I’ve never missed speaking at a Desert Code Camp, but this was a close call. The day started off normally enough. After running through my demos at about noon today, the video card on my standard issue Dell Latitude D830 died. First time I’d ever seen a blue screen on Windows 7, and this would be the last rendering the card would ever make. The suck that is your machine dying ever, but especially two hours before two very public talks, well, is beyond description. Remembering that the answer is always 42, oh no, wait, I mean… remembering not to panic, I grabbed my humble little Windows 7 Acer Netbook that I received at PDC 2009 and fired it up while I pulled the HDD from my now worthless Latitude. Within minutes I had my HDD out and jacked into an ESATA drive copying my demo files and decks.
It only took me about 20 minutes to migrate and fully recover my Introducing Workflow Services in WF 4 demos, since I had previously installed NET FX 4. Creating the persistence store from scratch was about the worst of it. My second talk, Building Composite Application Services with Windows Server AppFabric would prove far more nail biting and problematic. I had to install Server AppFabric from scratch on this little netbook, which meant I also had to get IIS 7 and WAS configured. I configured hosting, monitoring and caching and as I went to set up my caching demo (again!), I glanced at my clock in the toolbar… it was 1:50 pm. 40 minutes had gone by. I was out of time, with 25 minutes to go until my first talk at 2:15. No caching demo.
About 10 minutes away from campus, I get a call from my friend @coneybeer, who understandably was concerned. He’d seen my tweets and hadn’t seen me on campus. I let him know I’d be there ASAP as I was flying down the 202. Since he’d offered, I called him as soon as I got on campus as I’d never been the Chandler Community Center. He met me up front and escorted me to room IRN-128 with exactly one minute to spare.
I shared my adventures with a full room of code campers as I fired up my netbook and hooked up the projector. Just when I thought it could not suck worse, I got a friendly notice when I opened up my WF deck that the Office 2010 Beta had expired. F! Again mouthing the soothing words inscribed on the front cover of that timeless tome, I had an idea. I got on the guest WIFI network quickly and easily (score @jguadagno and @coneybeer!) and headed over to Windows Live. I logged in, pushed my deck up to my Sky Drive and exhaled deeply as I clicked the link to the deck and viola- CLOUD FOR THE WIN! I was in business and delivered the talk flawlessly over Windows Powerpoint Web App.
Fortunately, my second talk went off without a hitch, which I also presented off of Windows Powerpoint Web App, and with the exception of having to skip my first caching demo, the rest of the demos went just fine.
I want to thank @jguadagno, @coneybeer and all of the great volunteers for putting on another fantastic code camp event. And now, without further ado, I give you the goods.
Questions, comments? Drop me a line or catch me on Twitter.