James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

We could be heroes ... just for one day.

We could be heroes ... just for one day.

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I wish I could swim, like dolphins... Today's launch event was one of the best I've been to and the feedback from everyone I spoke to seemed to be the same. I'm typing after midnight that at end of ... well not exactly a perfect day. Besides leaving my camera at home, fatigue and the effects of my cold, my PowerShell session not going to plan still annoys me. It was supposed to close with PowerShell tagging some pictures by matching their EXIF date-time tag to my dive-data, and showing the pictures. Would people have got it if I had said that I wish I could swim, like Dolphins, Dolphins can swim. The chance to be that corny is rare, and I blew it.

I think the natural British reaction to the the HEROES happen {here} branding is to think of it as a bit ... corny. Someone from Redmond sounded out a group of us a while back with his idea of how IT people should be seen, he described aspects of what they do in a way that led some of us to say "What your describing is closer to a TV detective or doctor" - i.e. order has been disrupted (a crime, someone is sick or injured), the hero puts the pieces of a puzzle together, has to cut through distractions (all TV detectives have stupid bosses, hospital dramas are full of politics or romance or both), and at the end order is restored (the sick are healthy and the guilty to go to jail). In the case of IT the "order/disorder" part might be something really mundane: e-mail's down - it's dangerously close to the Monty Python "Bicycle repair man " sketch - it's on YouTube if you don't know it.

Then something happened.

 

Stuff this stupid argument I've been having about VMware.

Powershell can take care of Itself.

I don't want to talk technology for a bit

Left in the speaker lounge were some copies of the Heroes happen {here} BOOK. It's a collection of photos of IT folk and their stories. Beautifully produced, and the photographs are a great documentary collection. It made me think of documentary sets like the famous one Dorethea Lange did for the farm Security Administration.  The name on the cover, Carolyn Jones meant nothing to me. But when I checked inside the flap I knew examples of her work. Great photography [as opposed to great camera operation] shows you aspects you had not seen in things you thought you knew, and changes how you feel about them. This is that kind of photography. Some of the subjects are groups, some individuals. Some colour, some black and white. Some were caught in motion, some posed in a interesting way, some just sat or stood. Some brought a possession, some brought family or friends (at least one brought pets), some dressed up, and others just came as they were.  There's very little to unify the photos - the lighting is similar, Jones seems to use wider angle lenses than most portrait shooters,  and she likes here subjects to make eye contact with the camera. In a collection this size there should be a dud or two, but I couldn't find it; whilst the pictures are individually good, the collection is one for which the cliche "the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts was made".

It doesn't look like this book will go on general sale, and so I'm assuming it's a "when they're gone, they're gone" thing. Viral wanted to get a box of them to give out to all and sundry, but I doubt if we'll get that many (I live in fear of being told "pick your top n people to receive a copy" how do you face the person ranked at n+1 ?) . Unless I'm wrong - in which case check it out in a good book store -  snap up any copy you see being sold secondhand. I'd love to see giant prints from the book on the walls in Microsoft offices.

For all the people I met today, (from the two chaps in the car park first thing who'd driven a long way south to be there right up to the southerners as I was heading for home) allow yourselves the self indulgence to feel you've been a hero now and then and  thanks for today

You made me forget myself
I thought I was someone else,
someone good


Oh, it's such a perfect day*
I'm glad I spent it with you

 

 

*An approximation, but hey...

Comments
  • Despite being at the mercy of the Rail Network to travel to Birmingham I hugely enjoyed the day.

    One thing (apart from Read-Only DCs, Application Publishing, EasyPrint and Server Core!) sticks out in my mind as an experience - as I sat in the community lounge, a Microsoft employed developer sat down next to me, introduced himself and starting chatting about what our experiences were as a company, what we were doing as a department and that they genuinely enthused about what the same products had done for them internally.

    So, big event, but in the midst of a vast impersonal Partner Reception, a personal touch which meant so much.

    One regret - that I couldn't stay right to the end and the geek dinner, and that I simply didn't get to see everything throughout the day - I would have loved to have done more hands-on, seen a chalk and talk session or two  - can we have a two day launch next time?!

    As you sped past me up the stairs during I think it was Steve Lamb's security session I couldn't help but think that having "Oh there's James, and later, Oh - there's George Mitcham" pop into my head meant that from a community standpoint the day had been a success as well.

  • It was a good day let down by the simulcast of the keynote speech into Hall 4. By displaying both the speaker and the powerpoint/demo screen side by side it was absolutely impossible to read anything on the slides or demo screens. I almost walked out of that session but stayed and did some reading instead!

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