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I guess I didn’t do a good job of blogging every day with a daily recap so now I’m just posting an all up recap of Days 3 through 5.

First, I want to thank everyone that was willing to be interviewed by me on video!!!!  I am working on getting all the videos rendered and uploaded.  As soon as I get everything done and uploaded, I will notify each person individually so you can review and let me know if anything needs to be changed.  After that, I will post to Edge and my blog.

The Certification Folks had a slot machine setup for prize giveaways.  The Grand Prize was $25,000 smacker roos!  I’m pretty sure they only gave each person 5 pulls of the arm to try to win the moola.  Needless to say, this was one of the longest lines for a booth every day.  In the spirit of having fun, I decided to play some jokes on the people who were in line.  (I did this on Days 3 and 4)  Here are some of the “fun” things I did.

  1. Walk to end of line and ask if this was the line to get a free latte.
  2. Tell people that someone already won the $25k earlier in the morning.
  3. Go to the middle of the line, say excuse me and pretend to squeeze past to get to another booth.  I would then stop in front of the person in line and pretend to cut in front of them.  When the person realized what had happened, they would of course react at which point I would tell them:
    • I didn’t really want to wait in such a long line so I thought I would just cut in right here and they didn’t complain when I said “excuse me”.
    • I had analyzed the random number generator and figured out how many more spins before the winning spin and the spot I was in was definitely the winning spin holder.
    • The person in front of them said I couldn’t cut in front of them, but they didn’t have a problem with me cutting in behind them.
  4. Go to the front of the line and tell people we now have to start charging $1 in order to pull the arm on the slot machine.
  5. Convinced one woman to start screaming “I won, I won, I won the 25 thousand dollars!!!!  Wooo hooo!!!!” after her second pull even if she didn’t win.  She had a blast doing that as we scanned the crowd to see their reactions.

I had my team mate, Kevin Remde, follow me around for a few of these fun antics so he could record it on his camera and post it to Edge later.  Kevin was able to capture the woman in number 5 on camera and I can’t wait to see that video.  :-)

People who were paying attention to my clothes and badge realized that I worked for Microsoft and didn’t qualify to participate anyways so they figured out I was playing around.  Not everyone realized that right away, so I hope I did not get anyone upset (I did apologize and explain after each antic).  Thanks to all for having a great sense of humor and letting me enjoy myself.

During some downtime, I took the opportunity to walk through the Partner Expo area and speak with a few of our valued partners.  I had a chance to visit the Kingston booth and watch a few people (including team mate Chris Avis) get whooped by Annie “Ecstacy” Leung who is a professional gamer.  Here’s Chris’ blog and picture with Annie: http://blogs.technet.com/chrisavis/archive/2009/05/12/guitar-hero-with-annie-ecstacy-leung-at-teched.aspx.  By the way, the reason I went to the Kingston booth was to see what advances were coming out regarding memory and solid state drives.  About a year ago, Kingston sponsored the IT Evangelist team with 8 GB of RAM ( two 4 GB sticks) for our Lenovo T61p laptops.  Without their wonderful assistance, I would never have been able to get my Exchange 2007 demo environment and OCS 2007 R2 environment running on just one Hyper-V host. 

I also spoke with the folks from Diskeeper as I really like their product for keeping my drives from getting fragmented.  Since I switched to Windows 7 RC as my production machine, I have not been able to get my copy (not version 2009) from installing correctly.  The folks at the booth did say that version 2009 should work fine (but not officially supported since Windows 7 isn’t a released product yet), but since I don’t own it and really don’t want to try it out for just 30 days, I’ll wait until Windows 7 RTMs and Diskeeper gets a chance to finish all their testing and officially support Windows 7.  I’ll have to convince my wife to let me spend some of “our” money at that time so I can buy it.  I’ll worry about that when the time comes – I’m thinking Christmas present. 

I also stopped by the Tech Smith booth to check on the status of Camtasia (another product I use regularly and can’t live without) and how testing was coming along for the next release and Windows 7 compatibility.  Now, I do have this installed on my Windows 7 RC machine so I know the current version works fine, but just wanted to see what was queued up for the next release.  Like the rest of you, I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, but I was happy to hear they are indeed doing their due diligence to certify Camtasia on Windows 7.

The Jam On IT party was fun and I had a chance to see Joey Snow have fun doing some DJing (is that a word???).  The Windows 7 Product Group raffled off some nice Windows 7 logoed back packs and other goodies.  I really want one of those Windows 7 back packs but am not finding them available for purchase at the store.  :-(  As I love food, I had to try everything that was served (hot dogs, corn dogs, fajita stuff, etc.).  It was all good, but still doesn’t compare to sushi!!! 

On the same evening of the Jam On IT party, Ed Roberts with So Cal IT Pros also helped organize a User Group meeting that took place at the Holiday Inn across the street.  This was a great opportunity for IT Pros who couldn’t make it to Tech Ed, but lived in the area to still get a chance to mingle with folks who were here for Tech Ed.  There were great discussions that took place during the meeting and I really, really, really am grateful for Ed’s leadership of this group!!!!

Since I was busy with last minute video interviews on Friday, I missed lunch at the Convention Center so I ended up buying lunch at the airport.  It really bugs me that the restaurants at LAX charge an arm and a leg for some simple food.  It cost me over $10 for a pizza at CPK and this was a “personal” size pizza.  For that same price, I can get a much tastier pizza from the full CPK restaurants (like the one down the road from my house).  Plus, I was still hungry after eating the pizza, but restrained myself from buying anything else (I can’t help being cheap).

Tech Ed 2010 in Northamerica will be in New Orleans next year.  I am really hoping to make it to Tech Ed 2010 and look forward to seeing everyone again.

Harold Wong