Safely home

Yesterday was uneventful, I rented a car for the day and did the various shopping tasks that I commit to but it was nice to just potter around with no general plan. The flight itself was easy and I was home within 90 minutes of touching down despite the joys of the Gatwick baggage handlers.

Now the challenge for today is to stay awake until this evening. At least there is a lot of reading to catch up on.

Day 3 - Afternoon and Day 4

The content this year has been incredibly good, as an example yesterday afternoon we had two wonderful sessions.

Firstly Julian Robichaux and Rob McDonagh presented about reports, charts and graphs in Notes and Domino, this is stuff that you can use from the moment you get home, so you really owe it to yourself to get the slides and the sample database as soon as it's released. Julian and Rob have a great presenting style, and really play off each other well.

And then an old dependable session by Rob Novak and Viktor Krantz, the Great Code Giveaway. This year was a real stormer which demo'd some Dojo Dijits that Viktor has spent the last couple of months writing. Again the code is ready for use in the real world, I can think of at least a couple of places I'll be going home and using this next week. And it's really this sort of content that makes Lotusphere worthwhile, seriously, these two sessions are worth the admission fee alone, there is no way I could get that code done in less time than the conference fee costs.

The bloggers BOF was as entertaining as ever. It's hard to know how such a group of shy, retiring individuals manage to keep talking for an hour but somehow it was managed.

And then onto Islands of Adventure. This year there was a group of six of us doing the rounds with plenty of beers, a few rides and even a burger along the way. The park closed at 10:30 so we headed to Kimono's, just for a change where there was more beer, no sake this time which can only be a good thing. Then and 2:00 Kimono's closed so it was on to someone's room for cocktails and Devin's homebrew beer. Now Devin is a true geek but his beer is something to behold, I just drank that for the rest of the evening, absolutely stunning, thanks Spanky.

I gave up at about 4 I think, but apparently others carried on until later, but surprisingly this morning people didn't seem to be in too bad a state.

No sessions this morning as I was in bed until Gurupalooza but it was worth getting out for with some good questions and a classic line from Bill. "These guys may bleed yellow but at the moment I am sweating whiskey".

Beat the Developers followed. In both Gurupalooza and Beat the Developers there was a shout out for idea jam with big rounds of applause. This is about the coolest thing, for me, to have happened at Lotusphere. The number of IBM-ers who said that they are watching the site and actually taking the ideas to put into upcoming products is simply amazing.

The closing general session was, like previous years, superb. This year we got a TV chef which didn't sound too promising but he was hugely funny and had the audience laughing hard for almost an hour. At the end the bloggers were kindly allowed onto the main stage again for photos, so expect to see them floating around the Flickr Lotusphere2008 tag group shortly.

I'll do a full wrap up post shortly but for now, that is Lotusphere 2008 over with and it has been yet another classic. We can start counting the days until January 18th 2009.

Day 1 - Opening General Session

OK this is attempt two, I did live blog the session but managed to delete it all at the end! D'oh!

This was nothing to do with me installing the 8.5 Mac Beta Lotus Notes client which worked flawlessly, and seemingly faster than 7.0.3!

The session itself was all a little underwhelming. Let's deal with the negatives first. The keynote speaker was Don Costas, a sports presenter from the US so all of us Europeans were immediately at a loss. But the content of his speech had little or nothing to do with Lotus and IBM, followed by a rant about the upcoming Beijing Olympics. All a little odd to be honest.

The actual content of the main session was al fine, there was just nothing that leapt out at me as big news. I guess the closest thing was the Lotus Foundations product which is aimed at the SMB market. Other than that it was just update announcements for 8.0.1 and 8.5. All of it is looking good so putting a positive spin on the session, the strategy which was announced last year was headed in the right direction so this year it is more of the same.

Designer on Eclipse is looking good, can't wait to try it out, but there were no announcements of even the beta program so I would be surprised if we see it before Q3 this year.

So overall a little underwhelming. There was nothing wrong with the announcements, there was just nothing in particular to get excited about.

Because of the two OGS's this year there was a second session running for those not in the main theatre. This was actually really god, totally non-Lotus but amusing and interesting. I hope that they repeat this next year.

Right this was just a quick brain dump, I'll do my full round up later in the week once I've seen the meat of the announcements.

Day -1

The journey yesterday was incredibly easy, they have redesigned the whole fiasco of two bag pickups at Orlando Airport so now you can be out the airport from touchdown in less than 20 minutes all being well. So as soon as I got to the hotel a whole gang of us met up and headed to Pleasure Island where we basically took over a whole outside section of the Irish pub and ad the usual catch up session. A really great night that didn't finish until well into this morning at which point the Brits had been awake for more than 24 hours, it was beginning to show. Unfortunately I just didn't sleep well last niight which meant I've been knackered all day. And after 6 hours at the BALD and ESPN Zone I have just hit the wall this evening. So in a vain attempt to get some rest before the conference begins I have headed back to the hotel room.

It's BDD day tomorrow with several sessions that I want to get to during the day before the opening party in the evening. By all reports it's going to be a cold beach party so got to remember the jacket before that.

Bruce is taking photos of everything that moves at the moment so he has a good photostream to watch here