I've got a little break, so now is a good time to crank out a quick trip log...
Pretty smooth flight in on Monday, and got to the hotel around 4 or so. Mandalay Bay has a nice casino, and nice restaurants, but honestly the rooms are just not all that nice. They're not clean enough, and the furniture and carpet are long overdue for a refresh. They also seem incapable of replacing feather pillows. I wouldn't stay here on my own dime.
In any case, I quickly headed down to the Open Source Fest by 6. The thing got mobbed! Attendance went way, way over what they expected. I talked to a lot of people about POP Forums, which was kind of unexpected. It's always hard to tell how interested people are in open source projects, beyond the download counts (over 1k so far, which is sweet considering it's not final yet). Talked to a really young guy working at Stack Overflow, which was... interesting. Also a lot of drama between different projects, which is hilarious.
Turned in at a reasonable time, and got up early on Tuesday. I snagged breakfast, then skipped the keynote (it was mostly about IE10) to make a quick visit to NAB. This is the enormous trade show for the broadcast/production industry. Always wanted to go when I was in college and then working in Medina. I've since then developed a hatred for trade shows, but really wanted to see some of the new cameras up close. I saw the Panasonic AF100, and it's awesome. Also met Jan from Panasonic, who hangs out in various forums. Got a discount code from Redrock Micro, and ordered a matte box. I was at the show for about 45 minutes.
Getting there was interesting. I used the Mandalay Bay tram to go a few blocks down, then walked forever through MGM to get to the monorail. The joke is that no one ever uses it, but it was packed with NAB people.
I got back to my conference in time for the first 11:30 session, and enjoyed sessions all day. I met a lot of interesting people, too, including some guys from PPG in Pittsburgh with some interesting work stories.
This conference always gets me energized for the Microsoft platform, and now that I'm in the mothership, I'm even more into it. It's exciting to see how receptive people are to customers as well, and how engaged the customers are when we do previews and such.
After the conference sessions ended, I tried to Skype Diana and Simon from my room, but it totally choked with the in-room Wi-Fi. Sigh.
For dinner, I met up with my friend Allison, who now lives out here. She was the first person I ever hired and supervised (at the ripe old age of 24). I wasn't a great boss because we became pretty good friends. She's got a couple of young kids now, so we're in similar places in our lives. It was so good to catch up with her. The Internet makes keeping up easier, but it's just not the same as face time. Despite all of the changes in our lives, I'm surprised at how much I still hit it off with her. We're both so grown-up!
I finally got to bed around midnight, and was disappointed to find that my phone died. I suspect it's because I had no signal most of the evening. Vegas seems notorious for cell phone black holes in the casinos, and I wonder if that's on purpose. The conference area seems fine, and there's also Wi-Fi there, but as soon as you leave, it's like the outside world doesn't exist.
For Wednesday... more sessions, plus Lion King!