DevCon5 Santa Clara Live Blog

7:59 : 8bitsteve: Sending last Skype messages to colleagues at Electrotank.   Finished the presentation last night.  Actually, 2 presentations.  Spent tons of free time in past 2 weeks creating demos for the conference.  My actual fear right now: no one will show-up.

9:10 : 8bitsteve :Just arrived at the gate for flight that leaves in 20 minutes…and the plane is not here yet.   New fear:  We will not arrive on time

9:50:8bitsteve : In the air on time.. Whew.  I suddenly wish I could access wi-fi on the plane.  I look  over the presentation we built.  It comes in 2 parts.  124 slides.   30 demos.  5 game demos created specifically for the conference.  I hope it’s enough

11:10: 8bitsteve: Sitting in the lobby of the Santa Clara TechMart.  Yahoo is down the street.   Blackberry is here.  They are offering a playbook to anyone who can make an app and put it up in their store today.  I might have a few!   We don’t go on until 2:00, so there is a bit of time to relax…

11:45:8bitsteve: Sitting in the same room we will be presenting in later (good call jeff), to gauge the crowd and room dynamics.  Looks informal and workman-like.  Good, that is my sweet-spot.

11:48:8bitsteve :WebMobi presentation.  these guys have a cloud layer that helps expose your existing web apps to mobile platforms.  It looks useful.

12:25: 8bitsteve: WebMobi demo over.  They had about 10 slides and two short demos.  We might have too much content.

12:53:8bitsteve: Computer set-up, presentation is up and tested.  It looks like we will have a lot to cover and the audience is no-nonsense technical, which is ideal.

I’ve been thinking a bit about Santa Clara.  We used to visit Santa Clara when were little.  My mom’s brother lived here with his wife and 9 kids.   We came at least three times.  It was a wonderful feeling to have relatives that lived far away, whom we could after a long car ride visit.

1:15:8bitsteve:  Just ate lunch.  We found out that we can “win” a Blackberry Playbook simply by showing the RIM guys an HTML5 app working on one . We have dozens of those! Hopefully we’ll get a chance to do it.

1:45:8bitsteve: Getting ready to start.  Jeff just found a set of cards that give people discounts on our book.  I hope they are still valid!  The guy who runs DevCon5 told us he can introduce us to an author who write for R-Tech.  That could be useful.

3:15:8bitsteve : Okay!  The first section went really well!  People seemed to enjoy it, and talking came really easy for me.  I was not nervous at all.  The 60 slides appeared to be enough too.  We don’t have many slides for the next one, so I hope it goes as well.

5:00 : 8bitsteve :Whew!  Amazing!  There were a lot of questions, but still, it worked great.   I had no idea how much fun this would be.   Jeff and I played off each other in a way that helped move everythiung along and clarify things.  There were probably a few people who did not enjoy it, but heck, it was fun!  Met some great people too!  Always a bonus.

5:30: 8bitsteve: Bonnie and Carl, the people who run the conference told us we were a “hit”! and invited us back to the next one in April.  It was so much fun, I’m not I could miss it.

Still in Santa Clara, and the memories are flooding back.  When we stayed with our cousins in 1975, they took us to Frontierland (or was it FrontierVille?), the Winchester Mystery House (it scared the living crap out of me), and into San Francisco to meet my mom’s  estranged Father (grandpa Sil) for the first and last time.  I don’t recall grandpa Sil, but I do recall the ice cream cone my uncle bought for me after we left.  Why is that what I remember?  It was always great to be with our cousins.  They were “family” yet they lived 100’s of miles away and did all kinds of cool things.  Visiting them was like walking into a different world.

5:45: 8bitsteve : the Blackberry Rim guys loved that we had dozens of HTML5 apps to test on their machines.  Both Jeff and I left with shiny new Playbook in hand.  Not a bad at all.

6:30 : 8bitsteve: Back in San Jose  at the Fairmont hotel. There is a downtown Christmas festival going on and I’m dying for hamburger.   The bellman suggested McMormick And Schmick.  The HTML5 Canvas book royalties are paying, so that sounds good to me!

9:05 : 8bitsteve : Back in out room at the Fairmont.  What a great day.  I turned out far better than I expected.  I think I could really get into this “speaking” thing.   It was very enjoyable.

I had some final thoughts about Santa Clara too.  My uncle does not live here any longer. There was an accident in the late 1970’s and his wife and one of my cousins were killed.   After that, we never made any family visits up here any longer.   Well, we did make one visit but not with out entire family: in 1984 my uncle paid for my mom and my brother and I to ride Am Track from LA to San Jose, but it was a weird trip.  The big house that was once filled with 9 kids felt empty and broken.   After we left my uncle and his youngest son soon took off in van on a wanderlust tour of the USA that lasted several years until they settled in Nevada.   We saw them many times, but we never visited them, instead they came to us.     I never realized how much the old family visits to Santa Clara meant to me until I came back here today for the first time in more than 25 years.  I guess all I can say is this: hold on to those family moments as long as you can, because you never know when they will just slip away.


Leave a Reply