I haven’t been to TechEd for the last two years. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main reason was I didn’t really wasn’t too hip on going to Florida. Not that I have anything against Florida, but I’ve been there once and that was enough 🙂
This year is different. Tech Ed 2009 is being held in Los Angeles – the very place I spent the first 21 years of my life. I haven’t been to LA since 1993, so I thought I’d give it a shot by proposing a session on TMG outbound SSL inspection. Much to my surprise and delight, my proposal was accepted!
I arrived to LAX yesterday after an uneventful flight. Took a taxi to the hotel downtown (60 bucks! I’m finding alternate means to get back to the airport). The room is OK, not what I would call top shelf, but the most important thing about a hotel room is the quality of the Internet connection, which hasn’t failed yet so the hotel gets an “A” so far.
On Sunday (yesterday) I registered for the conference and went to the speaker’s room to let them know I was there. No problem, except they said I was already there! What’s up with that? Funny thing is, my imposter was still in the room. Turns out they gave him the wrong badge, so when they scanned it, they assumed he was me. We got that worked out and everything turned out fine. It was funny when I found out later that he was presenting on PKI – I guess he should have shown his client certificate to confirm his identity 😉
A couple of changes to this year’s conference disappointed me a bit. First, bus schedules are limited to the morning and evening. That means you’re held captive in the conference center between about 11AM and 530PM. We’ll if you want to pay for a cab, you can get out, but given the status of the surrounding area, I wouldn’t recommend walking to the conference center.
The second change, which really surprised me, was the absence of a conference party! All TechEd’s I’ve been to in the past had a big party for all attendees, usually held at a major point of interest in the community where the conference is being held. No so this year. There’s something being held in the conference center itself called something like “Rock on IT” – but it’s clear that today’s economic environment hit this conference hard. I don’t know if the event filled or not – maybe it didn’t fill and so they nixed the party on cost concerns.
I’ll be spending the morning with the IAG guys, and then after that move on over to the Prowess consulting booth. If you have a chance to make it to the exposition center, make sure to come by and visit and we can chat about ISA, TMG, IAG, UAG and Forefront security in general.
Hope to see you there!
Thomas W Shinder, M.D., MCSE
Sr. Consultant / Technical Writer