Saturday, October 22, 2005

lock down

I've spent the majority of the weekend locked in my room, pounding out freelance work that I've been putting off. My hopes are that I'll have time to get all of it done and put the pictures up from the conference as well as talk a bit about my fav sessions. More to follow.

- not one to leave you hangin', I'll leave you with this recent birthday.

Happy B-Day email...

Friday, October 21, 2005

blogging big time

Very interesting read over at Internet News.

It's nice to see some numbers starting to come forth about just how many corporations are blogging. Personally - I feel it is one of the best way for knowledge sharing available.

back to the mitten

to quote a friend's lyrics - "back to the mitten, on a rickety bird"

I'm back in Michigan - and back at work!

The tour of Los Angeles by Night on Wednesday evening was fantastic. It started out by going to Universal Studios City Walk, then to Downtown Hollywood (Walk of Fame, Sunset Strip), Beverly Hills, Commerce City and then back to Anaheim. Very well worth the $49 price tag for 5 and a half hours of checking out some sights.

I made a ton of new friends at this year's conference and it was so nice seeing the friends that I've kept in touch with over the four years I've been going to the MM conference. I really look forward to good times with Adobe at the reigns and welcome the future with open arms.

I will be posting about the sessions that I attended that really hit home and what I learned, I will also get the pictures up over the weekend, for right now - it's back to work and trying to catch up on freelance that is past due.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

the tour

I'm officially done with the conference, but now I'm waiting in my hotel room to go on an evening tour of LA with VIP Tours. I'm pretty excited about it - as I'll get to see some great sightseeing attractions. I never made it to the ocean this week - which is just sad, but that's what happens when you don't get a rental car / have time to use one.

I'll post pics tomorrow and hopefully I'll have the slideshow up and working on the new site.

max: Day 3

Well - it's officially over. Another great conference has come to an end. I always get sentimental when it draws to a finish. You make so many great friends at these conferences and it's hard to say goodbye till next year.

I fly back to Michigan at Noon (cali time) tomorrow. I'll be arriving around 8pm. Looking forward to getting back to my normal crazy life. See you soon.

little bit of paradise

We had quite a good time last night at Disney's California Adventure. Macromedia's special event was another top notch show and a great chance to mingle amongst your peers, share a couple drinks and just have a great time.

You can expect many more pics once I get the slideshow up on my new site.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

where do I start?

View from the conference center balcony
what a day!

There is far too much content that I've taken in over the past two days to blog about in one post. I'm in between events right now. We had sessions from 8am - 5:30pm and then a Sneak Peeks session at 5:30 that ran until 7:00pm. I'm back in the hotel room right now, but only for a couple of minutes - because the first buses to Disneyland leave at 7:45. I'll probably head down around 8:00 or 8:15 to avoid the rush.

In a nutshell - today's sessions were split down the middle between ones I found useful and ones that I wish I hadn't went to... more on that later. In the meantime, here are some pics.
My view for the sneak peeks. Hopefully some of the screenshots that I got will turn out.
I'll post lots of pics up from the California Adventure once I get back this evening.

Monday, October 17, 2005

community visibility event

I just got back from the Sponsor's Reception / Community Visibility Event at MAX, which has us User Group Manager that were able to make the trip to MAX talking with attendees and letting them know about the User Group Community and how it can help. Macromedia gets people to talk to us about the User Groups by having us give away raffle tickets to people that ask us question or show an interest in the Community. Once we give out all the tickets, Macromedia raffles up a bunch of schwag and they even gave away a copy of Studio 8!! Below is a picture of people gathering around for the raffle.

Below is Ed Sullivan giving away some of the goodies.

Tonight is going to be a quiet one, in the room. I am going to try and get some of my review projects done and play around a bit more with Flex Builder 2 - which is proving to be very impressive.

let the fun begin

Well - it's day one here at the Macromedia Conference. I'm on the lunch break and thought that it would be the perfect time to blog, seeing as I just got out of the keynote session which was a great one!

The keynote started with a presentation from Ze Frank. It was hilarious and got things going. Ze was followed by Stephen Elop, CEO of Macromedia, who thanked all the people out there that have made Macromedia what is today and asked us all to stick around for the ride to come, assuring us that we wouldn't be disappointed. Kevin Lynch handled the majority of the keynote with help from other MM employees, including one that I had the pleasure of meeting on Saturday evening. After showing a bit of Flex Builder 2, which was announced in Alpha at the keynote, Bruce Chisen, CEO of Adobe Systems, closed out the session with a great pep-talk like presentation on how things will only get better in the future.

Macromedia announced Macromedia Labs, which is a freely open developer portal, used to deliver the very latest builds of upcoming products and other assets directly out to the public in the fastest means possible. This site is live as of today and YOU can grab Flex Builder 2 Alpha and start playing with it! Yes - Macromedia rocks!

Yesterday I enjoyed the Community College, where I got to mingle with fellow User Group Managers and finally put some faces to the names. Team Macromedia members and Macromedia employees were also there. After learning some about Flex Builder 2 and the Flash Platform, it was off to the conference reception. Following the reception, Macromedia put on a User Group Manager appreciation event at Dave and Busters! It was a blast. Do you remember the skit that Dave Chappelle / Charlie Murphy did about playing basketball with Prince? Well - a very similar thing happened when I decided to play Simon Horwith at pool.

