Scobleizer Weblog

Daily Permalink Sunday, October 26, 2003

I'm updating the "MyMSEvents/PDC" site. Drew is updating PDC Bloggers. We're up all night. Anyone have any requests?

Werner Vogels is offering to give people a ride from San Diego to the PDC. He will be ready to leave by noon. If you're interested email him at vogels[at]

Don Box was talking to me tonight and said "why don't you blog about places to find LA traffic info, particularly for those poor souls who are driving because their flights were cancelled?"

Good idea Don!

Los Angeles City Traffic Conditions.

Los Angeles Region Traffic Conditions.

It's just amazing to me the amount of data that's available to us today over the Internet. I remember a day, not too long ago (it was only 1991), where I rarely even used email. How far we've come. Tomorrow we get to imagine how far we're going to go. That is if we can all get here to the PDC.

I'm getting a lot of new readers, so it might be worth talking about the various aggregated weblogs communities out there so you can see what various people are thinking about what they are seeing on stage.

.NET Weblogs (aka -- cool community of folks who love .NET. C#, VB, C++, it don't matter. Just give these guys the CLR and they are happy. Signal to noise ratio varies. Sometimes it's low, but othertimes posts are very technically deep.

Longhorn Blogs. Just started up. And, really, haven't even got going yet. That'll change starting tomorrow (most of us are embargoed from talking about Longhorn until noon Pacific Time tomorrow). Signal to noise ratio. Unknown cause they really start tomorrow.

PDC Blogs. This is a moderated site. Two guys sift through all of the registered feeds and only post good stuff. So, a little slower than the other blog sites, but noise level is low.

DotNet Junkies. I just started following this one tonight, so don't know much about it.

SQL Team weblogs. I don't know much about these other than they are all about SQL Server. I'm hoping to learn much more about Yukon here.

SQL Junkies. I'm just getting into these as well. SQL Server-focused blogs.

DotNet Junkies weblogs. Lots of interesting posts by various .NET-focused folks.

GotDotNet Blogs. Not really an aggregated page like the rest, but still a great place to find Microsoft blogs.

Wouldn't it be wacky if all the Microsoft bloggers were aggregated into a single page? Of course, I'd need to change my posting style. I just post too much crud.

Marc Canter: "OH - that's right? Microsoft doesn't have their own "rich media platform" yet."

Well, dude, let's see if you are asking the same questions tomorrow night. It's a bummer that Marc is missing the keynotes. (He couldn't get a flight out until the morning). Grrr.

By the way, the app he's talking about was created by a very small team. Five people (only part time too). Five months. It's an example of how a small team can turn something really nice out in .NET using the latest syndication formats.

The fact that Marc is taking this as some sort of strategic statement on behalf of Microsoft is interesting. Before I worked at Microsoft I'd be doing the same thing. "Look what Microsoft is doing to us!" But, the truth is much different. This is why I get accused of drinking the KoolAid. This app was done by a very small team with almost no resources very quickly.

I'll have a lot more to say about this after the PDC. The way this app was developed is really the key to understanding Microsoft. Small, autonomous, decentralized teams, given very little resources and really tight deadlines (ever ship software with a totally inflexible deadline? The PDC 2003 Community Environment team has).

Congrats to Jeff Sandquist. Bryn Waibel. David Shadle. Charles Torre. Hans Hugli. Ivan Mladenov. Robert Coleridge. You shipped!

Nic's Core Dump: "Microsoft wants to be Your Friend. Microsoft is Staffed With Great People. Microsoft Does Not Beat Its Wife."

Nic's Core Dump has pictures of the smoke plumes from space. Wow. You know, I haven't been out of the convention center since Saturday, except to go home and shower and get some sleep.

PDC attendees: OK, let's play a little weblogger trick on the execs. Anytime you see something cool on stage I want you to "moo." Imagine thousands of people mooing to a Microsoft keynote. Heh.

PDC INFORMATION CENTRAL UPDATE: We just sent an email to attendees who have not yet checked in. We will record and replay both the Bill Gates and Jim Allchin keynotes later in the week. We are opening registration early in the morning at 6 a.m. It will really help if attendees who are here can get to the registration early.

Jeff Hadfield just told me he's stuck in Salt Lake City and that Jim Fawcette is stuck in San Francisco, but that it looks like things will get ungummed in the morning.

Only half an hour before I'm on stage with Carl Franklin during the ".NET Rocks" session in room 403AB. See ya there!

Thanks to Roy Osherove's blog I've gotten some good PDC links. He's looking for high-quality stuff to link to, not just the "meet me in the bar" kind of links.

