "Additional Package Types."

Mine is complete. Now I wait.

As I explored, I learned that Sting and Tom Petty will be playing. Very cool. Now if I could only find the desire to 1, wait in long lines for the bus, 2, spend time on a bus (sans beer) and 3, fight the crowds at the event, I might attend.

Yay...the Tap and Brew is back. I don't drink coffee, so I don't care about the "Brew" part. Speaking of beer, anyone want to loan me a liver for the week?

I found this little gem too:

Combine the 2 items above and there is a strong possibility that I will come home with my arm in a sling.

Can't wait though. One week a year doesn't seem like enough time to hang out with John (@jpiwowar) or Jake (@jkuramot) or all the other very smart, very passionate, very fun people. I guess I'll make due though.

Monday, October 18, 2010

OOW 2010: Blogger Meetup - The Winner!

After waiting for Vanessa to get back from either OOW Detox, vacation, or just life, the winners of the Apple TV have finally been announced.

Sunil Ranka, this guy:

Won one (yes! more than 1) of the Apple TVs with his post Mapping the Maze, Online Bloggers to Real World Faces : Pythian Blogger Meetup at OOW10.

Guess who won the other one? Go ahead, take a moment.

Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V

You know when the teacher says, "I need a one page paper on George Washington" and one of your classmates turns in 10 pages, like, the week before it's due? Apparently I'm that guy.

I may have scared off a few people from writing about the event. That wasn't my intention, but apparently I did want it.

So, my first Apple product (wifey does have an iPhone). It should be interesting, I'm sure I'll report back here once I figure it all out.

Thanks to Pythian, HP and OTN for supporting the event. Thanks to Pythian for giving away the Apple TV.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

OOW 2010: The Appreciation Event

By: Anonymous Unicorn
This post started as an email from a friend of mine (yes, I have one or two), who is also my unicorn (someone who has worked with me and would consider it again, there are so few). I thought it was funny and asked him immediately if I could post it, he agreed, but wanted to expand a little bit.

I did not attend the appreciation event, I gave my ticket away. At the Blogger Meetup, I looked at the lines to get on the buses and I didn't want any part of it. I gave my ticket away.

At the OpenWorld appreciation event they split out their 6 bands on two stages going simultaneously all night. They went all out...there was a carnival in the back where the rides and games were free. Of course with 41,000 people attending OOW the obvious drawback would be transportation, so being on the most popular bus route meant the better part of an hour standing in line both to and from the event. That was expected, but it was the food situation that stuck in my mind.

When we arrived, we swam through masses of people, Berlin playing on the outside stage, and English Beat playing inside a sound stage next door. Not having eaten in 7 hours, the goal was food and drink. After examining the two stages, and seeing no signs of food and drink, I had to get out the map. Everything was in the back, so away we headed following the masses. We got to the food tent...huge tent, nicely decorated inside and out. No food was visible, but we could see clusters of people surrounding what appeared to be circular table configurations, looked like a shark feeding frenzy. Must be food! We tried to lean into one of the feeding stations, and while we realized it was in fact food, being 5 people deep, I couldn’t identify what was there.

Fortunately a server came by and said there were 23 food stations in two tents and the second tent was less busy. We quickly retreated and shuffled amongst the heavy crowd, out of one tent and into the next. This one had 4 long buffets and a handful of feeding stations. While we could actually see what was being served here, the problem was everyone in this tent queued up and lines were LONG.

I stood in one line for a bit and realized that no one else knew what was going on either, they just got in line because that seemed to be the thing to do. These are all highly paid professionals acting like carnal beasts in one tent or lemmings in the other, men, women, old, young, no difference. To me both options were ridiculous so I went over to see what was actually on the table... it wasn't even food...just hors d’oevres like cheeses and grapes! Starving, I cut in real quick (which didn’t affect the stagnant line) grabbed a small paper plate and put a spoonful of couscous on a plate with a few grapes and stood off to the side devouring it within 6 steps as I scanned for the real food.

There it was! Small ribs, fancy spaghetti, can’t even remember what else was there because I never got the opportunity to eat it, but I decided to try by finding the end of the line... I kept walking until I realized I’d rather starve than stand in a line that long. I calculated each 4 table station is supposed to serve as many as 2000 people, and understood what the real situation was: survival. I took my small, but at this point, very valuable plate, and cut in for a few small ribs and decided to go watch Berlin until the lines died down. For now the immediate hunger had simmered down.

I watched Berlin for a few songs, shuffled in to see a few Don Henley songs in the sound stage, then reversed right back out to get in position for the Black Eyed Peas (because they decided to put their two best acts on at the same time). I suppose I made the mistake of trying to get close but standing on the floor and being less than 6’4” tall, all I could do was watch the otherwise very nice screens. A girl all of 5 foot tall stood between me and the stage holding up a stuffed dog as high as she could and made it dance with every song... it was all she could do because I’m not certain she could even see the video screens... great show, and worth the effort to come. When it ended at 11:30pm I made a beeline back to the food tents. I was alone at this point because it was 2:30am eastern time.

Mistake. Both tents looked like apocalyptic wastelands with tired people trudging along table to table, tent to tent to find food. People were tired and in much fewer numbers. Some were collapsed at the few tables around the edges, and scavengers were picking scraps off the feeding stations, still in lines, and many lines had more people than food. The whole thing was surreal. There was actually some couscous left, but since last time they had introduced a few plates of brownies and cookies here and there. When you’re hungry, cookies just don’t cut it, so I dove in for some more couscous and a couple brownies, and after scanning both tents realized it was a cookie or nothing. One table left, a couple plates of cookies, no line.. it was like heaven!

So I’m pretty thirsty by now... and no, there were no drinks in the food tents that I ever identified. Fortunately the beverage booths around the carnival were still well stocked and hardly any lines at this point. I got a half-can of sierra mist (I guess it exists because it fits nicely in a cup with ice) and tried to figure out what to do next. Lots of people left, but apparently the carnival games are free, and unlike the food lines, these lines were moving ok. I can’t leave without trying can I? I decided to try 1 game, chose the game with the biggest prize and stood in the 4-line basketball game for 20 minutes watching hundreds of shots, most of which didn’t hit the rim or even the backboard. One girl won in my line, which I thought was awesome, because it’s actually possible to win. The guy in front of me talked a lot of trash and spent a lot of time plotting his strategy only to brick it like the others. Two shots each, my first shot was a brick too....second went right in! It’s true those rims barely fit the ball, but it is possible! That large stuffed animal forced me to check in a bag on the flight home, but my daughter loved it.

I caught several Steve Miller songs on the way out... it was awesome, I forgot how blues oriented he is, but I knew I had very little sleep ahead of me, so I had to cut out early and back to the buses I went. Lucky #13 bus line was 5 times as long as any other bus line and in retrospect I might have been better off being dropped off somewhere in the middle of San Francisco 3 miles from my hotel at 1am than to stand in that line... but like a good lemming, I stayed, knowing that not many hours later is my next session, and the next night would be spent on a plane rather than in a bed, heading back to the East Coast. But it was worth it.