Friday, December 17, 2010

Back in the saddle

I wouldn’t normally think that the fact that I missed a couple of days posting here at blog was, in and of itself, interesting enough to merit becoming the basis of its own post, but I’m open to the possibility that the reasons why I’ve been off my usual semi-official schedule might be of some interest, as those are more or less in the same “here’s what’s up with me now” vein as the rest of the blog, anyway.

The cloud computing conference was good, as those things go. It was 17 different PowerPoint presentations one after the other, which could easily become a soul-shattering nightmare but was largely salvaged from that fate by the speakers themselves who ranged from decent enough to really engaging. I learned a lot (I’ll spare you the details about how now I know that if I’m ever called upon to scratch-build any kind of cross-domain data-sharing application, I should strongly consider hard-coding the IPv6 addresses being called to prevent hackers from exploiting DNS lookup trickery) but of course it remains to be seen how much of that knowledge will ever actually get put to use. Then again, I was an English major, so obviously I’m pretty zen about knowledge acquisition for its own sake.

The only thing I know is that I know nothing at all.
One thing which surprised me about the conference was the crowd of attendees, which encompassed a kind of dual surprise, really. It was small, maybe 40 or 50 people, and very few people seemed to have brought their laptops with them. I brought my personal netbook and figured I’d be on the lower end of gadget usage, and that was technically true because the other devices I saw were a big beefy laptop, a Macbook, and a couple of iPads, but most people didn’t have a computer at all. Strange for an IT conference, I thought. I had expected to run my netbook pretty much nonstop through the sessions, which would allow me to take notes which I could later turn into a meeting report for my boss, and would also allow me to keep my usual self-distracting habits like checking e-mail, blogging, surfing, etc. But I felt hyper-self-conscious being one of the only people not staring at the speakers, in a small crowd with nowhere to hide, so I ended up only hopping online during the brief breaks throughout the day. Thus, no blogging for me.

Yesterday I was back at work and things were returned to normal, except for two other mundane but unavoidable factors. One was the backlog of work items I had missed by attending the conference, which was minor but still non-zero. The other was the weather, as the DC region got its first snowfall of the year and I opted to leave early rather than risk spending hours on the road stuck behind (or, Huginn and Muninn forfend, involved in) an accident caused by someone’s utter inability to avoid losing control of their vehicle in half an inch of slush. So it was busy-busy-gotta-go, and once again, no blogging. Ironically, I made it home in basically the same amount of time it would have taken me any other day. As opposed to Tuesday and Wednesday, when I had to make the entire round trip by car because the hotel hosting the conference was not Metro-accessible, and I ran into sever delays coming home both days: on Tuesday I heard about an accident blocking 2 lanes of 66 West just as I was leaving the parking garage, so I took the back roads home and crept bumper-to-bumper from traffic light to traffic light; on Wednesday yet again there was an accident on 66 West but it wasn’t mentioned on the radio until I was already about to run smack into the slowdown and couldn’t easily bail to an alternate route. Joy.

Next week, back to normal, I promise – my holiday gift to you!

No comments:

Post a Comment