Friday, June 16, 2006

Canberra Windows User Group

This last week I spent time in Australia’s Capital City, Canberra (pronounced Kambra if you’re an Aussie). Amongst the sites and sounds that engulf this wonderful place are: our Parliament House (and our politicians), The Royal Australian Mint (where we make our coins) and Questacon – a Geeks Haven. Apart from enduring enjoying the four hour drive from Sydney I also had the chance to catch up with friends and acquaintances too. My main reason for being in Canberra was to conduct a Tablet Talk for the Canberra Windows User Group.

As I arrived in Canberra the one distinguishing feature that really hit me was the cold; as I left Sydney that morning it was a healthy (18 degree Celsius = 64.4 degree Fahrenheit). As I made my way to my meeting I knew my body was experienceing the weather difference, I glanced at my in-car thermostat and realised it was (1 degree Celsius = 33.8 degree Fahrenheit) and dropping rapidly - it got to -7 degrees Celsius that evening. As usual I had my little wheelie luggage bag full of Tablet PCs and now Ultra Mobile PCs too; knowing that the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) is covered in Governmental Agencies I came armed with resources and answers. I spent the evening prior developing a PowerPoint presentation that would take attendees through the past, present and future of UMPC. I will post this later for your own resources.

The CWUG is actually conducted over two 90 minute sessions with a pizza session in the middle. The first session attracted a lot of representatives from the Australian Defense Force and other Governmental Agencies. Judging by the amount of left-over pizza it looks as though the turn out was not as big as intended. The second session was mostly Microsoft Staff members that were keen to get a look, and understanding, of UMPC in Australia. The main topical questions revolved around battery life and Internet connectivity, but I was however pleasantly surprised with the two group’s enthusiasm and interest. The sessions turned out to be a real deep-dive with some more intriguing topics like implementation scenarios and internal hardware specifications getting a lot more focus than usual.

All-in-all my Canberra event was deemed a success by my host, David Mackie, and has sparked a wave of conversation and thought. I look forward to returning to the ACT shortly and continuing the traveling UMPC show. My commitment remains unresolved and my passion remains focused on building an understanding, and faith, in what will shortly become the Form Factor of choice in the enterprise arena…UMPC!

PS. Special thanks to Jeff Alexander, Microsofty, for garnering attention towards the CWUG, and my UMPC convoy!


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