Microsoft TechEd Day #1

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for some time now.  I haven’t had a chance to attend a conference/expo in roughly 2 years so the opportunity to get out of the office routine and reconnect with peers is just what I need to rekindle my passion for tech.  Like most folks I know, attending conferences has a way of re-charging my batteries and invigorating my desire to learn more and stay up to speed on what’s new and exciting.  I’m really hoping that this week has that exact impact as I’ve fallen into a mundane pattern of complacency lately.

The trip in was relatively uneventful except for the heat/humidity shock after stepping outside the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.  Rumor is the heat indices will be between 100-105 this week!  Fortunately the convention center has the A/C cranked.  It’s literally an ice box in there which is great since I packed long pants for every day this week.

Here’s the wonderful view of the Mississippi/French Quarter from my hotel room window

I’m actually quite impressed that the hotels wifi has been so solid since I got here.  The entire downtown area is packed with nerds toting every piece of wireless-enabled technology imaginable.  I noticed the convention center had some sort of portable wifi hotspots setup all over (they look like those big propane bug zappers you put on your porch) so at least they have anticipated the effect of 10,000+ devices trying to access the Internet.

I took a stroll this afternoon to grab lunch and pre-register for the conference so I snapped a few photos along the way.  Here’s Harrah’s casino, conveniently located right across the street from my hotel.

And here’s the riverwalk which I haven’t had a chance to check out in more detail yet.

Pre-registration was a piece of cake.  No lines and a nice backpack filled with goodies!

Unfortunately my laptop is a little too big for the soft compartment designed for it so I had to make a few minor adjustments but my  bag is now officially packed with all the gear I need for tomorrow. Oh and just in case it rains, the bag’s bottom compartment comes with a nifty raincoat designed to fit over it!

I attended two sessions this afternoon.  One was called TechEd 101 and was a great overview of everything available this week.  I literally have to sit down and take another look at my tentative schedule tonight as their are so many things I want to do.  The second session was called Certification 101 and focused on the new generation of Microsoft certifications.  It was a good kickstart to the week for me as it got me thinking about getting back in the game and certifying on the technologies I already know and work with on a daily basis.

I also picked up a Windows Powershell book at the bookstore today.  As if this week won’t be information overload enough…

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