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The Road from and around Berlin (Part 1)

First, I started this blog like, a week ago.  I had every intention of writing about my trip home, how much I learned at TechEd and all, but guess what?  I got home, the new dog needed attention, work had piled up for 6 working days, laundry had piled up an unbelievable amount, the ASUG 2009 annual conference call for speakers opened, scheduled webcasts were pending, and oh, did I mention the email backlog?

So here I am, nearly 3 weeks since I left Berlin, and wow, no blog posts in November yet, unless you count the comment to my year-old CCMS CPH one.

If you’re interested about the new dog, I set him up with a twitter account.

Clue train tracks

Pointers to what I and others entoned on the Clue Train:

Community day logs

Likewise, witticisms on Community Day:





After Dennis Howlett and I both proclaimed to each other “I don’t do keynotes” we found ourselves marching down the aisle to a practically empty first several rows of the keynote address hall, where a comely fraulein held a sign proclaiming, “Press, Bloggers and Analysts” though not necessarily in that order.  I thought yeah, best 2 out of 3 and proceeded to try to climb past Dennis into the second or third set from the end.  Whoa, my badge didn’t say “Blogger” on it like his did. “It is not allowed” to sit there said the security unit.  “Ja Ja” I said, not understanding or caring what else she said.  SAP Mentors had been promised “excellent” seats for the keynote, and what could be more excellent than sitting next to Dennis?  Eventually she ignored me after I ignored her long enough, and Dennis and I both prepared to do what bloggers do, which is, to blog.

Well, I had read a lot of the paper hand out, which stated that wireless network connectivity would not be available during the keynote address.  That’s silly, I thought, what high tech company would cut off communications to the outside world to thousands of people that (mostly) paid to hear the latest news and share it with their companies? Yes, as soon as the keynote started, the wireless went dead.  Dennis had a terrific looking Mac laptop, which was as silent as a church mouse.  I, on the other hand, had plan B.  On my first train ride through Germany earlier that week, I coughed up too many Euros to T-Mobile for 30 days of wireless, and wouldn’t you know it, a T-Mobile signal was leaking into the auditorium.  Seeing how disconsolate and disconnected (but not discombobulated) that Dennis was, I lent him my laptop for the duration.  Here are a few of the tweets he relayed real-time:

  • @dhague: cuz he’s a sales guy? Can someone bring @jspath55 a coffee? Thanks!  (hence the above logo scrawled on my Windows mobile device, converted to Rich Text, and thence into Portable Network Graphics.  I think it actually gained in the translation)
  • in SAP TechEd keynote, connection courtesy of @jspath55. Zia ‘excited,’ Leo told a joke. It wasn’t bad either (it was the hacker and the banker parachute story).
  • “You’ re always in control” says Leo, except you can’t switch off enhancement packs, once you’ve turned on says @jspath55
  • @leeprovoost: @dahowlett @jspath55 is a wise man 🙂

What wasn’t relayed was a chortle about “never needing to do full regression tests” of SAP enterprise software in the future.  Dennis asked if he could quote me, and I agreed, as I don’t recommend my company to take risks of software changes without protecting ourselves.  Dennis’ story is online outside SDN.

Network and Kraftwerk

Before I took off for Germany, I had 171 followers on Twitter; today I have 210, so I’ve gained about 40, primarily through contacts made at TechEd, or through the power of networking at that event.  I’m still a babe in the woods compared to the thousands of followers that Dennis and Craig have, or even the hundreds that Marilyn has. 

My LinkedIn network didn’t grow as I had hoped.  I sent about 15 invites, based on people I met in Berlin (or on the ClueTrain to Berlin), and all but 1 or 2 accepted.  That’s higher than previous rates, so I’m either being more careful on who I invite, or people are starting to remember my name a bit better.

I also have that tasty stack of business cards I blogged about.   Not to mention, an autograph from James Governor.

The Kraftwerk tie-in is part of our subliminal campaign to get Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, or better yet, both of them, for SAP TechEd 2009.



I’m going to jump from the keynote and a few other ramblings to the above shot, which I took on my way out of the ICC.  I was somewhat fascinated by my first exposure to German building logos.  While we tend to think of exit signs and thinks like “pull” and “push” as universal, they aren’t quite.

In the next of the “get out of town” blogs I should cover more hallway conversations, things I wrote in my handy notebook that made sense (or not) at the time, and the “well, what did you bring us” feedback and elevator/hallway/hiking/cafeteria chats.


Oh, and 30 seconds of stupidity:



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