System z Technical Conference – Dresden

(Originally posted 2008-05-09.)

I’m going to try something different this year – and composing this using OpenOffice Writer on my new ASUS EEE PC while flying home is certainly different. But what’s new is not documenting all the bits and pieces I learnt. Instead I’m going to give some impressions:

  • On Monday afternoon we had an enforced evacuation from the conference centre and much of the environs – because of a World War II bomb (that the local paper said was dropped by the US Air Force.) I think everybody was forced to tour Dresden  – which is well worth visiting. It’s a great cultural city.
  • Next time I’m going to ditch the jacket as it made me think I had to drag my backpack on wheels one mile each way each day. Far better to carry it – except in San Antonio last year when it was far too hot and humid.
  • Next time I’m going to follow the conference instructions and book my hotel well in advance so I don’t have to do the long commute on foot each day. Yeah right. 🙂
  • Next time I’m going to be fit enough to go the distance. Yeah right. 🙂
  • It’s handy to sit in sessions you already know a fair amount about – to get you thinking. Example: Peter Enrico’s excellent presentation on WLM samples. (I think my code needs working on as a result of that.) 🙂
  • There is lots going on in the “Web 2.0 and z/OS” space. Thanks to Kevin Keller and Holger Wunderlich for that.
  • Perhaps I shouldn’t assume everyone knows what CFCC Dynamic Dispatch is. I got a question on that.
  • There might be “unintended consequences” in z10 HiperDispatch disabling IRD’s Logical CP Management. And there was a good question on that.
  • Colin Paice from Hursley really is a very good speaker.
  • Twitter is useful as a way of raising consciousness about conferences going on -and it’s also good at helping people find each other.
  • It was good to run into Aneel Lakhani in person. He’s in the category of “I don’t know precisely why I know him but I know him from BlogCentral and I’m glad I know him” people. (BlogCentral is IBM’s internal blogging site.)
  • To the customer who said she was doing a thesis on Web 2.0 yes we really do encourage all IBMers to dive head first into Web 2.0 and social networking in general. Yes, we have guidelines (which I contributed a little to) but nobody finds them restrictive. I wish more companies were like this.
  • It’s great to have a tour guide who grew up in this part of the world and who went to university in Dresden. Thanks Barbara!
  • My manager is following me on Twitter. But that knowledge doesnt seem to have inhibited me in the slightest. 🙂 I’m still goading him into (hopefully) joining me there.
  • I got a chance to forewarn lots of Poughkeepsie folks I’ll be in town in a couple of weeks. If they scarper, given this amount of notice, I will take it personally. 🙂
  • I found lots of customers considering doing Data Sharing at non-trivial distances. So the Redbook ought to reflect that.
  • People agreed with me that the CF Structure CPU support in CFLEVEL 15 and RMF will make life much easier for Parallel Sysplex customers.

So, roll on UKCMG in only a few days time. When I won’t have to watch my language so carefully. 🙂

And my experience of composing this on the EEE is:

  • The machine is nice and small – so it doesn’t feel cramped on the tray table.
  • The keyboard will take some getting used to as it’s small (but the screen, though small, is just fine).
  • OpenOffice is a new package to me so I’m finding its quirks. (But I have to find them somehow anyway.) 🙂
  • OpenOffice’s “Export to HTML” seems to export in a fairly style-rich way when I’d rather have had minimalistic HTML. I expect I can easily fix that.
  • OpenOffice’s “Export to PDF” works really nicely (and quickly). I was only messing about when I tried it but I was impressed.

I really do like this EEE. It’s a cheap Linux machine that’s easy to do LAMP stuff on. (On the way to Dresden I learnt a bit of Ruby.) But this has been the first (and I think successful) test of using it to do real work. If you can call blogging real work. 🙂

And the motivation for trying out Linux and OpenOffice is because I expect to be using them on my main machine within the next month or two. I have to start on the learning curve somewhere (or at least some time).

And finally thanks to all the customers and fellow presenters who made this a great conference for me.

Published by Martin Packer

I'm a mainframe performance guy and have been for the past 35 years. But I play with lots of other technologies as well.

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