Me, I'm gonna try to link to anything about the PDC within reason.

I was just reading some of the stories of people who lost their homes and possessions in the fires down here. I'm wondering, anything we can do? That has got to really suck.

Ed Draper just wrote me and said that when his plane flew through one of the smoke plumes that he could actually smell the smoke in the plane. He also told me that they had quite a bit of turbulence as they flew through the smoke.

Mark Pilgrim wrote up what's new in Apple's Mac OSX 10.3 Panther.

Update about airport situation: Mike Kolitz tells me there's a flight leaving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles at 7:30 CST. Jeromy Carriere is stuck in Denver and just told me that United 355 just took off for LA (it was seven hours delayed). Slowly, surely, we'll get everyone here. The airport is definitely open. But some carriers are telling folks to go home and try again tomorrow. Not good. Tons of meetings to figure out what to do. Some wild ideas are flying around.

Drew Marsh is blogging on the XML and WebServices pre conference workshop at the PDC today.

Doug Reilly gives us a CLR trick he learned at the PDC.

Kirk Allen has the first screen shots up of our new PDC 2003 Community Application. This is the app that the team I'm a part of did. I'll be quiet on this for a while longer. Want to get unbiased feedback about it. Please do download and use it, though (only available to PDC attendees). His quote: "it's a very cool application."

Oh, and check out how we use RSS 2.0!

Bill Loytty says there's a bunch of Microsoft employees stuck at the airport in Charlotte NC. Come by and grab a drink!

To give you an idea of the scale of the keynote room, I went behind stage, and found an entire city of technicians, tons of computers, and video equipment. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my decade of conference experience. Here's some facts:

1) There are 16 screens. Four, up front are are 22.5 feet by 30 feet. The rest are 15 feet by 20 feet. Each screen has two projectors. Each projector costs $125,000. There are 32 of them here. Each projector spits out 16,000 lumens. To put that in perspective, your standard office projector spits out 600 to 1000 lumens. So, each screen is about 20 times brighter than your average office projector. Each screen will be delivering up to 1900x1600 resolution (which is what we'll be showing Longhorn at).

They designed the entire hall to not have a bad seat. I just watched them practice the keynotes and my view in the back was just as good as in the front.

2) The audio system consists of 60 speakers driven by some bad-ass amps.

3) The power usage is amazing. There's more cables strung around back stage than you'll probably see on the Golden Gate Bridge. 400 amps for the audio. 300 amps for the projectors. Two separate 400 amp drops for the lighting.

The guy giving me the tour, Joe Kassel, tells me this is about the most technically difficult show that he's participated in.

Just learned that LAX is now open again. But, the system is all clogged up so there'll still be delays for a while as they figure out a schedule plan.

Ian from Stardock just called from Detroit. He's stuck in the airport.

Hey, just heard from Joe Beda. He's stuck in Seattle. A group of Microsofties are meeting at the bar near C8. If you wanna come over and have a mini PDC there, say hi!

No one but me has posted any pictures yet to the PDC Moblog. Bummer. I see tons of people roaming the halls with cameras.

Amy Wohl (industry analyst who is coming to the PDC): "Consider it your duty to comply. If we don't tell them what we don't like, I don't see how we can complain if they don't make the changes we want."

She also suggests that maybe the people who want to tell us what to do should get weblogs. I totally agree. It's really hard to wade through that 200 comments. I'd much rather link to separate weblogs and have a conversation that way.

We're now hearing the airports are starting to open up. We'll monitor the situation from here. If you have any news, let me know about it.

Jason posted a pic of all the stuff he got at the PDC. Sob. Microsoft employees don't get that stuff.

Robert McLaws is thinking of driving here from Phoenix due to the airport closures, if anyone wants to join him.

I'm here at PDC central. Very nice place for a weblogger to be when the you-know-what is hitting the fan. You won't believe the meeting I just saw. 10 stakeholders. On phones. Sharing information. Trying to get speakers, execs, and attendees into the conference. Other people surfing Google and other sites looking for information. High intensity. We're looking for creative ways to solve the problem. Las Vegas. Closed. Ontario. Closed. Los Angeles. Closed. Orlando. Closed. Oh, this is gonna be fun!

If you are a speaker and you're stuck somewhere, please contact us. My cell phone is 408-314-8233.

Duncan writes and says he's stuck in Winnipeg. Heh. Don't you love WiFi and IM? You can write me at

Live, from PDC Central!

Adam C just wrote and said he's stuck in Denver. They are telling him a four to six hour delay.

