Notes from InterOp New York

Here’s some notes and links I gathered from my recent trip to the InterOp Expo in New York, in no particular order!

  • One of the keynote speeches was from the always interesting Tim O’Reilly where he spoke on mobilising people and devices to aid world issues – a topic I found fascinating. He gave some really interesting examples including Washers and dryers at universities Twittering their availability, and Plants instrumented to alert you when they’re dry and it’s time to water them. He suggested that we can all contribute, and mentioned that Developers may spend less time developing "applications to throw sheep at one another" and more time developing positive ideas for communication.

One specific point I took away from the speech was that we’re all making choices to act or not to act, and we usually only act when we believe in something – when really that shouldn’t be the main criteria. The example he used (and one I have used in arguments myself – if not in such eloquent terms as O’Reilly) is Global Warming. Even if you don’t believe that Global Warming is real and even if Global Warming doesn’t come true, working towards it’s goals (Recycling, Energy Conservation, etc) provides a positive outcome for all involved – so why not do it anyway? This attitude can apply to both your business and personal life.

There is a good video interview with O’Reilly, post-Keynote speech, where he elaborates more on the business benefits of Social Responsibility – well worth a view, especially so if you just read that last paragraph and couldn’t "see the point"…

  • Lenovo are to start producing servers in the SMB space. There are more details about the new Lenovo ThinkServer here. They’ve got a suite of "easy" software tools on the machine that simplifies installation, updating, and management of the server plus a premium level of support for the first 90 days of ownership. Interesting, and further competition in the SMB Server space is welcome – although I’m unsure whether these plans cover the UK market.
  • Here at Netlink IT, we currently deploy Diskeeper to our client sites to deal with Defragmentation issues – but were very impressed with the good folk at Raxco Software who produce PerfectDisk. We’ll be having a conversation with their UK office to see whether there is an opportunity for us there.
  • Microsoft were in force announcing their new Springboard Series. In a nutshell – Springboard is a way of digging through the ton of technical information that MS provide to get to the stuff you need, quickly. The complaint with MS has never been lack of info – it’s always been information overload, so this is a welcome move.
  • Some of my fellow delegates (thanks Sarah, Julie!) took the Mickey out of me something rotten for my constant Twitter updates, photographs being sent to Flickr, and generally Web 2.0 geekery whilst in NYC – but when I was in the Expo itself it was happening everywhere! There was a constant stream of photos on the InterOp Flickr site, and although it took me a few minutes to realise it during one Seminar, the Twitter notes I was reading off my Laptop screen were being generated… by the chap sat next to me. <grin> InterOp also provided a great networking web-site enabling you to meet fellow delegates easily, and there were a ton of blog updates and videos to accompany the Expo too.
  • The Wi-Fi access is in the Expo itself ranged from excellent on the whole to terribly shabby at times – with failing DHCP leases and poor signals in certain prime locations at the Expo. To be fair, the organisers did warn of Wi-Fi blackspots and It guess it could have been my beloved Eee PC that was at fault, but even if it was, I can’t stay angry at the Linux based Love of My Life for long…
  • I can’t really believe I’m writing this… but the Vendor’s Booth Crawl – in which many Vendors offered free beer at their stands – saw me chat to a ton of Vendors and drink, zero – yes Z-E-R-O – pints of free beer. Too many Martini’s the night before, as I recall. Urgh.
  • Not surprisingly, SaaS, Green Computing and Social Networking were hot-topics – more on a couple of seminars I attended on those subjects shortly.
  • It’s probably old news to many Technorati, but I came across Whrll – a location based service which has an app for the iPhone amongst others. Further investigation required!
  • Finally, the InterOp NOC (Network Operations Centre) was an amazing sight to behold as I pressed my nose to the glass surrounding that area. If you’re a geek (and if you’re a regular reader of my blog then yes, that means you) then you’ll love this video describing the largest temporary network in the world!

Oh, and there’s an InterOp Expo in Las Vegas, Dubai, Tokyo, Mumbia and Moscow too – I wonder if I can make any of them too… 🙂

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