Wide Awake Developers

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Arrival at JAOO

Considering that it's 7:30 AM local time---where "local" means Aarhus, Denmark---and I'm awake and online, it looks like I've successfully reset my internal clock.  Of course, my approach consisted of staying awake for 28 hours continuously then having three excellent beers with dinner.  There are probably easier ways, and there may be repercussions later.

I've always heard good things about JAOO, so it was an honor and a delight to be invited. So far, just hanging around the hotel has been interesting. Waiting to check in yesterday evening, I encountered Richard Gabriel and one of the guys who designed Windows PowerShell. (He still calls it Monad, which I think was a much better name than "PowerShell".  Also, I wish I'd gotten his name, but I was a too distracted by the problem with my reservation.)

After dinner, I started chatting with some ThoughtWorkers over a game of ZombieFluxx. Two observations: first, ZombieFluxx is the kind of game that only a computer programmer or a lawyer could love. The deck of cards includes many cards that change the rules of the game itself. Gameplay changes from turn to turn based on the current state of the rule cards showing. There's even a card that requires you to groan like the undead whenever you turn over a new "zombie" card. Very meta.  Second, it seems that TW people make up half of every conference I go to. They must have a fantastic training budget, because they are disproportionately represented relative to their much larger competitors like Accenture, Deloitte, and that crowd. Woe to the conference industry if ThoughtWorks falls on hard times.

My primary goal for today was to get over jetlag. Having accomplished that before 8 AM, I'll now see about straightening out my hotel situation. It's hard to think much about software when you may not have a roof over your head come nightfall.

Update: Got my hotel issues resolved. Now at a thoroughly modern, thoroughly Danish hotel called the "Best Western Oasia". Funny, but I always think of "Best Western" as the cruddy, mildewed cheap hotels off the Interstate in places like west Texas and Birmingham, Alabama. This hotel may cause me to reevaluate that image! It's nice, in a kind of "living inside Ikea" way.

(And, yes, I know Ikea is Swedish, not Danish. It's the bare wood, spare furnishings, and black lacquer I'm talking about.)

The Infamous Seinfeld-Gates Ad

The Seinfeld/Gates ad is so laughably bad that people are already building indexes of the negative reactions, less than 24 hours after it launched.

I have my own take on it.

Gates is the most recognizable geek on the planet. For most non-techies, he is the archetype of geekhood.

What kind of name recognition does Steve Ballmer have?  Outside of developers, developers, developers, and developers.  Would a silver-haired manager ever use him for a cheesy business analogy in a meeting?  Nope. Blank looks all around.  Tiger Woods and Bill Gates make good metaphors. Steve Ballmer doesn't.

Ray Ozzie? Not a chance. Even most techies don't know who Ozzie is.

This commercial wasn't about churros, The Conquistador, or briefs riding up. It was all about one line.

"Brain meld".

It slipped by fast, but that was it. That was the line where billg@microsoft.com began the public torch-passing ceremony.

A couple more spots, and we'll see either Ballmer or Ozzie entering the plot. Then we get the handoff, where John Q. Public is now meant to understand, "OK, Bill Gates has retired, but he's passed his wireframe glasses and nervous tics on to this guy."

Seriously, it's torch-passing.  Don't believe me? You will when you see Ballmer air-running past a giant BSOD in the final ad.

In Korean

"Release It" has now been translated into Korean. I just received three copies of a work that's hauntingly familiar, but totally opaque to me.

I kind of wonder how the pop-culture jokes came through.  I bet C3PO and R2D2 made it OK, but I wonder whether "dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge" made it past the Korean copy editor.  (For that matter, I'm faintly surprised it made it past the English copy editor.)