TechEd Day 3

Day 3 got off to the usual start. Breakfast was so so. Dry potatoes and bland eggs, but honestly, I don’t know that anyone can cook a really delicious meal for 11,000 people at a time. It keeps the engine running, so that’s all that really matters.

Flessner keynote was OK. Samantha Bee was back which was enjoyable. Biggest news was probably the announcement of the SQL Server 2005 ship date, and they gave us all a free copy of SQL Server 2005 Standard. Now if they would just throw in the CALs and SA too, that’d be great.

Two best sessions were “MGT385 Practical Group Policy: Application and Usage (Part 2)” by Mark Williams and “SVR215 Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003: What’s New in Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 SP1, Futures and Roadmap” by Andreas Luther. MGT385 was a continuation from a session the previous day. We make pretty intensive use of Group Policy, and I’m hoping to continue to do so but now with a bit more insight.

SVR215 was a last minute change on my schedule. I have had some ideas about using the Identity Integration Feature Pack (the free reduced version of MIIS) to handle some things, so I figured this would be a good session since they are the same product at the core. Andreas mentioned that when they updated the feature pack, they couldn’t call it SP1 because calling an update to a free add-on has political implications inside Microsoft, so they had to come up with a different name. So what easy to say, easy to remember name did they come with? Identity Integration Feature Pack 1a for Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory…. No further comment necessary.

Transportation still seems to be an issue. The distance to travel between the hotels and convention center is not very far (at least for route 10), yet it seems to take forever for a bus to arrive at any location. I much prefer when the event is held in a downtown area, like in Dallas, San Diego, or next year in Boston. Being centrally located means easy pedestrian or mass transit access.

Pretty much swagged out. Picked up a bouncy octopus looking yo-yo thing from Microsoft and some pens, but that’s about it. I think I’ve got enough crap to take home.

Exchange party was so-so. Wound up walking there from my hotel, so didn’t get there until half way through. Food was minimal, a pasta station, salad, and some finger food. But after three or four plates of pasta, I had enough to make a meal, so that’s all that really matters. I’m not that into hanging around in a bar, so I didn’t stick around very long.