Saturday, June 10, 2006

getting ready for TechEd 2006

I'm getting ready for TechEd 2006 with mixed feelings this year. In the five years I've been married I've never left my wife for longer than a night or two. Now, before anybody pipes up and says " sappy/cute/etc.", let me explain why I feel this way.

She has epilepsy and has had it for the last 11 years. The convulsive seizures are under control, but the partial ones aren't. So, it's because of the seizures that I don't like leaving her alone for any extended periods of time. Fortunately, she has a lot of people here that are keeping an eye on her while I'm gone and a friend staying with that all helps.

This is the third TechEd I've been able to attend and looks like it will be just as impressive as the last two. I've just finished packing, and barely filled one corner of the massive suitcase I'm bringing. Why bring such a large suitecase? Easy...SWAG! Last year I ended up with almost an entire small suitecase worth (thanks mostly to my wife, who was able to attend since it was in our backyard). Learning my lesson from last year, I'm bringing the largest suitecase I have and making sure it arrives almost empty. That way I can be sure to fill it up with lots of goodies.

This is definately the year for Vista and .NET 2.0. It should be interesting. There are a ton of changes in Vista and .NET 2.0. I'm already pretty familiar with .NET 2.0 since the product I've been developing since October of last year is written using C# 2.0. Vista is another story. I'm just now starting to take the plunge, although I'm very happy to say that the remote console portion of the product runs as a native Vista application under limited user mode.

It looks like the sessoins on malware are starting to die down from last year. I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not. There are still a few, so I'm going to try to hit those as well. Malware (especially spyware) is of particular interest since I was the lead architect and developer for our CounterSpy Enterprise product (at least all of the releases through 1.5) before I moved over to become a development manager. Now I handle our Sunbelt Kerio Personal Firewall, LanHound and Sunbelt Network Security Inspector products.

It looks like a good list of sessions this year, although again there are lots of sessions that I want to attend that are all at the same time. If only I could be in two places at once. Oh well...I'll just have to wait for the DVDs.

I wonder what they will be "giving away" at the keynote this year. It's Sunday night this time so there's more time for the actual conference. Last year I was one of the lucky ones to get a Jasjar and absolutely love it. I've got my entire schedule planned out on it, plus the slide decks for the sessions I'm going to on the SD card. If they give out some equally as cool this year, I'll have to try and get it. Last year it was hard...they only had a small amount and by the time the keynote was over they were all gone.

If you're going to TechEd this year, be sure to check out the Sunbelt Software booth (both #909) and see the demos for CounterSpy Enterprise and Sunbelt Messaging Ninja. Be sure to sign up for a chance to win the entertainment system (XBox 360, Alienware media center PC, stereo system and big screen TV). I wish I had this setup. It's very slick.

Stay tuned.....I'll try to keep blogging while I'm at the conference.


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