Friday 16 November 2007

The Vista from my Windows

Melee with meals

The past 5 days, one can say life has revolved between the hotel and the daily conferences which could be exhausting to say the least.

Despite the issues I have with the hotel I ventured into the hotel restaurant last night for a meal because I could not be bothered trawling the whole of Barcelona for a restaurant and a table for one.

As I got there, there was no way of knowing that one room was meant for groups and the other for non-groups, waiter spoke no English and reeled out probably 20 sentences to me on Catalan and I just looked at him like I had just seen an alien.

Eventually, someone came round to show to be some nondescript room with no atmosphere and left me there as if I was in detention. I managed the entrée and touched the main course, refused the desert, which left them worried that I did not like the food nor the service - this time someone from reception came up to chat and find out what was wrong.

Well, what I hated was the fact that being a lone eater the room should have had a bit more atmosphere, a waiter about, probably some music and maybe more people - in the end, eating alone takes away from the pleasure of dining and definitely, in my case, the food would not go down.

It is amazing that one is in Barcelona, an international city that once hosted the Olympics and has quite a big tourist throughput but very few people in the hospitality industry speak any English.

I believe

I attended 4 sessions again and Microsoft might just have won a convert and that is what I said about these events. They are like evangelistic crusades with apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists and pastors preaching the gospel of Microsoft and performing miracles in the name of Microsoft.

The wonder, the excitement and hypnotism - you get carried along, carried away and voluntarily brainwashed as the mass hysteria consumes every opportunity to resist the urge to succumb - when I get back home, I would be installing Windows Vista.

I came here a sceptic and would be returning a believer; the cynicism has been cast out with evidence of glorious vistas of operation, performance and technical goodies you cannot ignore.

The jewel of the conference has to be Mark Russinovich; a super-geek that looks nothing like the geeks you know - the man knows the internals of Windows and how to look under the bonnet better than any Windows mechanic I have ever seen - he makes tools for every single thought or idea he might have had about extracting information from Windows about what is going on.

He leaves you wanting to go home and get your hands really dirty, solve problems by really finding out why the problem is there, break it down and then fix it up nicely, whatever session he has going, I think I would be lapping that up.

Blogging for whatever

I attended an afternoon session about blogging, and I have been thinking about how to do a bit of technical blogging and veer a bit away from the general stuff that I regularly write about.

I have not decided if I should host that on a separate blog and leave that in this setup; the panel views differed on that matter, but the most important advice was to keep your personality within what you do.

Obviously, people blog for all sorts of reasons, some are fully technical and others are light-hearted - there is a broad spectrum of opinions and views.

Quality and quantity really depends on what you are writing about and they are relative issues, it appeared my blogging frequency was a lot higher than those on the panel, but then I suppose if I had to write purely technical stuff, I might not be delivering stuff with this kind of regularity.

Someone asked about blogging trolls, people whose existence is exemplified by rotten commentary and rude inserts - we agreed that each person's blog space is purely theirs and people who do not respect that principle do not have to be acknowledged.

Whilst I accept anonymous comments I expect people who leave negative insulting comments to also present an identity, if not, I just delete the stuff. If you cannot stand by what you have to say, you are a non-person and non-entity - whilst I would know your IP address, it is a waste of time giving such people time.

If I do go technical with some of my blogging entries, I would suppose it would still revolve around my experiences with analogies, allegories and inferences - I suppose that is the best way to blog - your views and well-researched opinions about how you observe things or how things affect you.

TechEd IT Forum a must

On already with the last day of Microsoft TechEd IT Forum and I am already planning for next year - thankfully, I do not have to run the gauntlet of corporate inertia in arranging for these conferences, I would expect any technical mind that manages and builds infrastructure in the enterprise should be here.

If only CIOs and IT Managers realised that this is no freebie holiday jaunt but an essential element career development that their staff should enjoy. I mentioned this at work months ago, but it all fell through for them and many other projects do because of the lack of adequate exposure to how things are done implemented elsewhere.


Mark Russinovich

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