February 2007


I recently attended the “Future of Web Apps” conference organised by the friendly guys at Carson Systems. It very much consisted of ups and downs, I think I’ll just summarise as follows:

Ups:

  • last.fm talk: in depth history, tech talk, passionate guys who really enjoy doing what they’re doing
  • openid: it’s there! basically everybody that matters in the world is now behind it, yay!
  • soocial and social: the guy from soocial.com gave a talk that was a breath of fresh air, but really my best bit of the conference was meeting up with friends and heading to the pub afterwards

Downs:

  • no free wifi: no free wifi, no free wifi *sniff* (stupid BT; Ryan – if only you’d told us more straight away)
  • odd mix of talks: looking back at the speaker list I’m sure that more than half of the talks should have been ok, but that’s not the experience I remember, I think a non-techy focus simply left some talks missing depth

Also, as I mention in the title, I got to meet Rasmus Lerdorf the creator of PHP. The first 5 years of my working life were spent building Content Management Systems using PHP so I was quite glad to meet him (in fact I told him that he’d “made my career” though I may have meant it a little tongue-in-cheek). I shook his hand, name dropped Stig Bakken (who used to work for my parent company and with whom I had maybe 2 IM exchanges) and told him a little about my past use of PHP. Don’t know if it meant much to him, with Stefan of moo fame thanking him for the past 10 years of PHP I doubt it did, but I’m happy I met him anyway.

To finish off, I couldn’t talk about FOWA without linking through to Stuart’s excellent notes from the days. I’ve already used them a number of times to remind me of things I heared.

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…and so I thought I would recount a memory from a cycle trip last summer:

In June 2006 I cycled from Hornsea on the east coast of England to Southport on the west coast of England. I followed a route called the Trans Pennine Trail which is a 213 mile (344km) route across the country that takes you across the pennines, on roads, along canals and following the paths of disused railways. I know that it was a long and tiring trip, but since doing it I’ve manage to forget most of the bad parts and now remember it as a great feat that I would even consider again (apart from the fact that there’s lots of other things I could do instead).

Until just a few minutes ago when for no particular reason I remembered something from the first day (which is always the worst as you’re just getting used to spending the day doing exercise). It could only have been a few hours into the cycle but I remember saying to my brother in law: “The best thing about this type of trip is the planning isn’t it? Maybe next year we should plan an amazing trip cycling across Cyprus, go into full detail finding equipment and flights, then go to the pub.”

This year I’ve decided that I’m going to try to enter the London to Brighton bike ride. That one’s “only” 55 miles, but it’s still more than I’d done when I made the aforementioned statement. It’s also a race. I’m fairly hopeful that I’ll be able to get through it but I’m definitely going to have to start training soon.

Wish me luck…

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