Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hawking Vista

And maybe Office 2007 as well? It would seem that would be an acceptable title for the conference I just finished attending this week – the NCACPA's TechFest Winter 2007 conference. Those who have followed some of my past musings know that I regularly attend the TechFest conference each December. Despite the fact that its usefulness continues to erode in my opinion each year. This year's conference was no exception to that rule. I really had not even planned to attend this year, but because of the change in my job situation, some of my planned CPE's were no longer relevent, so I had to come up with an alternative.One thing about attending the conference, no matter how poor it apparently is striving to become, is that it does tend to renew and reinvigorate me with regard to technology planning. It also tends to give me some really good paths to explore in finding alternatives to the traditional Microsoft stack that so many people and organizations seem to be stuck on.

Before going into some details about the conference sessions, a quick note about logistics. This year the conference moved from the Grandover Resort to the Embassy Suites Greensboro. As I discovered, the Embassy Suites has a wireless network setup that covers the meeting rooms – no real surprise there. Unfortunately, you have to pay to access it. $9.95 for 24 hours. What is up with that? It would have been nice to blog directly from the conference (and it would have given me an opportunity to test out the battery life of the new laptop I got – a Dell, blecch!) and to be able to check e-mail and upload some files for stuff I'm working on. Alas, I suppose I consider it a matter of principle not to pay for that service. I've been to plenty of hotels that do not charge for wireless service. Interestingly, their policy was so bad, even the speakers had to pay for the wireless access they were using for their presentations during their different sessions. So a huge BOO to Embassy Suites for trying to charge (especially so much) for Internet access.

Hawking Vista

And maybe Office 2007 as well? It would seem that would be an acceptable title for the conference I just finished attending this week – the NCACPA's TechFest Winter 2007 conference. Those who have followed some of my past musings know that I regularly attend the TechFest conference each December. Despite the fact that its usefulness continues to erode in my opinion each year. This year's conference was no exception to that rule. I really had not even planned to attend this year, but because of the change in my job situation, some of my planned CPE's were no longer relevant, so I had to come up with an alternative.One thing about attending the conference, no matter how poor it apparently is striving to become, is that it does tend to renew and reinvigorate me with regard to technology planning. It also tends to give me some really good paths to explore in finding alternatives to the traditional Microsoft stack that so many people and organizations seem to be stuck on.

Before going into some details about the conference sessions, a quick note about logistics. This year the conference moved from the Grandover Resort to the Embassy Suites Greensboro. As I discovered, the Embassy Suites has a wireless network setup that covers the meeting rooms – no real surprise there. Unfortunately, you have to pay to access it. $9.95 for 24 hours. What is up with that? It would have been nice to blog directly from the conference (and it would have given me an opportunity to test out the battery life of the new laptop I got – a Dell, blecch!) and to be able to check e-mail and upload some files for stuff I'm working on. Alas, I suppose I consider it a matter of principle not to pay for that service. I've been to plenty of hotels that do not charge for wireless service. Interestingly, their policy was so bad, even the speakers had to pay for the wireless access they were using for their presentations during their different sessions. So a huge BOO to Embassy Suites for trying to charge (especially so much) for Internet access.