A 6:30am start, breakfast in the taxi, and a seat at the Opening General Session about half way back in the room. Thanks to the entire front eighth of the room being taken by reserved seating, the hall feels busier than last year.
I think everyone else on the blogsphere has blogged the opening general session, so I'll stick to my impressions. Just before Bubba-P introduced the keynote speaker, I shouted out 'SSSSSHHHHAAAATTTTNNNNEEER'. And bugger me. He came on. I have to explain.
A contingent of folks have been pushing for Shatner for years because it would have rick-rolled the event. The Ultimate Cheese. And it would have been funny as hell. All I can say, is be careful what you wish for. Actually, he *was* funny. Not 'John Cleese' funny, mind you - but a damn sight better than Dan Ackroyd was.
Lots of customer stories - and god those guys couldnt speak. On our row, we were all convinced the Panasonic guy had a hash-plant on the sill behind him, I suspect that one of the speakers was drunk, and I had to leave when the comedy accent came on (You all know who I mean). I was howling with laughter.
Since the wifi sucked again - come on folks, this isnt rocket science anymore! - the pitch on cloud computing rather passed me by. I went over to the swan, and set up in the room for the worst practices presentation instead. Handy being on stage with a wired network.
I missed the GM boss actually driving onto stage in a corvette. That would have been cool to see. However, since I'm not a huge fan of GM cars - ask Roy Holder about their customer service (and stand well back) - I would have been more impressed if they came on with an electric car. Something that said 'innovation' as opposed to 'hanging onto the past'.
Okay. Bitching aside, it was Alastair Rennies show, and by all accounts he was the calmest person on stage. Good for him. Its good to be the eye of the storm for a change.
After that, Mooney and myself amused and educated with Worst Practices. Our pre-show is possibly the rudest thing to ever grace the Lotusphere stage, I'm proud to say. I was also rather relieved when my battery died before a very senior Lotii demanded to see it. I do know that various senior Blackberry folks howled with laughter last night when I showed it to them - so job done. But as Mooney pointed out, he'd have rather I spent more time on the presentation.. But hey - it *is* Worst Practices.
I then hung around the business partner showcase - lots of cool stuff as usual. As usual Binary Tree completely flouted the rules by hiring models to grace their stand - but hey, a little bit of tacky cant hurt too badly, right ? Here's hoping that Hendry doesn't get drunk and starts rifling through their luggage as he did back in Ireland, right ?
There's a new IBM catalog, and the chap who runs it was offering to update entries on the fly, right there on the show floor. Fantastic.
You have got to see:
- GSX for their monitoring stuff.
- DNA - Trust Factory - for their enterprise analysis stuff. They can tell you how to cut your TCO.
- Domain Patrol for their stuff, as well as really cool T-Shirts.
- MetaLogic and FirM on stand 604, of course.
- Team Studio for their new 8.5.x version of their products.
- Panagenda for their client management tool.
- Martin Scott for their stuff, and to say Hi! to Banana-obsessed Francie.
- Blackberry, of course, to see BES v5.
I'll add more to this list as I see them.
And finally, we all landed in Shulas with the impressively low-cut dresses of their waitresses for the UKLUG night. Fantastic. Especially as two very lovely ladies were trying to convince me that I was beautiful - try again next year - and Bob Picciano turned up, shook everyones hand, remembered everyones name. Very smart guy. I can see him and Rodin slugging it out for IBM CEO one day. My moneys' on Picciano - he's an inspiring leader by all accounts. And he can sing (indeed, he can *nail*) 'Minnie the Moocher'.
I slunk away for another alcohol free deep sleep at the Safari hotel. Its good wakening up and not having to unpeel your eyeballs.