Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Thu, 12 Feb 2004
From the peanut gallery
Well, another ETech has come and gone, and I didn't make it to this one either. I really need to make it a point to get to one of these...

Fortunately, the O'Reilly Conferences are easy to observe from a far. They have good wiki's and ETech is no exception. The ETech Wiki has notes taken by various conference attendees , not to mention recordings, transcripts and so on. The session notes that have been most helpful to me are Cory Doctorow's set (off the Wiki, Trevor Smith's very good set of notes (on his blog), and Phil Windley's notes (also on his blog). I've read a bunch of other reports, all of which were helpful, but there's just too many to cite here.

The session which I most wanted to attend was Danny O'Brien's Life Hacks: Tech Secrets of Overprolific Alpha Geeks. I'm grateful that many folks took the time to record their impressions of what Danny talked about. It seems like this would have been a great topic for a panel or something where people could congregate, swap tips and ideas, and spectate. Apparently Danny is going to be running a site at lifehacks.com. Check the session notes for details.

Elsewhere in the peanut gallery, Kimbro looked over the reports from Etech and is wondering what's new in technology. I think that the answer to his question is partially in this quote which originally appeared on Mr Hyde'.s blog this morning:

"Great ideas, it has been said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, a gentle stirring of life and hope. Some will say that this hope lies in a nation; others in a man. I believe rather that it is awakened, revived, nourished by millions of solitary individuals whose deeds and works every day negate frontiers and the crudest implications of history. As a result, there shines forth fleetingly the ever-threatened truth that each and every man, on the foundation of his own sufferings and joys, builds for all." ~ Albert Camus

Lastly, but not least, Liz Lawley wrote about the tendency of ETech attendees' fervent attachment to their laptops. Unfortunately, I can easily see this happening - I've done it every once in a while when I burn out on people. People go to conferences for two reasons: 1. to go to the sessions, 2. to hang out with people. I've reached the point where I don't go to conferences just to go to the sessions, but it took me a little while to learn that -- I used to feel guilty if I didn't go to all the sessions. Now I don't mind missing sessions, because I know that I can always find out what happened later. And I've never looked back at a conference and wished that I had gone to a session that I skipped in order to meet someone. So now I try to prepare for conferences -- I try to keep a list of people I want to see in person to renew a relationship, as well as a list of people that I haven't yet met in person. I also try to save my energy before I go -- not just physically, but emotionally as well -- I'm one of those "I" type people that eventually overload on people. With a long conference it's tough not to just got totally overwhelmed -- it's work for me. But it's always been worth it. If I'm ever at the same conference as Liz, I'll be sure to find her and make sure that we get a chance to chat in person -- no electronics required.

[23:51] | [computers] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
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