REAL World 2008 – Day 1

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So, I check in and drop my bag off in my room.  The bed calls my name beckoning me with a call … “Sleep, sleep, sleep.”  I will not be seduced.  I have technology also calling me and the promise of learning something is stronger than the short term satisfaction of REM sleep.

I go down to the registration station and pick up my “goodies bag”.  No shirt this year.  Darn.  Gravity has not been kind to my mid-rift. There’s some sweet stuff in there including a 1G USB Key with all of the presentation slides.

I head in for some of the keynote presentations.  Evidently I’ve missed a lot.  More on that later.  My friend Paul Lefebvre spoke on keeping “Software Made Simple”.  Very good advice when first starting out a project. Give pause and think first.  It can save you down the road.

Dave Mancuso was up next to discuss Kodiac, a program that does all sorts of school administration tasks.  Dave gave some great advice how to turn a previous program failure into a new resurected program success using REALbasic.

Jay was up next.  One thing that has impressed me in the past, and is impressing me this year as well, is the entrepreneur spirit of the RB programmers.  Jay, among other business ventures, creates software products for sale.  This is something that is really missing in my Visual Foxpro community.  Very cool advice.  Very practical overview of some of the factors on developing a piece of software, getting it out the door, selling it, and backing up the software with a guarantee.

Lunch!  Yummy fajitas with other mexican goodness.

The first full session of the conference was Jon Johnson talking on “Team Development and Version Control”.  RB has done a good job of enabling projects to be used with version control.  Jon spoke primarily on Subversion.  Great stuff.  Good examples; both graphical and from the command line.

Next up was Andrew Bredow with “Internet Classes”.  RB really impresses with it’s built in classes to handle sending and receiving email, posting and getting values across the web, as well as consuming WSDL documents.

Third up was Andrew Fahey and Carlos Carrillo with “Computer Forensics, E-discovery and Insider Threat Monitoring”.  I met Andrew and Carlos last year when they were just getting started with RB, and what progress they’ve made!  So much so, their presentation was really scary.  I was checking my firewall settings during their  presentation.  They take their jobs deadly seriously.  It’s good to know that these guys are out there helping our government catch the bad guys.

Last presentation of the day was Brad Rhine with “Cross-Platform Interface Tips and Tricks”.  Good information definitely especially as I don’t have a Mac, (Linux and Winblows environments here, and yes in that order!) but it might have been good to see examples in different VMs to see the results of the differing techniques.

There was a break before dinner.  I called my wife and kids on my Skype Pro service using my new headset.  My 8 year old was barfing last night and I wanted to make sure the little fella was okay.  He’s skinny as a rail so he doesn’t have the fat stores to lose like his dear-ole-dad.  He’s doing much better.  Skype is really cool.  I just wish they would fix the caller ID and the call forwarding features here in the USA.

Before we headed out to dinner, I had a nice conversation with Jeff Quan who is presenting Thursday on “Getting Started in 3D Graphics”.  What a cool guy.  It was very nice talking with him and picking his brain.  I might have to sit in on his presentation even though I have almost no interest with 3D graphics. 😀

We headed out to the Alamo Drafthouse for a viewing of the movie “Back to the Future”.  But this is no ordinary movie showing.  There were comedians joking to the movie.  Think MST3K.  Hilarious.  While the movie was being shown, we were served food and drink.  I had a yummy burger and a Coke.  I was laughing almost the whole time.

After returning to the hotel, I was picking Paul’s brain on the state of technology and we covered all sorts of disciplines.   We’re both interested in more information on Yuma by  Joe Strout and Brad Weber.  I think they’re presenting on this at 10am on Friday.  I’m gonna have to catch that one!

Damn.  How did it get so late?  I’m hitting the hay.  More fun tomorrow!

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