Conference First Day

The first day of the conference was good stuff. I really came to see the MachII talk tomorrow, but I’m pretty seduced by Fusebox 4– they’ve made a lot of amazingly good design choices. Good stuff.

The Hal Helms talk was predictably excellent, but I was particularly impressed by Jeff Peters’ fusedocs talk. Fusedocs is one of those technologies that doesn’t really change (they’ve been at version 2.0 since, like, the Reagan administration or something) so talks about it are usually pretty boring. However Jeff managed to make it fresh and interesting. Kudos.

By the way, Hal said he might be able to do a talk at SeaMug.org, as did Michael Smith!

Sandra Clark did a talk about layouts in Fusebox 4 that was interesting. She comes across as a very smart developer, but not much of a presenter. It was really funny– when people would ask questions, she’d argue with them instead of answering… and when she asked questions of the audience she would argue about any responses she received. Basically, I think she just likes to argue (which, as a fan of debate I can appreciate) but she just came across as abrasive and argumentative, which took away from what would have been a fantastic presentation. Plus her demos didn’t work. Too bad– her message, and the content itself was fantastic, just poorly presented.

The “fusepanel,” a long-form Q&A; session with most of the presenters, was an interesting experience… there were lots of fantastic answers, but not very many good questions. However, still worth the time. Steve Nelson of SecretAgents.com was the highlight of the fusepanel for me, though.

Speaking of SecretAgents… have you seen some of the tools they’ve created? Amazing stuff. Steve gave me a demo this afternoon, and we are SO going to buy their stuff it isn’t even funny. Underpriced, and incredibly powerful. He did the demo, and I was like “yeah, that’s great… how much?” When he told me I thought he was missing a zero or two.

We had dinner at the AMAZING Hamada restaurant. Kind of like Benihana, but much better. I had some steak and scallops. Excellent. The company was good, too– James Ahrens from SeaMug.org joined us, as well as a father-son dev team (Charles and Joseph) from the Miniapolis area. Good couple of guys.

James and I headed to the tables for a bit… I lost more than I want to admit… but that’s Lost Wages… er… Las Vegas for ya.