Weekend in Chicago - Jay Maynard

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Monday, 24 October 2005


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1009 - Weekend in Chicago

The Network and Systems Programmer's Association (NaSPA) held its 19th annual NaSTEC conference last weekend. I was invited to give a talk on Hercules. vakkotaur and I made a weekend of it.

We drove over Friday. It's about a 7-hour drive, with no stops, from Fairmont to the west side of Chicago; we made it in a bit over 8. That gave us some time to rest before a dinner with the leaders and sponsors of NaSPA. That was at Delaney and Murphy's steakhouse at the conference hotel. The service was superb, but the steak was average - not at all up to the place's billing. I was mildly disappointed. The key lime pie afterwards almost made up for it. Neither Paul nor I knew anyone there, but we did manage to find a few conversations.

The conference schedule was full - to the point that they had registration at 7 AM...or so the schedule said. They ran behind a bit. The opening general session started about 5 minutes late, but they did manage to get back on schedule.

At the general session, I accepted a Technical Excellence Award for my work on Hercules. That was nifty, although I consider it an award to the whole project. I've got a nice plaque to hang somewhere.

I cut my lunch short so I could set up for my talk right afterward. I did something I hadn't been able to do for SHARE: since I drove, instead of flew, to the conference, I took beanie, my Hercules engine, with me. This is the dual Opteron system I built up a few months ago. The audience got to see just how fast MVS comes up on a 30-MIPS system. (Answer: in a few seconds.) Part of my talk is building up a real-world system, and I use that Opteron as an example.

After the conference was over, Paul and I went down to the hotel bar to see who else would be interested in dinner. We wound up going to a different steakhouse for dinner with Sam Knutson, one of the folks behind the outstanding CBTTape.org mainframe software archive. Sam's the guy who got me involved in doing public talks on Hercules. The steak was much better than the one at Delaney and Murphy's, even if we did wind up sitting in the somewhat smoky bar to eat it.

We slept in Sunday, as Saturday had been a very long day. Before leaving town, Paul and I had lunch with Cindy Morgan, who had just arrived the night before. She's moving to Chicago to pursue a number of business opportunities there. Cindy's a very nice lady. We talked for well over an hour, and unlike most folks who talk non-stop, she actually has something to say. Paul got pictures.

The drive home was long, but not too bad. We kept putting off dinner because neither of us felt hungry, finally stopping at an Arby's in Albert Lea - where we found that someone was planning an Arby's in Fairmont. That will be great if it comes through. We got home about 9, unloaded the car, piddled around a bit, and crashed.

current mood: [mood icon] tired
current music: The Moody Blues - The Other Side Of Life

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