Saturday, January 27, 2007

One small step

Just back from the Lotusphere2007 convention in Orlando. And what a cracker it was. First up, what were the movies I watched on the flight out to Florida? Well - since you ask ...

The Departed - a ridiculously high body count in this Police/Mafia thriller with an undercover mole on both sides. - Excellent
Snakes on a Plane - Samuel L. Jackson fights snakes - on a plane! - Silly, Cheesy and Excellent
Pirates of the Caribbean II - Poorly acted and over long with little of the charm of the original - Poor

So a mixed bag of films but it certainly made the 10 hour flight go faster.

The opening general session of Lotusphere is famous for the new product announcements and a special guest speaker. It didn't disapoint in either respect. Lotus Quickr is our new team collaboration product linking team places and content through existing desktop applications like Lotus Notes, MS Office and Portals. Lotus Connections is the first web 2.0 social software suite designed specifically for the Enterprise. There was also great demonstrations about new versions of Lotus Sametime and Lotus Notes and Domino.

Anyway, that is all very geeky, but the longest ovation of the day was reserved for the guest speaker - Neil Armstrong! A genuine legend and a personal hero of mine due to my life long interest in manned space travel. Apollo 13 is my favourite ever film. His talk was interesting (did you know that Orlando Airport's designation as MCO comes from when it was called McCoy Airforce Base where the X-1 rocket plane first broke the speed of sound) and funny (they set up an experiment to measure the exact distance from the earth to the moon so they could claim back their milage from expenses) but the overriding impression was how modest the guy was. If you want to see his talk then it is on YouTube in two parts here for part 1 and here for part 2. It is very well worth 15 minutes to watch.

The rest of the week was spent attending great education sessions on software and technology, meeting great business partners at the product showcase and finding out about the great solutions they had built on Lotus products, networking with other attendees and even popping over to the Irish Bar in Disney Downtown with colleagues for the occasional Guinness or three. The final closing session featured Neil deGrasse Tyson the Astro Physicist who famously started the debate on Pluto by refusing to allow it to be referred to as a planet. He delivered a very entertaining and thought provoking lecture on the top ten significant things from "The Cosmic Perspective".

So to finish as I started, the films I watched on the plane back home...
Superman Returns - Starts well but fades badly - Reasonable
Crank - brilliant concept with good special effects but undermined by an unlikeable hero - Disappointing
Clerks II - unspeakably rude and yet quite sweet at the same time - Reasonable


Anonymous said...

OOOOOhhh SignorPorts... with all zeees geekery you are reeeeeely spoiling us!

Anyhow... mi pitufa no es verde... es mui azul!

Pink :0)

Anonymous said...

The Neil Armstrong piece brought me out in goosebumps. I was speechless (well, almost). What a guest speaker.
The guy's a genius - a modest one, too. I could have listened for hours.