May '08

9 Weeks On The Road – OMG!

Yes, you read that correctly. In the words of an old John Denver song, “all my bags are packed and I’m ready to go”. It’s really hard to believe that I’m about to embark on this marathon trip. Even for a hardened road warrior like myself (I did 257 days on the road last year), this seems to be an incredible undertaking. I’ve been chuckling at recent questions from friends and associates as they hear about it and ask “so, where are you going?” I simply respond, the easier question is where am I NOT going…?!

For those who care, this trip will begin with a gawd-awful 5am wake-up and 6:30am pickup to head for the always lovely [sic] Sky Harbor airport here in Phoenix. Should all go as planned, the first stop on the mega-tour will be in the Netherlands, where Jason Levine and I will be holding court at the annual AVManifestation in Hilversheim. We’ll be demoing Adobe’s web/video solutions to this year’s visitors. From there, it’s a mad dash (I’ll be driving, so fasten your seatbelts) with Jason and Stephanie Sullivan down to Kortrijk, Belgium for another year’s appearance at MultiMania ’08. (The site for 2M08 is definitely worth a look – nice, all flash site.) Sadly, we won’t be hanging around for long, as it’s immediately off to Paris for the Flash Festival where I’ll be bringing folks up to speed on what’s happening in the world of Flash. Thankfully, Stephanie and I will get to spend a day enjoying Paris (sunshine, please).

Germany is next on the list with an initial stop in Karlsruhe for Webinale ’08, and then onwards to Zurich, Stuttgart, Berlin and Graz, Austria for the encore of our Adobe Masters’ Tour, featuring Jason, Rufus Deuchler and myself.

A brief stop in the US is next up – Orlando and ToDCon. I’ll be giving the keynote along with a session on Progressive Enhancement with the Spry Framework for AJAX. ToDCon is one of those really fun, small conferences where you really get to hang out and visit with both fellow speakers and attendees. I love doing this conference.

But my time on terra firma will be short-lived, as Stephanie and I will then embark on a 22 hour journey down-under, arriving just in time for WebDU. This is my other “favorite” conference – not the least of which is due to the fact that it’s held in beautiful Sydney. If the weather gods allow, we’ll be doing the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb on Sunday. I’ve already done it once, and it is truly spectacular. I just wish they allowed you to take your own camera up with you.

After a bit of a rest (it was supposed to be a 14 day vacation on the Great Barrier Reef, but alas, work calls…), I’ll be putting Stephanie back on the plane, and for me, it’s off to Seoul, Beijing, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur for the Asian leg of the Adobe Masters’ Tour.

I can assure you that when I finally see my house again on July 12th, it will be a sight for some very weary and tired eyes! But, if you’re in any of the areas I’ll be visiting along the way, please feel free to drop a comment here – especially if you know where the good beer is! And, of course, I’ll see you back right here for reports, pics and stories from the road. Cheers!


Mar '08

On the road and in the news

The time has come yet again. This week is “Amsterdam week” – doing several training sessions for our Dutch partners and a seminar for their customers. Should be a lot of fun, as the subject is Flash Media Server, Adobe Media Player and Flash video. I have to admit that I’ve actually had a lot of fun preparing for the sessions. I always enjoy getting the opportunity to delve into a new version of our software – and the newly released FMS 3 is truly a revolution. Not only did we drop the price (significantly), but we also piled on the features, including not only the ability to stream H264 content (in addition to FLV), but also to “automagically” encrypt video on the fly. This is done by simply adding an “e” to “rtmp” when creating the link to the stream. That’s it. And to make it even more amazing, it works with live video as well as recorded content. There’s tons of other cool stuff, but you can read about that yourself. In fact, I’d recommend the article that Kevin Towes recently posted to the Developer Center.

Finally, for those that missed it… there was a recent flurry of Twitter activity around a marriage proposal that I made to my co-author (and love) Stephanie Sullivan. Little did we realize just how much the “rest of the world” cared – LOL – it got picked up by Wired News! Prost!

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Mar '08

SXSW – let the fun begin!

Tomorrow the annual gathering of geeks known as South By Southwest begins, and yes, that means I’ll be packing the bags to head to the Lone Star state. It should be a lot of fun, as Adobe will be well represented. In addition to three “meet and greet” sessions known as Clicks, which are new this year, there will be several of us participating in panel discussions and demonstrations.

I will be conducting a session on Sunday (at the obscene hour of 11:30am) on “Responsible Web Design“, together with Stephanie Sullivan. During the session, we’ll be taking a look at web standards from a “standardista” approach (Stephanie) and how Adobe is addressing these issues within our software (me, duh!).

We had hoped to field an Adobe team for the annual bowling tournament, but unfortuntely, the team registration filled up faster than an Irish pub on St. Patty’s Day. Fortunately, Stephanie was able to secure two spots for herself and me on the Yahoo! team – so we’ll be slugging it out and helping them beat back the Microsoft team (get it?!). Wish us luck!

But of course the main Adobe event is sure to be the Adobe-sponsored party on Monday night at the Dirty Dog from 8-11pm. There’s sure to be a packed house – because “open bar” is like a mating call for geeks. If you’re in town for the conference (yeah, right – you’re in town for the parties, be honest), then I hope to see you there.

Now, back to packing… where is that crate of Advil that I bought at Costco?! Cheers!

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