This week MIX:UK
was held in London and this post covers a few moments that stood out for me.
On Wednesday I attended the Micro Presentations sessions in which presenters have to present 20 slides with each slide timed to automatically move on after 20 seconds so the whole presentation is 6 minutes and 40 seconds. This is a lot tougher than it looks and you really need to be sure of your subject, what you are going to say and exactly how long 20 seconds is. I haven’t done this format before but hope to give it a go sometime. From the presentations that I saw my guess is that it would be really useful to have a digital timer on the desk in front of you counting down 20 seconds ad infinitum. Dave McMahon and Richard Costall were in excellent form with their "Running A User Group" duet presentation where they "accidentally" messed up their start point and all of the slides were out of step by one slide with their speech. This one must have required quite a bit of preparation. Never a dull moment with these guys. Poor old Jack Hoxley had to follow them and you had to feel sorry for him as the unspoken words "follow that!" went through my mind and almost certainly his as well. Alex Homer gets everyone’s award for coming closest to breaking the rules without actually breaking them by starting his presentation going, sitting down, not talking for the whole presentation and letting his slides do the work.
Scott Guthrie gave 4 presentations over the two days and almost filled the keynote room in every one. As usual Scott was excellent and well worth the money. When the sessions are available on line you should watch these if you aren’t up to speed with WPF, Silverlight, Visual Studio 2008 and LINQ.
Dave McMahon and Richard Costall were back again to revise their Swaggily Fortunes game show. This is one of those parts of our community that we’ll look back on in 10 years time and say "do you remember Swaggily Fortunes ?".
The social event on Tuesday evening had a very talented caricaturist, Luisa Calvo (http://wickedcaricatures.com
), who kindly drew this picture of me. People say it looks like me. It’s hard to say when it’s yourself.
The closing session was entitled "Sneak Peeks" and was a collection of new technologies and ideas coming in the future. In technology terms I would have to say that Jon Harris’ demonstration of C Dragon was the most interesting for me. C Dragon is realtime zooming in Silverlight 1.1. This means that you can zoom in on any image supplied by Silverlight 1.1. At first sight you might dismiss this but consider how it works: the images on your page can be tiny, low-resolution thumbnails that take no effort to download but C Dragon supports real time zooming into an image where the high-resolution image is streamed to the client as the magnification factor increases. The result is that you can have very, high resolution images on a page where the high resolution version is only downloaded as and when it is needed. Very clever. The other highlight of Sneak Peeks for me was Simon Peyton Jones’s Software Transactional Memory presentation. Simon is from Microsoft Research in Cambridge and he was certainly the best presenter of the conference. Fantastic delivery and enthusiasm. If you’re interested in improving your speaking skills watch the video of this guy and learn.
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, Dave McMahon
, Richard Costall