More on sessions later... I gotta run.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

now raining

Ok, so the sunshine from this morning didn't stick around too long. It's now gloomy and raining. Proof that I've been working too much and not having fun. =)

sunday morning sunshine

Today is registration day at MAX. Registration starts at Noon. Community College begins at 1:45, that means I have some down time to get caught up on some work, begin putting my portfolio site into place, study a chapter or two and maybe even get in some "quality" time with the PSP.

I should get to work - lots to do before Noon.

the move proves to be a smart one

So - I went downstairs around 9pm - hoping to meet some MAX attendees and talk Macromedia, only to be swarmed by White Sox fans fresh from the game vs. the Angels.

I decided that I should go over to the "official" Macromedia MAX conference hotel - the Mariott, which is physically just across the street. Boy, was this a great decision.

I had very good conversations with many MAX attendees at "deGrees" and had a very great night talking with Sho, Art and Bill. Good stuff. This is what MAX is all about - getting to rub shoulders and share thoughts and a drink with peers in the industry.

Awesome time - fantastic conversations about Flex Builder 2.0, AJAX, CSS, Flash, and ColdFusion and there real world usage.

I can't wait till tomorrow.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

welcome to MAX!

A very nice welcome. The convention center is a two minute walk from the Anaheim Hilton and Marriott. This is a big change from the last two years. Here's a pic of the welcome banners - ready for the attendees to start flooding in.

the challenge

Ok - so Starbucks is seriously going to make some cash from me this weekend. Here is my first, delicious White Chocolate Mocha, which I grabbed as soon as I arrived. Notice that they even put my name on it... oh yeah - they know how to suck you in.

One of the challenges that I have for myself while here at Macromedia MAX is to finish, or heck - even get started on my portfolio site. I've just purchased SlideShowPro and will use that within the site as it will save me a ton of work and the component is hot!

The second challenge is to write for another certification exam. I've brought along my CFMX study guide, but haven't yet decided if I'll write for that or for DWMX 2004. Either way - I should be hopped up on Starbucks for the entire trip - life is good.


I've arrived in Anaheim, just checked in at the Hilton and I'm running downstairs to grab a White Chocolate Mocha. Yes - there's a Starbucks in the hotel. Kevin - hurry up and buy stocks, I feel that they may be on the rise very soon. =)

Tonight I plan on preparing a bit for the conference, finishing off a couple of tech review for a couple upcoming Dreamweaver books and getting in some CF study time.

The flight was fine, hotel service has been great, bus ride here from LAX was a hoot. More to follow, with pics.

Let the fun begin.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the best $20 you'll ever spend

Seriously. If you're looking for a way to present a slideshow of pictures - this is your best bet!

Several people that I know have used it for their portfolio sites - as the tool is extremely customizable and will save you tons of time in making a professional way to show your work.

Saved time = more time for gaming.

This one's a no-brainer!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

max 2005 sessions

Here are the sessions that I'm currently signed up for at MAX:

Mon - 8:00 AM
Flash 8 Professional Authoring for Mobile Developers

Mon - 9:15 AM
What's New in Flash 8

Mon - 1:30 PM
Advanced ColdFusion MX 7 Features Exposed

Tue - 8:00 AM
Art of Encoding Video

Tue - 9:15 AM
Flash Lite 2.0 Evolution

Tue - 2:45 PM
Object-Oriented ActionScript

Tue - 4:00 PM
Developing Hybrid Applications with ColdFusion and Java

Wed - 9:30 AM
Building Expressive Content with Next Generation Flash

Wed - 1:30 PM
Integrating ColdFusion with Flex

Wed - 2:45 PM
Flash on Every Screen

Saturday, October 01, 2005

october is...

Conference Central!

I'll be making the drive up to Toronto next weekend (Oct. 8th) for DesignFest. Should be a great time, hope to see some of you there.

The weekend after that I'll be making my first trip to California for the annual Macromedia conference, affectionately known as Macromedia MAX.

This will be my fourth year in a row and second year as a User Group Manager.

This year's conference is in Anaheim, CA and I can't help but be a bit geeked about finally getting to California.

Hope to do a bit of sight seeing while I'm there....

Just for a bit of history:

2002 - DevCon 2002 happened in Orlando, FL. It was the first time I'd ever been to Florida, the trip was awesome and the highlight was when my co-worker took me to Daytona Beach so that I could see the ocean for the first time. New food: Oysters & Crab. Favorite Quote from the trip: "Heidi is my favorite month!" Who was on the trip with me: Matt Smith. Met some great people who I've managed to stay in touch with over the years. Other memorable moments: trying to beat up Scooby Doo for dissin' me at Universal Studios, staying up late drinking with the ladies from NASA, front row seats to Elvis Costello that almost cost me my life - thanks Matt

2003 - Macromedia MAX took place in Salt Lake City, UT. The extreme opposite from the previous year as far as weather goes, but it was just as great of a trip. Highlight: Passing my Flash MX Developer certification after partying all night. New food: Buffalo. Favorite Quote from the trip: "it's called Burt's Tiki Lounge?" Who was on the trip with me: Bryan Springer & Adrian Pittman.

2004 - Macromedia MAX took place in the deep south, New Orleans, LA. What a trip! I'll always remember this one, because I was crazy enough to drive down there! I seen quite a few places while passing through and took lots of pics. Highlight: Riverboat Cruise on the Mighty Mississippi. New food: Alligator. Favorite Quote from the trip: "i'm lost, can you help me get back to the hotel?" Who was on the trip with me: Bryan Springer & Adrian Pittman.

2005 - only time will tell.