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Showing posts from June, 2008

Time out with the boys - did we cover everything?

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Following back to back user events and electing to drive between San Francisco, Simi Valley, and Las Vegas so as to not have to face long check-in and security lines, I took the opportunity to take some time out racing cars again with the new Connect Vice President, Margo Holen.

And I have included a picture of her just prior to a group "download" session where the lead instructor critiques us after being on the track. I have to say, Margo seems very much in her element - and, as I once heard in a movie, I complemented her on her nice driving shoes! Color-coordinated and all.

This was our second outing as we worked our way up from the lower novice rankings, and this one proved to be a real challenge. Prior to arriving at the ButtonWillow track, we had gone to the web and printed off a very detailed track report provided by the Porsche club. It described the lines through every corner and identified landmarks that would help with turning into a corner. It even gave advice about…

The last dance, at Mandalay Bay …

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This years HP Technical Conference and Expo (HPTF&E) went out with a big bang and while the prospect of a big bang is something none of us would support in the real world with any enthusiasm, in Vegas it’s completely different! As I entered the auditorium for the last time yesterday evening, “air movement” pushed me around as the floor “swayed” underneath me – no one was pushing the button on a warhead test, and it wasn’t an earthquake either. It was Matchbox 20 entertaining the community late into the night, and I have included a picture here taken from alongside the stage. We lasted for a set of two or three songs, before the sheer physical impact of the sound “encouraged” us to leave. No, we aren’t 20 anymore …with or without matchboxes!

HP has to be congratulated for the support they provided throughout the event, and with the quality of everything they did for the community. But as we slowly awake this Friday morning, it’s now all behind us and we face the trip home with some …

It's Vegas!

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24 hours! In Vegas, does 24 hours have any meaning? Does anyone really recall all that they did over a 24 hour period? I only ask because we have been living in a world where clocks are not visible, and the artificial light doesn’t help with keeping track of time either.

The night before last was a blast!. It started when a number of us were given the full “paparazzi” treatment as we ran the gauntlet of bulb-flashing, high-fiving, anxious-to-spot-a-celebrity crowd surrounding the VIP entrance to the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay. HP with Connect jointly put on a special reception for a select number of IT executives and I managed to wrangle a pass. In all my years of attending user events, I have never quite witnessed anything like this before – but then, a number of the IT executives really are “rockstars”! They really have excelled at their profession! Martin Fink and the BCS team excelled as hosts and quickly became engaged in lively exchanges with the users present.

But the nig…

Blades drawn at Mandalay Bay!

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It has been a tremendously eventful morning and I have just returned from giving my presentation. This means that I can unwind for the first time this week and relax a little. I can also begin to break down what I heard this morning at the General Session, and look at what the future holds for HP as well as for the user community, although many of the details I will discuss in a later blog posting, after I have had a little more time to reflect.

But as Ann Livermore pointed out – this week there were just two press releases, BTO Software for Change Management Automation, and the Integrity NonStop NB50000c BladeServer. As Martin Fink and Randy Meyer told us later - just two announcements? From a company the size of HP? This was a remarkable achievement all by itself! But for attendees at HPTF, it was all about Blades. Everything to Blades!

Prior to Anne taking the stage, we heard from Randy Mott on how far HP had come with their IT Transformation, and how the clock was winding down. Al…

Mandalay Bay Opens!

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For many of us who have attended ITUG events over the years, we are used to the first general sessions of Monday morning. Back in the early ‘90s these were marathon events that went on until the luncheon adjournment. Adapting to the format we first saw last year, where the event kicks-off on the Monday evening, and where many of us can fly in that day, has certainly grown on me – I like it!

I have to say, I wasn’t sure, early on, but the format of a Monday through Thursday event with the “Welcome Reception” first up Monday nigh, really is appealing. Earlier today, with only an hour before the attendees could walk into the Exhibition Hall, I took one last photo (included here) and what a difference to noon – carpets cleaned, the garbage collected, and the night’s refreshments arriving.
This year, HP’s booth is visibly bigger than the booth they had last year and there are a lot more exhibitors as well - to see the event growing like this is very encouraging. But the big news of the nig…

The path well-trodden – to Mandalay Bay!

