And Bill Gates gave it along with the Golden Discs for Windows Vista Beta 2 and Windows Server “Longhorn” Beta 2 to Alan Nunns of Chevron on stage during his keynote session at WinHEC last Tuesday while I was watching the live Webcast at home. It was surreal! The picture (see below) of Bill and Alan and the three discs even made its way into our press release!
The truth is that there should have been four discs because Office system required two discs: one for the Office client bits and the other for the Office SharePoint Server bits. Moreover, I created three sets of Office system Golden Discs: one for the display case, one for the customer to install, and one as a backup. And yes, I created all of them on the laptop that I’m using to write this blog entry! How cool is that?! Here’s a photo (see below) of the world's first official Golden Disc for 2007 Office system Beta 2 that I had created, which I presume went into that display case and into history. :-)
Although 200 Office system Beta 2 evaluation kits were available to be distributed to the audience at the keynote session, someone (perhaps Bill himself) decided the night before that it would be a gracious gesture (as much as it would make for great PR) to award the very first official set of Golden Discs to a customer, who's in the Rapid Deployment Technology Adoption Program for all 3 products families.
So, how did I get roped into all this? Well, on Monday of last week, I needed to take a quick break from staring for hours at my computer screen and just happened to walk by Arpan’s office while he was on the phone. As I was about to walk past his office, I heard him say something about not being able to burn a DVD, and since I had just recently ordered Toshiba Tecra M5 laptops and Dell Precision 470 workstations, both with DVD burners, for everyone on the team, I just had to set Arpan straight. J But since he was already extremely busy working with Joel on finalizing the content for the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Technical Resource DVD (more on that later) that will be given to every attendee at TechEd Boston next month, one thing quickly led to another, and I was tasked with creating the Golden Discs! And as Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”
Update [05/30]: Apparently, the picture above of Bill and Alan and the Golden Disc that I had created made it onto the pages of the New York Times! Here's the online version of the newspaper.