The evening before the NZOUG conference was a bit chaotic. There was still no resolution to the Qantas fiasco and I was starting to believe I would have to cancel my sessions in Perth and try to fly home from Auckland. I tried to switch my flights, but everything was sold out.
By the next morning the Qantas strike seemed to be over, but there were reports of delays and disruption, so I was still not sure if I would make it to Perth.
NZOUG Day 1:
I was just about to start my first session (Clonedb) when there was a fire alarm. Fortunately it was resolved pretty quickly and I was able to get things back on track. From there is was straight on to do my second session (Edition-Based Redefinition), with no fire alarms this time. Both my sessions seemed to go down well. I got some good questions in each session, which is always cool, and some more later in the day and at the evening event.
I spent a little time chatting to some of the guys on the Quest stand and the guys from the DBVisit stand.
My first session of the day as an attendee was Graham Wood’s Exadata session. I saw this session for the first time a few years ago when it was known as the “Terabyte Hour”. With the hardware refreshes and a few software tweaks that have happened since then it now only takes about 18 minutes to complete the demo, so the name has changed. My comment to Graham at the end of the session was, “Much as I hate to admit it, it’s really impressive.”
That pretty much took me to the end of the presentations on the first day.
Chris Muir told me to check my emails as my flights had been sorted out. Sure enough, when I checked Lillian Buziak from the OTN team had contacted Oracle Travel and fixed everything for me. She is a total miracle worker. If I was younger and more attractive (and she wasn’t already married) she would be mine, oh yes, she would be mine…
In the evening we all went to the conference dinner. The theme was “Murder Mystery”, which involved a few poor souls getting selected to be made a fool of in front to the rest of the audience. Unfortunately, I was one of the fools in question, along with Chris Muir, Debra Lilley, Bambi and a couple of guys. The compere and the ghost of the victim (my wife, murdered on her wedding day) lead us through various “role playing scenarios” to determine who was the murderer. The final decision for the murderer came down to me (the husband) and the chef, with the chef being voted the winner/loser/murderer. It was all very confusing, fun and embaressing, all roled in to one.
The whole event seemed to go down really well with the audience, who had plenty of comments (and photos). I have a feeling this is going to haunt (no punn intended) me for a long time.
NZOUG Day 2:
This was cut very short for me. My new Perth flight was arranged for 14:10, so I had to leave the conference at 11:00. I still got time to chat to a few people, mostly about the previous evenings events, and check out Ronald Bradford‘s session on the top 9 issues people have with mySQL databases. I’ve been a casual user of mySQL for years, but never really spent much time looking at it in any depth. I learned quite a bit from this session. Maybe I’ll spend a little more time playing with it in future.
Assuming the rest of the conference carried on the way it started, I would say it was a big success.
The flight to Perth was pretty straight forward and I got to the apartment with no dramas. I took a walk over to the conference venue, which is significantly further than I thought. It took be about 60 minutes to walk it at a pace, with no bag in the (relatively speaking) cool evening air. I’m not sure what it will be like in the summer sun.
At 06:00 this morning I went out for a run along the river, then made myself look like a freak by doing sprints on the way back. Nothing like the sight of a fat sweaty bloke panting like a dog to turn heads. The locals were out in force, walking, running and doing boot camps on the banks of the river. Even at that time is was very sunny. I think it would be damn near lethal to try it at midday. The flies and mossies were out in force. If nothing else the swatting and endless ticks you develop when they fly round your face and ears helps you burn more calories.