Friday, January 20, 2006

When Poogie spoke at Microsoft's Hallowed Turf

The following is a re-enactment of the day Hugo ‘poogie’ Ortega first preached Tablet PC behind the hallowed doors of Microsoft Head Quarters in Sydney, Australia.

Tuesday 17th January, 2006

Finally I'd done it - got MCE running on my Touch Tablet - so I had to call someone and let them know. Neil, yeh Neil! So I'm in the car going to a meeting and there I am telling my mate, and Microsoft MVP, Author Dr. Neil Roodyn, about how cool it was running the Tablet via remote control, and how pleasing it was to add the kinaesthetic quality of the 'Touch Tablet' with it too. Neil proclaims, "I know some geeks that will love to see that, come to the .NET User Group, at Microsoft".

Wednesday 18th January, 2006

Driving into the industrial estate that houses many-a-muscle in the IT space was a truly fun experience, Oh, there's Fuji! “Take the next left”, says Neil... “There’s the driveway on your next right...turn now”.

Holy smokes, I'm here! There it was, Microsoft Head Office Australia. As we pull into the driveway Dr. Neil orders me to take one of the Visitor spots, to which I happily oblige. I grab my Tablets and walk the Granite coble stones to the front door.

I can't distinctly remember wether we pushed the doors open, or if they slid open, but there I was! As I stood in the Marble infested lobby, ridden with huge panes of glass, I glance to my right. There’s the Microsoft Café in which dwell 10, maybe 20, Uber.Geeks like me, hacking away at there cheesecakes and taking mouthfuls of laptop while they conjure a hive of activity and passion. We walk left and past a new set of branded glass doors into the reception room. "Hi Neil", she says. [I'm nine years old and in Disneyland again]. Dr. Neil punches in our details and thermally impregnates our names on some Visitor Passes.

We wait!

A brisk walk, in-step with our host, and we're lead into our room for the evening; not before having past through two more sets of branded doors. We grab a desk, we plug into the cat-5 network, we extend our desktops onto the huge Projector screen, and we're ready.

Usually held on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, the Sydney .NET Users Group covers Microsoft Winforms, Webforms, VB .NET, C#, Access, SQL Server, XML, Exchange Server and SharePoint Portal Server, new products, legal issues of software development and tips and tricks. The meeting starts with Industry news, new products and developments then moves on to the feature topic. Afterwards a problem solving session is held where development problems are heard and suggestions put forward by the attendees (you're sure to get an answer to your questions). For more info visit:

Our emcee for the evening, Microsoft MVP and Chief Architect at SSW, Adam Cogan opens the evening…“There's Subway in the foyer, go eat and we'll get stuck into it". OK! I'll do it! Two subways ‘with the lot’ and I'm back in the room.

They talk, he talks, they talk some more, he talks heaps more, the atmosphere is candid and I get the impression that I'm sitting amongst friends. He talks some more, they all .NET all over each other and then it's my turn.

"Blah, Blah, Tablet, Me, You...hahaha, Tablet, Tablet, Me, Me, You, You...hahaha!" I can't believe it, my ten minutes are up. "Let’s all thank Hugo", bellows Cogan. Clap, Clap, Clap and I take a seat.

Dr. Neil then takes the stage and begins to preach Virtual Earth to our congregation. He awes the audience with wit, charisma and occasionally lovingly chastises the group to enforce some of his principles. Clap, Clap, Clap and Cogan holds courts once more.

Neil and I take an exit while the group .NET for several hours still. We exit the auditorium to find Uber.Geek, Jeff Alexander, IT Pro Evangelist - Microsoft, and a small clan talk'n Tablet. Jeff is a fellow Preacher and a one-eyed monster when it comes to Microsoft MCE. He welcomes the Tablet talk [as you might the Prodigal Son, had you of been the Dad]. We talk Turkey and share stories over roasted marshmallows (the marshmallow bit isn’t true).

Clap, Clap, Clap..."we'll see you next month", trumpets Cogan. I head out the labyrinth that is my new Friend and as I hit the cobbled granite once more I try and conceal the longing that has already drowned my soul. Will she call? Will she remember me tomorrow? I left her my number, and a good impression... Microsoft, oh Microsoft, I hope I did enough to win your affection.

The .NET User group, a warm bunch of scripting aficionados, had 10 minutes of my take on what is Tablet PC. From the 3 Tablet PC owners in that room of 60+ I could gather but one thing - my work has only just begun!

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