Thursday, June 30, 2005

JavaOne conference meta-notes

In my attempt to be prolific in my note-taking at JavaOne this week, I've found that I can type much faster and more accurately taking notes during conference presentations when I actually don't look at my screen while I'm typing and just "use the force". Doing it that way I probably average 2-4 errors per paragraph that are easily corrected with a quick spell-check later. If I actually look at the screen and read what I'm typing I tend to backspace more than that - so it seems like I'm better off just letting the flow happen than trying to monitor the process cognitively. I wouldn't have expected that.

Other notes so far:
  • I didn't dress warm enough for SF evenings / mornings - I'll need to bring a jacket next time - t-shirts and jeans just aren't enough to be comfortable.
  • The rental car was a complete waste - the conference sessions keep you busy enough that you're not going to get out anywhere, and parking is not cheap. A taxi or hotel shuttle would have been just fine.
  • You don't have to actually stand in line for conference sessions, even though lots of people here seem to like to do just that (and the helper staff appear to enjoy herding people). If you just wait until about 5 minutes before the session start time, you can still get into a session and find a seat without going through the cattle-chute process. This is especially true when they are lining up around the block for entry into the morning keynotes - you're better off hanging out across the street and just merging when the line starts moving.
  • The backpacks are nice.
  • After seeing the pervasiveness of PowerBooks at Usenix last year, I'm a little surprised at how few PB's I've seen here.
  • In fact, I'm a little surprised at the relatively low density of laptops in use during sessions period. The last couple technical conferences I've been at seemed to be pretty close to 100% laptop audiences - this one has laptop users decidedly in the minority. Maybe everybody else is using Java on their mobile devices. :-)
  • The production quality on the keynote presentations is top-notch. I'm not just talking PowerPoint here, I mean everything - the lighting, camerawork, multi-screens, sound, animation / graphics, all of it.

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