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MVP Open Day, September 29th 2006

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Right, as I write this my computer tells me it's 01:09 on the 30th. I left the event early thinking I might get an early night, but it seems that may not be the case...

Figured I'd at least say "hello".

Anyway, I've spent most of the day at Microsoft's office's in Reading, UK - which from not much inspection are substantially better than Fujitsu Service's concrete block in Bracknell. In all fairness to FJS you can't really do anything much with a concrete block in the middle of a carpark in a shithole industrial estate in a shithole planned town. Most FJS offices are much nicer than Bracknell's, but still - MS Offices > FJS Offices [grin]

Got an overview of Vista post RC1 which, for the most part, I'd already seen. Partly seen due to being an MVP but also I think due to being a Vista user - it's curious how these "new" things start to become 'un-new' quite quickly.

The Office 2007 presentation was interesting, as much because the presenter (Darren Strange) was thoroughly entertaining but also because several demo's didn't work [lol]. Call me cruel, but I take great enjoyment in seeing a speaker improvise once the planned demo falls apart - you quickly see who does or does not know their stuff [wink]

I'm still using beta-1 of O12 and I like it; a few of the office MVP's were very vocal about the new interface and the time it takes to learn it. Figured it was a good point even thought I disagreed - I was quite happy with O12 in hours and am still happy with it unlike some who takes days or weeks to learn it. Oh well.

Also saw a demo and overview of MSTV - aka IPTV - which was interesting. I saw, I think, an early demo at LifeSquared and figured it was one technology they would pay me to watch. I would never pay for it! But what I saw today was a bit more of a cross between Sky and MCE. Seemed a lot more interesting this time...

Had a developer round-table where we MVP's generally bitched about stuff. Specifically we complained about the .NET 3.0 naming - we aren't going to change it now, but we did specifically register our problems with it and hopefully pushed forward your confusions as well. We might not change the name but we might well get better developer-oriented information passed forward - education is a big thing we pointed out, so fingers crossed.

Richard pushed the MDX2 timebomb issue as well - which was an interesting discussion. Some of the internal people were very surprised at what we told them. I've no idea, but I'd like to think we can help out, but no guarantee...

Got to see a very brief overview from MS Hardware - until the battery on her laptop went flat ([lol]). Kids: Remember powerpoint 101 - use a mains cable and don't rely on your laptop's battery!

Needless to say, the hardware looks nice but of little interest to a techie like myself.

That was all on the tech front - whilst I appreciated the sessions I can't honestly say that any other that the developer roundtable were genuinely useful. The networking was invaluable though - I even met a guy who worked for the same company as me...

From there it was over to the hotel and the general social/network stuff - which is by far the best part of being an MVP. Not just learning about my tech area (of which very few people understand) but branching out to other areas...

All round an amazing day out. At which point I might go and chill out with a beer and some 'Thievery Corporation' [grin]
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