Drupalcon

iPad's greatest flaw

ipad_connect_to_itunes.pngA post on Dave Winer's blog today reminded me that I've been meaning to write about the big flaw in the iPad. Actually it is a flaw in iOS but I notice it most on the iPad.

First a little background. I've had an iPad for as long as they've been around and eagerly stood in line for the iPad 2's new cameras. More than the first iPad the iPad 2 is a transformative device. It is comfortable to hold in bed to read, it has an amazing cover that just works and it's a bright white color instead of the heavy black. (How the color affects the perception of weight is another topic for another day.)

As awesome as the device is for me. It comes with a horrible flaw. This first came to light the very night I picked it up. After the headache of convincing my credit card issuer that yes it really was me staying in a hotel and buying an iPad at an Apple store I met a friend and we headed out for dinner. Being a Drupalcon dinner there were plenty of tech folks. Since the line for Chicago pizza was longer than the line for the iPad 2 we had plenty of time to talk. Eventually I succumbed to peer pressure and opened the box.

While peeling away the shrink wrap on the box (even the box is slightly smaller than the previous iPad) thoughts of taking a few pictures of the group with the new iPad came to mind. With a creative group of smart people what could we do with this new technology while waiting for a dinner with a week's caloric intake? And then all at once it happened.

Kicking off Drupalcon with APIs

Drupalcon is off to a great start. Yesterday afternoon and this morning we met all kinds of great Drupal folks while passing out the free Acquia t-shirts and sharing the news about several recent releases. If you haven't had the chance to check out the new Acquia Drupal Stack Installers. The installers bring a Windows and Mac OS X installer to the desktop that install and setup all of the components necessary (Apache, MySQL, PHP and Acquia Drupal) to get started running a Drupal site.

Getting to Drupalcon

On the trip to the airport I was reflecting on just where Drupal has taken me. On one hand having chosen nearer the beginning of the decade to use this open source PHP-based content management system was a short-term decision. I had websites and they needed to be done. The solution was easily Drupal. Sure there was the roll-your-own option. But I've been there and there is little way to get around the idea that proprietary website management is for the birds.

In a literal sense Drupal has powered travels across the country. The wonderful thing about Drupal travel is the community.

Wherever you go from coast to coast and continent to continent there are fascinating people to meet. In a career sense Drupal has certainly been the right choice. Not only has it been a tool that has enabled me to do things to impress those who write my paychecks but a year ago it became my full-time job.

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Here we have the obligatory last post of 2008. The lists of things that changed this year could fill volumes. Waiting for the fireworks last year, in a house with no blinds on the windows, we were just getting started on the new adventure. Quite an adventure it has been too.

Starting a new Drupal consultancy at the beginning of the year. Getting more involved in the Drupal community and wrapping up the winter with a visit to Boston for my first Drupalcon. Even a few months in Drupalcon was a chance to renew friendships and make many new friends.

After a winter of travel and coming home to Idaho we came home and got down to work. Several projects cranked out and lots of Drupaling later it came time for a summer of travel. From Oregon to Maryland the trips were great. Once again it seemed everywhere I landed the topic of conversation was Drupal. One of the highlights was spending hours manning the Drupal booth at OSCON with Kieran, who would soon become a colleague at Acquia though that wasn't to come till a little later.

Uncluttering conference bags

Conference bags have long been a source of frustration. Since my early days in the publishing industry I've been collecting, culling and donating them. It seems such a waste to have such nice and pricey bags go to waste or be used only a week before being recycled. Certainly there is somebody who gets use from it eventually but it has long seemed there must be a better way. Thanks to Drupalcon we now know for sure.

Drupalcon's bag, pictured here, was made of the lightweight material that makes up many reusable grocery bags. As a mater of fact, now that the conference is over I have another grocery bag. It would be great if more conferences would go this route. We will know real progress has been made when the disposable bags on trade show floors are replaced with reusable versions. Actually it will be real progress when the last trade show dinosaur is gone. But that's a topic for another post.

Boston bound...

Sitting in the late winter sun at Boise airport en route to Boston. A night of flying lies ahead and then an early morning arrival on the other coast and several jam-packed days of Drupal. Looking at the schedule I'm really excited. There are some great sessions on tap. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to solve all my double bookings but that will come in time.

Of course the alert just came through that the Boise to San Francisco flight is running 102 minutes late. Should still leave time for clam chowder at SFO. Between now and then I'll settle for watching the airplanes come and go on a blue-sky day. More time to work on modules and themes I'd hoped to get done before leaving.

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