Back from DevDays

Fri, June 15, 2007, 11:30 AM under Random
Just came back from a few busy days in Amsterdam. I have been to Amsterdam a few times before and given the busy schedule I didn't venture anywhere beyond the hotel and the RAI (the venue) other than one night for dinner in an Italian restaurant with funny man Rob Miles. In fact, I ordered a lemon tart and got a cake with a bit of lemon on the side! Rob has a photo of it here.

Anyway, I have to say, I was very impressed with this event. The sound system/microphone was the best I have ever used. The food was fresh and healthy (no cans of coke, or packet of crisps or chocolate bars and other junk food like that). There was a geeky buzz about the place and the Dutch were a wonderful audience – very interactive and kind enough to laugh at my bad jokes. Some of them even let me to devalue their fresh purchase by asking me to sign it.

The screen in the auditorium (capacity 2K people) was one of the largest I have ever seen. The screen had a feature that must be every presenter's dream, but is very hard to describe: it was split in two where on one side they showed the presenter's face and on the other the slides.

No, that isn't the killer feature yet. When the presenter switches to a demo, the face bit becomes smaller and goes to the corner, and a 3rd viewport appears on the screen in the middle.

So now you have 3 squares (1 small showing the presenter, 1 large showing the demo machine plus 1 more that is also large). The new one that appears in the middle is a magnifier for the demo machine, controlled by people backstage! So while you, as the presenter, are doing your demo as usual, someone else makes sure that the important bits are magnified for the audience on a separate screen. Pure genius.

Overall, I'd be more than happy to go back to DevDays in coming years. The organiser picked only speakers that he had seen present at other events previously and hence was confident they would be good for his event. He covered expenses for speakers which was refreshing for a large international conference. Congrats on a good show and thanks for inviting me Arie!
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