Friday, January 30, 2009


Staying busy. I am now the Executive Director of ARH, and will be meeting more frequently with leaders of the University, which is certainly good news. I will need to work harder on being organized and getting everything done to it's fullest. Taking 18 credit hours, getting a lot done with the Open Source University Meetup, and working towards building everything from the ground up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

MDC Chicago

I just got back from the MDC (Microsoft Developer's Network MSDN Developer's Conference) in Chicago. It was very interesting, and definitely fun and exciting. We attended a few of the different sessions, learned about the latest things from Microsoft, and more.

  • Azure - Microsoft wants you to deploy your apps on their azure service, thereby taking over the world again (this was actually said!).

  • Future Of Languages - Learned a little about the future evolutions to VB and C# .NET. They will be trying to make the two run more parrallel. One thing is they added fake dynamic typing. You statically define a variable to be dynamic "dynamic thisvar1 = 5".

  • WomenBuild - Was very interesting. We expressed concepts via legos, like "model with the legos a particular diversity issue you can think of" and then modeled solutions. Probably the most interactive part of the conference.

I'm still processing most of the conference, though, so I have more to say simply just about being in Chicago and that overall experience. The Trip Overall was... expensive, but I learned a lot in a number of ways.

  • Don't Park Downtown Chicago - It was $48 for overnight at our hotel. I bet we would have saved $10-$20 parking elsewhere downtown, but it was so confusing!

  • The Hyatt Regency Club was awesome. By asking the right questions, and booking online, we got the Regency Club in the west tower for nothing extra. The room in the conference hotel was, however, already $180 with taxes. We got free snacking from 7 to 8:30, free desert until 9:30, and free Sierra Mist all night.

  • The Subway is cool but expensive. I used Google Maps "By Public Transit" to get around chicago, it was amazing and said to use the Red Line subway/train. $4.50 for both of us to get there, and $4.50 to get back (we went to Chinatown).

  • The Conference Food was great too. Very awesome.

  • Total Costs: $180 Room, $48 Parking, $9 Subway, $20 Lunch at Noodles Place - Minimum Total: $257. I'm probably missing something, so it was probably more. Expensive city.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I'm in Chicago right now, staying overnight to await the MSDN Developer's Conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Although I'd rather attend a Java conference of some sort, and I don't have tomorrow's plan laid out yet, I'm still having a great time here. We spent a little time downtown, and then took the subway to Chinatown. It was exciting to see all the cool things there, but I haven't bought anything (just the hotel and parking itself are expensive!!)

Tomorrow is the conference, and hopefully I'll learn something - or at least get some top-notch prizes.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter Break

Winter break continues here, and I'm still not in the comfort of my room. That's the primary reason I'll be getting an apartment here in Iowa City, because I can't take an entire month away from all my most important possessions. Not that I'm being materialistic, but I need access to my main computer to get a lot of work done. It's tough setting up ad-hoc work areas wherever I go - I need my desk, too.

Fortunately, it will be ending soon – and also I will be soon enough signing an apartment lease. I've already got my plans for getting the location I want, and they'll take a lot of work. In the end, it'll be worth it and I'll have a great place to keep all the computer systems I need access to, along with great proximity to campus.

Much work to be done. Charge forward!