Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Laptop again.

Laptop misery Fun Again.

Last week I had a great time at UKOUG. And of course I made a load of last minute changes to my presentation.

So when I had to deliver, I rapidly did the upload about 1 hour before giving the presentation and then went off to see this topic on Streams.
Good Topic. And Good Work done by Gordon and his team. Unfortunately the ppt was a bit obfuscated due to the complexity of the topic and it was crammed into 45 minutes. (I recommend we re-invite these guys to a SIG soon to re-present and re-discuss).

So, running late...
I rushed into hall 5, the hall one with the blinding lights (as Christo pointed out: bring sunglasses) only to find that my latest+greatest 3-week-old Laptop would not hand out a proper external video signal.

OK, no problem. Plan B. Two memory sticks with copies of the ppt....

Yeah Rite..
When started on the other available laptop, M$ prompted us to donwload some viewer. My brand-new M$Softice was one step too far for the installed version on the working laptop...

Luckily the hall was also freezing cold, which compensated for me fuming and sweathing.

I was about to try and do the whole thing orally, thinking I'd turn it into an improvised roundtable and learn something from the audience. After all, that is what I do as a consultant: listen and learn from my customers.
Alternatively, we could all go and listen to Doug Burns, who was re-iterating the importance of properly applied OFA. A topic very much related to mine.

The guy from ICC kept his cool (now I know why that airco is set to refridgerating temperatures). He was most helpful. While I started to summarize my message (simplicity!) without the help of complex visuals he quietly investigated.

When he couldnt get my laptop to work, He ran off with both my memory sticks and converted my PPTX to something that was presentable on the UKOUG provided (working) laptop. Took him probably less then 10 minutes. Well done!

Minor detail: out of my rather full backup-memory-stick he converted the slightly older and longer (two-hour) version.
No big deal. Just lots of clicks, and a few additional sad jokes.

The uploaded verion of the presentation is the "intended" version, and some of you may find that you need some M$ plugin to download before you can properly view it.
If you have any problems: drop me a mail, and I'll send out a ppt-downgraded version.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

UKOUG: Working for a (not so) Big Company.

UKOUG is a good conference.
It is also a big party and Birmingham is buzzing with techie-nerds, sales-nerds and expo-babes.

It is always interesting to see what kind of crowd you can link up with and have some good fun. After all, I never make it a secret that I mainly work to have fun.

I got two invites for Tuesday evening:
One from a "competing company" who did something nifty and for whose techies I have great respect.

The other was a last minute invite from a drinking club. Mostly elder men who have, via good marketing, via good beer and via good parties, made a reputation for themselves.

My management actually want me to try and join up to this club, as it would make good marketing sense. My management wants to get more "reputable names" out in the Oracle-world. The company tries to do that by re-selling Oracle licenses at high margins, and by sucking up to Oracle in general in the hope that we get a few more "Aces"-assigned (Not very successfull, as we seem to lack both the sucking-talent and the real talent - Talent tends to go Independent, I need to draw my conclusion from that).

So I decided to take the latter invite. I have already spent many occasions with these folks, and I got to like most of the colorful characters in that group.
They are generally good for a Laugh. And I might pick up a few good pieces of info and some IT warstories.

So, after the entree, the head-honcho and champion-drinker of this club took me aside, and said: "Since you represent the biggest company on the table, and since you seem to want to attach yourself to us... Why don't you pick up the bill? A big company should be able to do that..."
I explained that I could not pick up the full amount, but he was rather insistant on this and I found him to become rather rude.

Apart from my dislike of rudeness, I simply cannot spent that amount of money (some 40 ppl, good meal, lots and lots and lots of drinkies). Spending that amount without prior approval would get a minion like me in Deep Trouble from the "big" company.

And quite frankly, I did think it smelled of blackmail or extortion: you want to join us, why dont you show us your desperation ...
I would have understood this attitude in a latin country, but not from (what I thought to be) honest scandinavians.

Right. End of road for me.
And I am now looking for a "bigger" company to work for.
Or at least a different company.
And considering to move away from the Oracle arena as well.

Oh, and regarding payment for the meal:
I paid him (cash, no receipt...) approximately double what I thought my meal and drinks could have cost, and I left.

I just read about the fire-incident.

Really feel sorry for the people involved. Luckily they all seem to be OK and in good humour. Respect!

Good Luck in putting it all back together again!


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