PDC registration will be open until 9 p.m. tonight and we might keep it open later depending on how the airport situation plays out.

This is a major breaking news story (that all southern California airports are closed down). Lenn Pryor said his home had a quarter inch of ash covering it this morning. There are execs and people running in and out here at PDC central trying to figure out how to get people here. If I learn anything, I'll post it here. If you have any ideas, let us know.

It's worse than was thought. All LA-area airports are shut down. Over at (click on LAX) we learn "Due to brush fire near the traffic control center (SCT) there is a ground stop program in effect for traffic arriving at LAX."

Keith Warren posts a good list of rules of engagement for PDC bloggers.

PDC Attendees: We're hearing that the Los Angeles Airport is experiencing flight delays because of the fires. Check with your airlines and hope you have a safe flight into the PDC.

I just posted several photos to the PDC 2003 Photolog that I setup over on Text America's Moblog service. Feel free to join in the fun. Just make sure your photos are 400 pixels across or less before mailing them in. They get posted instantly. This is going to be a lot of fun. Works with those new Cell phone cameras too!

PDC attendees: upload your photos of the PDC to the Text America PDC Moblog I setup. Then, the PDC Blogger site can watch that feed and put them up on the PDC PhotoLog.

Or, to make it real easy, just email your photos to: (include in the body of the email what you'd like the caption to be). Does getting photos on the Internet get any easier than that?

Carl Franklin has the second Longhorn review that I've seen. "You will never want to go back to any older versions of Windows. It's that awesome."

Hey, wait a second, I told you all to hate it! What's going on here?

A note to John Dvorak: Yes, the computer hobbiest is alive and well and on Monday will get a whole new bag of things to spend nights and weekends playing with.

I like WatchingMicrosoftLikeAHawk's new motto: "more Microsoft news than necessary, every day." Heh.

Ted, agreed, the Knowledge Navigator is cool, but let's talk after Gates and Allchin talk on Monday. It's far more than just graphics and storage.

Ingo says he doesn't think a news aggregator would scale to multiple computers. Dude, do you have Outlook? How about Exchange? I have NewsGator on one computer and I get all my feeds no matter where I am. How? By opening up the Outlook Web page. That way you have the feeds you want where you want them.

Loren continues to be a force in the Tablet world. Here he takes some of the things Slashdotters say about the Tablet.

Thanks to Dan Shafer for getting what I am trying to do here and giving me the time to do it. "We're stuck with Microsoft as the dominant computing platform of our age. We are probably best served by trying to help them figure out how to adapt and change than to confronting and accusing. If enough blogs like Robert's sprout up and get noticed outside the company, that may just happen."

I finally met Julie Lerman at the MVP summit this afternoon. I wish I could have stayed, but had a ton of work to do. Some of the team I'm a part of are still working at 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning.

Ahh, Julie has the first informed Longhorn comment that I've seen: "it's really cool," she says (translation: the first comment from someone who's actually seen Longhorn, not based on guesses and inuendos). Now you know why I get a little excited about working at Microsoft.

PDC Attendees: bring comfortable shoes. The Los Angeles Convention Center is huge and you'll be doing lots of walking.

I just got back. Got my work done and got the PDC My Events page updated. That'll take you to all the important PDC sites (including the weblogs).

There was a buzz in the conference halls tonight. Oh, that was just the more than 400 PCs being warmed up.

The main session room is awesome. 16 super-sized screens. I've never seen so many high-res projection screens in one place.

One thing I found is that my weblog feels small, but often I talk to as many people in a day or two as will fill the convention center.

There's wireless access points all over the place. Food stands all over the place.

I hear the IT guys are pulling an all-nighter tonight to get everything ready for attendees.

David McNamee has it right. This is a big deal, not just for Microsoft, but for Los Angeles. Think of the economic activity that happens when thousands of geeks decend on a city. The conference and tourism business has really been slow the past couple of years. Los Angeles put up signs saying "welcome" along many of the streets here.

Anyway, I'll be blogging a lot more tomorrow and trying not to hype things up too much (the gang of people who hang out in my comments are saying I've drunk too much Microsoft Kool Aid. That's true, but when you play with the new stuff that we're doing, it's exciting and I get a little carried away).

I wish you all were here.

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Robert Scoble works at Microsoft. Everything here, though, is his personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. No warranties or other guarantees will be offered as to the quality of the opinions or anything else offered here.

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© Copyright 2004 Robert Scoble Last updated: 1/3/2004; 3:16:18 AM.