I went to Ray Konopka’s pre-conference tutorial on Creating Custom Components for the Microsoft .NET Framework. About 20 minutes into the session, a booming voice over the conference center p.a. system says “A fire has been reported in the conference center. Please evacuate the building using the nearest exit”. The fire alarm then sounds and everyone begins to leave the building.
In case you haven’t heard, Ray Konopka is now the President of ComponentScience, Lino Tadros’ .NET component company. Ray is going to continue to improve and support his Raize products (press release). Lino’s company has the Who’s Who of Delphi developers which currently include Charlie Calvert and Steve Teixeria.
Two minutes later, we are told that we could come back in the building. In the meantime, Ray is trying to figure out where he left off. Gathering his thoughts, he starts again. A couple of sentences later, Ray said “Well, I guess nothing else can go wrong”. Just after this comes out of his mouth, the fire alarm goes off again. Another voice comes back on and lets us know that we don’t need to leave again.
Ray kept his humor through this interruption and is a very good speaker.
After lunch, I attended the speaker meeting which kept me informed on my responsibilities and the logistics of the conference.
I snuck into Scott Ambler’s pre-conference tutorial (Agile Database Techniques) for a short time and he was very animated. Very good speaker. Highly recommended.
I stopped by the PILLAR booth in the Exhibit Hall and said hi to the guys. A little later, I walked through the rest of the Exhibit Hall. I talked with Lino Tadros, Ray Konopka, Jeroen Pluimers, Chad Howser and probably other people that I am forgetting.
Lino demonstrated a really cool product for ASP.NET. Basically, it was a web based calendaring system that is really impressive. More information can be found here.
After dropping my laptop off at the hotel, my wife and I went to the Opening Keynote. A couple of videos where shown that were slightly modified from the Matrix Reloaded. They pasted David I’s face over Neo’s face. Pretty funny stuff.
The Welcome reception was very good. In addition to all sorts of great food, they had a huge hall full of all sorts of games. Any casino game that you could think of, video games, X-Box games, pool tables, dart boards, slot machines and many others. It was a really big arcade game.
They had a live band and a dance area. However, not many people used the dance floor, since there wasn’t enough alcohol flowing. The party included two drinks per person.
Turning in your ticket for the Welcome Reception resulted in chips to use to play table games or coins for playing the slot machines. I tried my hand at BlackJack and did okay. Later on, I turned in my chips for some raffle tickets.
At the end of the evening, they pulled tickets for prizes. I was fortunate enough to win a $50 Circuit City gift certificate and a $50 SuperValue gift certificate! Woo hoo!
Afterwards we headed back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.