Archive for October, 2007
Photos are up from both Melissa and I’s time in Seattle as well as photos from the Educause 2007 conference. Some of them turned out really nice, especially the ones of an outing to the space needle at night.
Check them out in the photo gallery.
Craver recently posted a picture of his wife; I thought I might follow suit. I just got back from a conference where I’ve been away from my beauitful wife for three and a half days and Aidan for a week. It’s good to see them again. Following is a picture I grabbed of her in Seattle, slightly outside of the area where Tom Hanks character lived in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. Isn’t she pretty?
So, got into San Francisco’s Airport tonight (I’ll let you fill that one in) and I’m sitting here getting some work done across from ‘The Mission Bar and Grill’. It was a bit of a chore for me to get here and I ended up almost getting lost; at the last moment my flight from Seattle got booted to another carrier and, as a result, I had to exit and re-enter security tonight. SF’s security leaves alot to be desired; where Seattle was clean, easy, and quick San Francisco’s has left me glad that I didn’t have to do this at 5 p.m. I was sitting there trying to get on my clothes and the trays were coming off the conveyor at a pretty brisk pace and bumping my stuff off onto the floor. It’s not easy putting on shoes and a belt and repacking your stuff while people are pushing around you in a narrow aisle. I could complain about having to leave security, but let’s just say SF’s airport leaves a bit to be desired for aesthetics as well; in the section I’m in, Bloomington’s beats it hands down.
Anyway, enough complaining. I got a chance to get a little bit of work done and realized another thing I like about airports; I’m sitting across the way from ‘Mission Bar and Grill’, waiting for my flight to board and it’s striking how much of it’s own world an airport is. Although different places take on a different feel and there is small differences between the architecture of these places, terminals are essentially a hegemony of Hudson News, rows of chairs, grey or light purple burber carpet, and people who seemingly appear out of nowhere and are there for just minutes (or hours sometimes). There’s a very strange familiarity and oddness about traveling a thousand miles only to find a very similar environment when you land. It’s a bit disruptive to see a space that looks like the one you left in the previous city. It’s almost makes the journey seem a little less of a journey.
Breaking up the commonality of such spaces are ones like this:
This is the common food area in Seattle’s airport (picture taken by me tonight). It was just beautiful to sit there and watch the sunset on the other side of this 60 foot high wall.
Anyway, I could go on, but it’s time to board that midnight train to Chicago.
I got back from the conference last night and remember, quite to my online embarassment, why I don’t blog the conference; the days are just too full. After about 5 hours of sleep on Wednesday night, waking up at 6:30 yesterday on Thursday morning, having a presentation in the afternoon, and then getting back at 11 last night and packing the last thing I really wanted to do was blog. So, I have plenty of notes, and am preparing to distill them into some prevelant themes of the conference this year, but unless I live blog it, I need to remember to not have intentions of blogging nightly.
In some respects, it reminds me of the days at Urbana; even more so this year. I was in a nice hotel, but for the 5 hours a day I saw it, usually with my eyes closed, it was nice.
Tonight will be fun; instead of taking a later afternoon flight that will get me into B-N via bus, I’m opting in for a connection through San Diego that will allow me to get some sleep, hopefully, as I experience the ‘red eye’ to Chicago with a final flight to Bloomington-Normal that will arrive at 10 a.m. My thought is that I can catch some good reading, listening to music and just generally having fun instead of a bus ride .
Day 1 started out with a talk on leadership from Delores Kerns-Goodwin on Leadership where she outlined some principles of leadership based on her study of Lincoln. I’m appreciative of some of my training in school with InterVarsity in that much of what she talked about rang true and was familiar. One of the more interesting things she talked about was the idea that people’s personal ambition often trumps public desire for ambition; that there are other things that are important besides ‘success’. I suspect that it rang true with others in the room as well.
One of the more useful sessions of the day was title ‘Open Source Software: Mirage or Reality’ and was a discussion on implementing Open Source/Community Source software in Higher Ed. What facinated me was that there were a large number of people doing a large number of things; they even went as far as installing SUSE Desktop as the OS platform for their organization. It was encouraging to see just how many people had a significant investment within the Open Source space. Although there were a mix of zealots and realists in the room, the conversion was surprisingly productive. Open Source will most likekly continue to be a larger player as the next few years pass.
Another encouragement from that session was people confirming the idea that for revenue generating agencies, producing code sometimes is a function of revenue and release cycle where with Open Source the drive is reputation. Not that companies don’t do that, but Open Source developers will seek to protect their reputation.
There seems to be a number of clicker companies that have cropped up this year with the highlight for me being Interview – they produce a clicker response package that isn’t dependent on PowerPoint and receivers that auto-sense what channel they set themselves to. Classes figure out what channel they belong to based on natural language descriptions of the different channels available. What’s interesting too is that clickers are being sold for considerably less that their competitors.