Archive for May, 2011


Posted in Doin' Work on May 19, 2011 by robdc

Anything anyone tells you to try and prepare you for The Vortex will fall short. This place is a playground for… well, me. The walls are covered in murals, the food is over the top and the ‘Rules’ section of their website says pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted to say to customers at the bar.

And here’s what the actual place looks like:


Enter the Double Coronary: half a pound of beef topped with two fried eggs, six slices of cheese and eight slices of bacon and buns? Oh no, buns are for peasants, this puppy uses 2 grilled cheese sandwiches as buns, which is how this shit should be done. 


Jesus that thing was epic, and I loved it just like I knew I would. Thank the gods for whoever owns this place, I commend you sir or madam. Now to go into the deepest food coma I’ve had the pleaser of enjoying in a long time.

lights out.


Fast and Easy…

Posted in Doin' Work on May 19, 2011 by robdc

It was the first clear morning we’d had since we got to town so I snapped a couple of shots of the fountain in the park on the way to the expo.


Then we returned to Tech-Ed. The thing is that unless you’re here in these sessions with us it’s kinda’ tough to describe why this particular expo is so popular and expensive so, rather than that I’ll explain why it’s so much fun.

Yes we are learning volumes of super useful and super geeky stuff, VM, powershell, app-v, and the cloud are all terms that fly around here as much as ‘and’, ‘or’ and ‘the’ in normal language. To offset the intense learning sessions the expo floor is filled to the brim with venders trying anything they can to get your attention and hopefully get you to buy some of their crap and trust me there is no trick they won’t try. The first gimmick is the raffle, oh man the raffles, they raffle off everything from $50 gift cards to Ducati motorcycles! Then there are the speakers, the vendors employ everyone from hot ladies to trick pool players to magicians just to get your attention and hold on to it for a few minutes.

This guy was a ‘mind reader’, he did some interesting things having people pick random words out of books and having them written down in envelopes that he pulled out of his podium before they were handed anything, he also did card tricks.

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You can just barely make out the card in the second one (it’s in the light).

This next dude was a world class pool shark.

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IMG_0732_tonemappedIn the first set he’s hitting a Q-ball off the rail and knocking that ball out of that dudes mouth then making it in the corner pocket… blindfolded. The last pic is of him hitting the one ball out from that support and not knocking the tower down while making the one in the corner pocket (watching the double ball part of the stack was nerve racking), he pulled the trick off perfectly. 

Also there are games, plenty of games. Spin the wheel, play some put put golf or play a little roulette all of which lead down the same two roads: 1. a registration for a raffle 2. a prize (usually a shirt or pen), either way you’re happy when you go back to learn some crazy thing about how to debug sharepoint errors. Here are a couple of shots of Andrew playing not one but 2 put put games.

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There were also some game stations set up with Kinect being showcased all over the place, here’s some guy unwinding with his rendition of Thriller.


That’s all from the expo hall today, later we’re heading to The Vortex for some legendary burgers and I’m sure there will be more to note from there.




Posted in Doin' Work on May 18, 2011 by robdc

Our days are spent going to hands on training sessions, being hounded by vendors and trekking the main expo floor but our nights? Our nights we get treated by these same vendors to awesome parties! At the Microsoft Silverlight exhibit we were handed yellow wrist bands that simply read: “GeekFest! 2011 @ STATS”. We lived the rest of the day as usual expecting some free wings and probably beer at the end of the day. The expo closed, we get kicked out and off to STATS we went, where we found this:

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The spot was supremely nicer than any of us expected, fire pits, full bar and a very nice terrace made for a seriously entertaining environment. Oh yea, this was nice too.

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They did well enough on their own but when their powers combined… it was pretty impressive

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Get a room full of developers (nerds) and throw them into a spot like this with an open bar and everyone was having a phenomenal time. On the way home I got some shots of the city from the Olympic park, but you’ll have to forgive the blur since I was on my way home from a jam.

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That’s it for tonight,

‘drops mic’


Posted in Doin' Work on May 17, 2011 by robdc

I’ve followed many a keynote on Giz and through many other venues but I didn’t think I’d be seeing one in person any time soon. Lets just say that a great deal is lost in translation when I’ve read about any of these things. I can only imagine how over the top an Apple keynote is because this was (from what I can gather) a much smaller event and it was IMPRESSIVE. After filing over 5000 of what I can only assume are the largest assortments of geeks, dweebs and dorks on earth (many internationals here) into a gigantic auditorium, they got the whole thing started with a couple of dudes who call themselves the ‘Glitch Mob’ playing touch screen lcds that were inexplicably turned away from them, they dropped their version of ‘Derezzed’ by the legendary Daft Punk. It was not exactly what I expected but that’s a good thing.

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They did a pretty damn good job, even though the fact that shazam picked up their set kinda’ suggests that they weren’t really doing much with those lcds they weren’t looking at, but lets give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Here’s a shot of the keynote hall from about half way back, not the greatest shot but I hope it gets the idea of the scope across.


On our arrival we were assigned assorted geek accoutrements, A huge backpack, some assorted t-shirts and a billion flyers and ads for the various vendors here who’s sole purposes in life for the next week will be to entice us with raffles and giveaways. The show floor is nuts, and the items at stake are completely insane, this is a Microsoft event so every other group is offering Xbox360s but don’t let that be any representation of the sick swag these corporate types are offering up. I present exhibit A:


Needless to say I snuck way more than one entry into that raffle.

We ran around the vendor floor for a bit then went to some breakout sessions, the day was insanely informative and long. A few protips for anyone who is dropped into a tech environment and wants to sound like they know what’s up right now: toss the acronyms ROI (Return on investment) and SLA (Service Level Agreement) around as much as possible, also talk about the cloud as if you invented it, since apparently these people can’t hear enough about that noise.

One last perk of the day… THEY GAVE US BEER!! FO FREE!!!, pretty sweet and a great way to end the day.

IMG_0661_tonemappedThat’s it for today, got to get to sleep. These 6:30am mornings are going to kill me.



Arrival in Hotlanta

Posted in Doin' Work on May 16, 2011 by robdc

First off, Atlanta has been treating us phenomenally. Although I’m here for work, the people I’m traveling with and the event I’m here for have been a perfect combination.


Our first day in wasn’t supposed to be much in the way of entertainment but registration for Tech Ed and our jumps around town ended up presenting us with some surprises. While on our way to check in the police presence was off putting, enough that Atlanta felt kind of like a police state. Lots of bike, motorcycle, squad car and segway officers and it felt like they were getting more dense with every block. Finally We were asked to clear the road because the first ladies motorcade was coming through town. The show was pretty impressive.

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It’s a sunday in the south so the rest of the day did prove to be pretty uneventful but I have high hopes for the first day of the main event tomorrow.



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