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Well, we are up and running! No doubt about it, – as groups begin to form around the registration desks and the familiar trademarks of all events become visible. Badges on traditional HP-sponsored lanyards hanging around necks, sizeable agenda books firmly in hand, bags slung over shoulders, we are beginning to look like serious event attendees. And as we begin to cluster at the coffee shops and in quite nooks, the hard work of thumbing through the agenda, looking for the sessions that most want to see, begins in earnest. Some attendees pre-registered for the sessions, but many are still making last minute decisions.

The picture here is of me catching up with incoming Connect Vice President, Margo Holen at the Starbucks, just as the Convention Center forks into separate North and South sections, and one of the best networking places at Mandalay Bay. I hope to catch up with Margo and Scott Healy later this evening and post another blog with their views and comments following the welcome…

Clear Skies over Mandalay Bay …

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In the early daytime hours of Sunday, the hotel, casino, and convention center are all unexpectedly quiet. I awoke to brilliant blue skies – a feature of this time of year. And the heat! Yes, there are a few all-nighters playing the casino’s slot machines. And stragglers are wondering back into the lobbies from other venues on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

But the activity within the Exhibition Hall is frenetic, as the assembly-crews race to beat the clock for Monday’s opening reception. And the picture I have included here is just 24 hours after the one I included in last night’s post – I have been involved in a lot of exhibitions and each time I am amazed at how chaotic it all is right up to the opening of the doors. And nothing is any different this year – although I have to admit, some of the stands look even bigger than in previous years.

I sat at Starbuck’s underneath the moving escalators that take you up to the Luxor hotel and to the shopping arcade that connects it with the mai…

Road to Mandalay (Bay)!

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After the better part of this week in the San Francisco Bay area, I have now arrived in Las Vegas for the HP Technical Forum and Expo (HPTF&E). Last week I was at sea level enjoying three perfect days of sunshine – not a frequent occurrence and much welcomed by the locals. The picture I have included here is of me looking across at the Bay Bridge that runs nearby the offices of GoldenGate Software.

As readers will have seen in the previous posting I was at the GoldenGate Real-Time 2008 event, where the theme was “Where Information Meets Innovation”. And the event turned out to be an excellent warm-up for the main event from HP this week in Las Vegas. No more so than during the final panel session of the event where CIOs were given an opportunity to present their views on data and where one of the panelists warned us all to be on the look-out for complacency!

In the sport of motor racing, one thing that often happens is that a racer continues to improve until he reaches a stage where…

The changing face of user groups ...

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This weekend I drove to San Francisco for the GoldenGate Real-Time 2008 User Conference. Coming as it is the week before HP Technical Forum and Expo (HPTF&E) it represented the start of an extended period of user and vendor interactions. This year, GoldenGate elected to move away from Las Vegas to the Westin St Francis hotel on Union Square. And the photo I have included here shows the American and Australian flags flying over the Powell Street entrance – a complete coincidence, I was to later find out, but nonetheless for me, a reminder of the strong connection that exists between the two countries.

After all, following the successful American war of independence late in the 18th century, England had nowhere to ship its convicts. Between 1716 and 1776, almost 400 convict ships ferried 50,000 convicts to the American colonies as the English cleared their prisons two or three times a year. One day, the ships departed for Maryland or Virginia and the next, for Botany Bay. Without the…

My road to the vendor side ...

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I try to avoid starting a blog posting with references to the weather! It is a bit like saying - I like your tie! Or, I like your shoes! But returning to Boulder has been a bit of a shock, and I really did have to check the calendar. Yes, it is June 5th! From early afternoon yesterday, the rains came. Hard! And through breaks in the clouds, I can see the snow falling in Estes Park and across the Continental Divide as well as the Front Ranges. I am being advised that the snow level is down to 8,000 feet.

But it’s June and it’s BBQ season – I wanted to ride my motorcycle on the peak to peak highway this evening, but it’s now out of the question.

The limited amount of driving I have had to do has been hazardous, with signs on the freeway announcing “Pooled Water on the Highway”, but having the SUV in the garage helped a lot. Not sure how long it remains viable, given how gas prices have soared, but there are still times where the vehicle’s ground clearance and its all wheel drive capabilit…