Thursday, May 10, 2007

JavaOne part three

5/10/2007 6:12 PM Mountain
Monday was an interesting day. We met sometime around 8:30 and went to Mountain View, bickering about radio stations, fighting over which way to take, and generally getting along peacably. After eating, “stopping for coffee” a couple of times, and the drive, rife with traffic and slowness, we arrived at the Mountain View office sometime around 10:00 am. Upon arrival, we all connected our computers to the work network and, to our horror, realized that we had an 8:00 am skip-level meeting with Spencer. Only two hours late. I guess it would have been a good idea to connect to work before going to bed the night before.
I read my emails, sent some emails and had a meeting on Struts2 before it was off to the all-hands meeting where we got another unbridled dose of optimism, good-feeling and an idea of what to expect in our lists of things to do in the coming months.
Honestly, I was pretty positive about the all-hands meeting. My boss's boss's boss, Paul Rosenfeld is a pretty straight shooter and comes across as having very little tolerance for BS. I don't agree with his opinions on everything but at least I'm confident that he does.
After the all-hands, we headed out to San Jose to visit the Winchester Mystery House. I wasn't very enthusiastic about that – I'd tried to talk Marius and Wenpan into abstaining since we'd already been through there but peer pressure guided us all to the decision to follow the crowd. Honestly, I was pretty impressed. The guy had exactly the same spiel as the girl had had a couple of months before but his in-between commentary was a lot better than the girl's.
After that, it was a kind of dinner I've never had before. They brought dishes out – fish, beef, chicken, veggie, but they just kept coming. It was pretty nice and I was impressed by what they offered for the most part but I was surprised to find that at the end of the evening, I was still pretty hungry. There was a lot of good conversation to be had. I moved around, trying not to miss any of it. I talked with Grace, a UE designer and I was pretty impressed with what she had to say. I'll go into that later.
After dinner, Marius, Gustavo, Evelyn, David and I went out to an Irish pub. It was loud during the Golden State Warriors game then people filed out and David Cassidy's evil doppelganger showed up and wowed people with his hair and his guitar. Unfortunately, his guitaring sucked and his voice was worse. I could recognize most of the songs he was playing but only through keen observation. After that, we went back to the hotel and I pressed the up button a couple of times before going to bed.
JavaOne was like I expected it to be – only way louder and with waaaaay more people. The first opening session was likely six to eight thousand people sitting and listening to a guy talk about taking Java open-sourced. Maybe I'm not seeing all of the benefits that this provides but I didn't get really jazzed about it.
I'll go into the details of the sessions in my technical blog at for those of you who care. It's mostly about Java language and web programming but who knows? Maybe there'll be something in there for you to care about.
Probably not, though.
San Francisco has been, in turns, sunny and hot enough to melt a man, cloudy and windy, cloudy and calm, on the brink of rain (without ever actually raining to back it up) and sunny with wind. The San Diegans have been bitterly cold but I have been in a t-shirt and shorts the entire time. I guess it all comes down to what you're used to.
The food has been fantastic. I've been spoiled with the generosity of our manager. Steak, rack-of-lamb, any number of amazing meals that I've eaten happily.
The only one that I didn't enjoy was the pizza.
I like pizza. I like pizza probably more than any man has a natural right to like pizza. However, this one had Shiitake mushrooms which I THOUGHT I liked, but they were disgusting on the pizza. And it also had sauteed onions that covered the top of the pizza like some unnameable slime. I suffered through. I'm such a freaking trooper.
Mostly, I end up struggling to find a wireless signal and I struggle to keep my laptop charged. Disabling the wireless speeds up the charging but I'm fighting a losing battle. I managed to get my Palm charged and synced up thanks to Derek Deter who works for the people we bought and are integrating with. So now I'm taking my in-session notes with the palm and if I can get together with Derek again before the end of the conference, I'll put them on the PC. If not, I'll hope the battery doesn't die on the Palm before I can get the notes off of there. Maybe it's worth it to type them up on the tablet by reading them off the palm. Don't worry about me, though, I'll figure it out.
Last night, Gustavo and I went with Abraham, another Intuit employee, to a party hosted by Terra Cotta, a company that does some kind of caching solution or something. I didn't really understand. I just know that they claim to be 8-10 times faster than JBoss cache. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like when the skinny doper at the golf course told me he power-bombed some guy through a pool table. My bullshit monitor kind of peaked at that moment and I knew it was time for me to leave.
I don't know how many more of these updates I'll do before I get on the plane tomorrow afternoon but I'll get another one up when I get home. A sort of conclusion to the festivities.
Until next I blog,

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