LS2011Day 1, Monday
OGS at #LS11. Where to start? The opening music from the Mass Ensemble was just excellent. The huge harp was stellar. The surprise guest this year was Kevin Spacey. He was pretty engaging and better than last years' Kirk. Then the 'have-to-say-this-many-times-because-of-the-press-and-analysts' section, which lasted too long. For us Belgians, we had a bit of a 'Proud' moment, when Geert Tilborghs of KBC was on stage. The first ever OGSser from Belgium. Of course everyone was eagerly awaiting the demos. It took a while, but finally we were treated with a very refreshing 'Brian'. He was invigorating. Some nice new enhancement for the Notes client, like e.g. Shared calendars. Then we saw some new stuff for LotusLive, Quickr and Connections: the almost final incarnations of project Vulcan and Concord. Pretty cool. Connections is going to have embedded email, with a Domino or MS Exchange back-end (indeed!). Sametime Next is going to have integrated audio and video. So, overall not so bad.
Some personal notes:

  • Lotus brand is missing again (name dropping ;-)
  • XPages was mentioned only once
  • During the panel discussion
  • NO product was mentioned.
Next up, a few sessions: Maureen showed some neat things to come in 8.5.3.
Rob Novak and Viktor Krantz doing their 'Great Code Giveaway' for the Xth time. Very useful stuff. I'll sure use it! Many thanks (again).
The rest of the afternoon I spent at the Product Showcase. Quite a lot of show-goers, and most of the vendors seemed happy. Saw some cool things, like the upcoming DatabaseEZ from Ytria, and the Database Explorer from Panagenda.

Around 18h the 'social' part is starting :-)
The product showcase reception with relatively decent Mexican XX beer and excellent spring rolls. Had a chat with a lot of people.
At Bill and Joe's yearly cocktail party: that sidecar kicked ass! Tx guys.
At 20h the BLUG hosted a dinner at the Blue Zoo restaurant for 30 attendees from Belgium. Thanks IBM/Laurent for sponsoring this great initiative. It really brings people together. The food was excellent, and the 'La Crema' Chardonnay and Pinot Noir was highly appreciated.
I sneaked out of the dinner for half an hour, to join the UKLUG party over at Shula's. Crowded and loud as usual, but great atmosphere, and always fun.
At 22.30h the dinner was over, and I went over to Kimonos. Sat at  table with Bob Picciano, Doug Cox and Nathan Freeman. Very approachable guys. They let me share some delicious sushi, and the best sake I've ever had.
Bob, Doug and Scott the turtle did a karaoke act. 'Soul man' became 'Lotus man' (Bob is still proud he is the first Lotus GM to have been on stage at Kimonos 2 years ago)
Rob Novak and Jess Stratton had the best voices of the evening.

Got back to my room at 1.45h at night. I had a BOF at 7h so it would be a short night indeed !

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