Monday, June 2, 2008

Microsoft Tech-Ed: Monday June 2

I woke up at 4am in order to get cleaned, packed, and off to Orlando by 7am. I arrived at the gate as they called for final boarding - just in time! 2.5 hours later, I was in Orlando with a stiff neck. Despite the stiff neck, I still think Midwest might be my favorite airline to fly. Although...I'm not sure if I slept through the fresh-baked cookies, or if they don't serve them on early morning flights. I wanted cookies!

As long as I'm reviewing things, I might as well talk about Enterprise car rentals. So far, I've been fairly happy with my two rentals with them. The cars have been clean and functional, the staff has been courteous, and their shuttles to/from the airport have been frequent and pleasant. This week, I'm stuck in a Chevy Cobalt. I cannot give that a positive review. There is no way to lock/unlock all the doors at once. Even my powerless locks in the Altima could be unlocked with a double turn of the key. The window reel thing is also placed too near to part of the door, and so I scraped my hand at the TWO toll booths (in under 10 miles - inefficient!) I had to go through to get to my hotel. Perhaps most annoying, between the front seats is an empty space. There's no arm rest, and it's very unbalancing. The only positive thing about it is it's phenomenally small turning radius, which came in handy a few times, unfortunately.

I got to the hotel and checked in about noon, but my room wasn't ready. I caught the shuttle to the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) and registered for Tech-Ed. It was a painless process, and they gave me a backpack with water bottle and a t-shirt. Free stuff! I'll have two carry-on pieces on the return flight, though, which I dislike. That's another good thing about Midwest: Their large seats reduce the number of people on the flight which leaves plenty of overhead bin space.

I still had 3 hours to kill, so I went to Subway. Based on that experience, I can't recommend Orlando Subways. It just didn't taste right. I then headed over to Wallgreen's to pick up fingernail clippers and a small tube of toothpaste. I still had a couple hours to kill, though. I went back to the hotel to look through the packet of stuff inside the backpack.

That was a boring 15 minutes finding out it was all stuff like MSDN Magazine, sample software from random companies, and a few advertisements. Perhaps if I worked more with Microsoft technologies as a developer, instead of as a partner, I'd be more excited about the sample packs of grid forms and whatnot. Still, I'm definitely looking forward to the conference stuff. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully a bit educational, too.

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