Category Archives: Collaborate 07

UKOUG 2007

I was right in the middle of trying to decide whether to make an abstract submission for the UKOUG event in December and was coming to the conclusion that I’d ran out of time to think of something to submit, when I spotted they’ve now extended to the deadline for abstract submissions to 1st of June! Which means I now have no excuses for not putting on my thinking cap (a figure of speech…I don’t really have one although some days I might wish that I did) and trying to come up with something that people would find useful.

There are a few things that I’ve learned about presenting so far –

  • It always takes far longer to prepare your presentation (and whitepaper if you need to do one) than you think it will.
  • Linked to the above statement, no matter how early I start to prepare I’ll always end up wishing I’d started a week earlier.
  • The night before the presentation I’ll end up changing a bunch of slides and material anyway.
  • There’s always a fine line between presenting something that *you* find interesting and presenting something that *other people* will find interesting.
  • I’ll invariable forget to pack my mini-DVI cable and won’t be able to hook up my Macbook to the projector until I can ‘borrow’ one from one of the other Macbook carrying presenters.
  • No matter how many cups of water I put under the podium, it will always be one less than I need (am I the only person who finds presenting thirsty work?).

However, I have to say, although presenting can be one of the most nerve-wracking things to do, it is also incredibly rewarding, even just having one person coming up to you after the presentation and asking a question or saying that it was useful to them makes it all worthwhile.

So, it’s thinking cap time again, what abstract can I submit to UKOUG that APEX people would find most useful?

First Collab Post

Well, I finally managed to get some time to blog about arriving in Vegas for the Collaborate 07 event.

The flight over from the UK went pretty smoothly (for once! I seem to have a ‘knack’ for having eventful flights), although one strange thing did happen. Due to all the new security steps we now all face when we travel by air these days, when I went through the airport security I had to remove my laptop (an Apple Macbook) from my bag and pass it through the X-ray (or whatever they use these days) detector.

I actually bought a Tucano padded sleeve to put my laptop in to prevent it being bashed and scratched too much when I carry it in my bag.

When I passed through the security check and went to pick up my laptop on the other side, I got a bit of a surprise, there were *three* laptops there in identical padded sleeves, and since it took so long to get through the security check they were all mixed up (so we couldn’t tell which laptop was which).

So, easy enough, we (myself and the other two guys) removed the sleeves from the laptops, which showed two black Macbooks and one white Macbook (mine is a Black one), so the next logical thing to do was to power up the Macbooks so I could see which one had a login user called “John”. Of course, having one of the most common English forenames around didn’t help, since the other guy was also called John. Luckily my wife also has an account on the laptop so we could tell them apart. It did make me think though, since if I had not been able to see my wifes login name, we would have had to resort to trying to login to the machines to find out which laptop was which. The way things were heading I wouldn’t have been surprised to find we both used the same password!

Oh, I just remembered too that the flight from the UK to the US ran out of alcohol about 3 hours into a 10 hour flight, it’s not the first time I’ve been on a flight that’s ran out of alcohol, but I’ve never seen it run out that quickly (they were fully stocked at the start of the flight!). I actually only had a single drink, so I’m guessing there must have been some *extremely* happy people on that flight who drank my share.

Anyway, with laptops safely returned to their rightful owners I arrived at the Luxor hotel in Vegas around 4pm, which meant there was time to unpack, freshen up and head out to see the some of the sights in Vegas. I’ve been to Vegas a few times before but there have been quite a few changes since I was last here (lots of building has been going on).

After a quick look round, jetlag finally caught up and I pretty much slept right through until the next day.

The next day (Saturday) I met up with Dimitri Gielis and his wife Kristel (who arrived in Vegas a week earlier for a pre-Collab holiday). It was good to meet up with Dimitri again since we hadn’t seen each other since Oracle OpenWorld in October 2006, we have shared lots of emails and MSN messenger chats since OpenWorld, but it’s still much nicer to be able to sit and chat over a nice meal and a cold beer.

APEX SIG at Collab

If you’re going to the Collaborate 07 event in Las Vegas (15-19 April 2007) and you’re involved with Application Express (or even if you’re just curious about it and what it can do), you should try and drop by the APEX SIG meeting which is being held 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm on Tuesday, April 17th, where Steve Howard, Dimitri Gielis, Tony Jedlinski and myself will be on the panel, giving our views about APEX and generally asking questions (if it’s anything like Oracle OpenWorld was last year there will be a *lot* of good questions!)..

The SIG meeting is shortly after my own presentation (Session #117, called “Delivering pages in 3 seconds or less (because users don’t like waiting!)” which runs from 1:45PM – 2:45PM) where I’ll be discussing a couple of techniques you can use to make your APEX applications more responsive from the user perspective (as well as behaving better from a resource and performance perspective).

Hope to see you there!