I am just a wee bit (okay a lot) late with my recap from Day 4.
I had a late night editing video interviews from Day 3 so the morning was not the best. I had to get up early so that I could make my side trip to Starbucks for my Triple Venti Soy No Whip No Foam Mocha before heading to the Convention Center for the 8 AM session. I really wanted to get a good seat in the session from Marcus Murray on Hacking a network so I made sure I got there by 7:30. When I showed up at Starbucks at 7:15 AM, I was dismayed to find out they didn't open until 7:30!!!! It was a tough decision, but I ended up leaving Starbucks without my Mocha (I vaguely remember a few tears).
I did make it to the session with plenty of time to spare and I do believe it was worth missing my Starbucks that morning. Luckily, one of my team mates had already attended this session on an earlier day and decided to get a little extra sleep. Of course, I took advantage of the situation to ask him to swing by Starbucks on his way to the Convention Center and he was kind enough to do it for me - Thank you. Marcus made a few statements that I found "refreshing". He said that Microsoft writes some of the most secure code (not exact quote, but close). He also stated that Windows Vista is secure and and companies should stay up to date to stay secure (once again, not an exact quote, but gets to the jist of things). Marcus' session was so popular that the organizers decided to add another repeat session at the last minute.
The second session was also excellent. I attended the session delivered by Laura Chappell on Network analysis and how to figure out why your network is slow. This was definitely a "geeky" session as she went into network trace logs to examine some TCP traffic. The information was awesome!
After the second session, there was a 2 hour break for lunch and time to speak with Exhibitors. I took the time to go around the different Exhibitor booths to speak with the different partners present. I also took advantage of the time to collect some good marketing swag for my kids. The time was very well spent as I had the chance to speak with some partners that have some great solutions around the Microsoft platform. Followed by this, I went and had lunch. The pork tenderloin was very dry, but the Tilapia was pretty moist and tasty!
I spent the rest of the afternoon conducting Video interviews of folks from the Office Communications Server team and the Exchange Server team. I then headed back to the hotel so that I could rest a few minutes before heading over to the Tech Ed Party at Universal Islands of Adventure. The ride over took a lot longer than expected due to the heavy traffic (a lot of folks were heading over as well). After parking our car, we started our long walk over to the park entrance. As we got close to the park, the rain started to fall - lightly at first, but by the time we got to the location where customers bought tickets, it was a massive downpour. My team mates and I took cover under the canopy in the hopes the rain would stop soon. After 5 minutes, we decided to make a run for it and we got totally drenched running to the store on the outskirts. Luckily, they were handing out parkas as we got there so we were able to protect ourselves from getting any wetter (is that a word?). Of course, it probably didn't make any difference at that point, but I sure felt better.
We decided to ride the Spider Man ride before grabbing dinner as all the outdoor rollercoasters were shut down due to the lightning risk. As we were leaving the ride, we saw the very, very long line of people waiting to get in (I guess everyone figured out this was one of the very few rides open at that time). We then went and grabbed some dinner. There was a stand that was serving the huge turkey legs and so the four of us (Kevin Remde, John Baker, Bryan Von Axelson and me) got into the line. John and I were ahead of Bryan and Kevin and got our turkey legs first. As they handed me my turkey leg, the lady said, "Well, I guess that's the last one we have for now." Sadly, John and I had to eat our turkey leg while Bryan and Kevin watched - :-). Luckily there was a cafe around the corner that was serving pizza so we ran in there so that Bryan and Kevin could eat as well. Luckily, the roller coaster rides started to open back up a few at a time. We were able to ride the Teradactyl (spelling??) ride and the Dueling Dragon coaster before we left. Unfortunately, the Hulk ride never opened. Needless to say, this experience was quite a disappointment due to the rain!!!
That's it for now.