Wow. I meant to post yesterday, but I was extremely busy and I was so exhausted I could not even blog about it. I went to a number of sessions, but missed portions of the afternoon ones. I missed the session on UI design because I was talking to people about ShareWrap. There is a lot of interest and excitement about the product activation system that does not "phone home".
Microsoft is here at the conference and they had a session where they presented something that is shipping with their Visual Studio .NET 2005 product called the "Shareware Starter Kit". I will be publishing a PowerPoint presentation that describes what all has to be used in order to get it to actually work in the first place.
At the exhibit I was literally swamped. I was executing about three conversations at once and needed to be doing about five at a time to keep up with the rate of people arriving. Thankfully the PowerPoint presentations explained both what the Microsoft SSK (that's the acronym for the system) actually required in order to set it up and the fact that it was developed in 5 weeks. To compare: The average product activation system takes about 4-6 months to develop. Of course, on the positive side, they are utilizing about a dozen technologies that are proven. However, I honestly think that the startup developer can't afford those technologies, but it is a nice gesture. I will be putting up the PowerPoint presentation on the Microsoft SSK up on the ShareWrap website (www.ShareWrap.com). I think the majority of the crowd saw the system and were wondering why Microsoft was even bothering to try, but having a central description of the system is useful if you know anyone who is excited about or interested in it. Even the C# users here at the conference were, well, not exactly enthusiastic, but some developers in other languages appeared interested in using the system even with its restrictions.
Anyway, I made a surprising discovery here: About 25% of the top shareware developers use Delphi. So much for ShareWrap being a C++ library. Well, not entirely true. I have business cards and contact information for those who are using Delphi. So, for the next few months I will be slightly busy creating ports of the ShareWrap system to other compilation environments and bringing the subsystems online that are not exposed yet in the SDK. I know enough Pascal to be dangerous. So, if anyone has connections to really great Pascal groups and links to books on the Delphi language, I would appreciate that.
I am sort of out of it today being exhausted and, for some weird reason, I keep waking up at 7 a.m. Highly unusual because I always wake up with an alarm clock. Maybe when they deliver the morning paper here at the hotel, of which I just read the headlines on my way out of the room because I can't stand the texture of newsprint.
Some of the best quotes of the conference came during the day's sessions. Phil Schnyder of Avanquest is the most hilarious character ever. I'm probably embarrassing him with repeating some of his quotes from his session on Sales and Marketing Strategies, but when someone says stuff like, "When you fill out your forms, be sure to say that I look like Mel Gibson", "I don't really market to left-handed dentists," and "Oh! You're a lawyer? We have a special [$395] version for you!" the session is worth every second. He does look like Mel Gibson. Whoever that is...