BorCon2003: Wednesday Recap

I headed over to the conference center to grab some breakfast. I quickly ate a bagel and some fruit. I headed back to the hotel to prepare one last time.

I arrived at the room about 15 minutes before Carey Jensen was finished with his session on In-memory Datasets in .NET. From the brief look that I had, datasets seem really cool. One thing that I remember is that you have the option of looking at the changes in different ways. You can look at just the changed (edited) items, items that have been added and items that have been deleted. Pretty neat.

Carey finished on time and I went to set my laptop up. Unfortunately, my laptop and the projector did not like each other. After trying a couple of things, I asked somebody in the front row to tell the room monitor to get someone from the Audio/Video department here. In the meantime, I whipped out my new 256MB thumb drive, transferred my presentation and code to the computer that was in the room. I just purchased the thumb drive, just in case something like this happened.

The audio/video guy showed up and he tried a few things to see if he could get it to work. No luck. Bummer. So it was Plan B — use the existing computer.

I started the repeated Reflection session at 11:00AM, to about 50 people. Things were going along fine until I got to my security section. Realizing that I had set up a special directory on my laptop in order to demonstrate reduced privilege and how they affect reflecting on a class, I then tried to set up the same environment on the computer. Unfortunately, I didn’t have administrative rights to set up the sandbox. Panic struck for a split second, then I jokingly offered for the audience to gather around my laptop.

I decided that I would attempt to explain the various settings and move from there. At this point I still had at least 15 minutes to go, so I brought up my example that demonstrates how to use Reflection to create an assembly on the fly. I filled the rest of the talk with going over the code and answering questions. Overall, I though my first Reflection talk went slightly better, probably due to the technical problems with my laptop and the projection equipment. Looking at some of the speaker evaluation forms showed that I did pretty good too.

Towards the end of this session, my stomach was growling with hunger pains. Evidently, I didn’t eat enough for breakfast. Note to self: eat a bigger breakfast before presenting just before lunch. I ended the session promptly, since I didn’t want to be the one preventing anyone from getting their lunch.

The audio/video person showed up again, and we talked about him bringing the computer guys with him so we could figure this out after lunch, since I was going to be in the same room for my Threading session. I told him I would be there early.

After a box lunch, I returned to the room and set up for my next session and wait for the audio/video people to show. About 10 minutes before the session was going to start, he shows up and they attempt to figure out what the deal is. Again no luck.

I had been talking with the people in the audience, asking them what kind of sessions they would like to see next year. I jokingly commented, that I stumped the hardware guys and then said that that sounds like a good session for next year.

I started the Threading session at 1:30PM to about 150 people. Lots of questions were asked, which is always a good thing. The session went pretty good — there is a lot of information to attempt to cover in a 75 minute session. Speaker evaluations looked good too.

Nothing feels better when you are finally finished with all of the presentations!

I decided to check out Lino’s .NET Remoting session, even though I had written a paper for the CD on this topic. Lino is a very funny guy and he opened up the session asking if anyone had used COM. He had a great line. “COM is like smoking. If you’ve never done it don’t start and if you do smoke you need to quit”. Lino only had two PowerPoint slides, then he jumped right into the code. I didn’t stay to the end, since I wanted to make sure that I was able to upload my updated code, and slides.

The closing session is always a blast and Dale really likes his “Soft wear delivery mechanism” (T-Shirt Cannon). Dale must have shot over 50 T-Shirts alone, Blake Stone threw many T-Shirts and several Borland Jackets. I managed to catch a T-Shirt thrown by Blake! Unfortunately, I didn’t win any other prizes. I may have a shot at a jacket, if I am one of the top 10 speakers. Blake mentioned this towards the end, that the top 10 non-Borland speakers will each receive a Borland jacket. We’ll see if I can make it into the top 10, since the competition is pretty tough…

Dale joked about some possible locations for the next BorCon, including Fairbanks Alaska, somewhere in Montanna and Las Vegas Nevada. Nothing official was mentioned, though. I don’t think they have nailed it down. Rumor has it that it will be in September 2004. Until next year…

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