Ghosts of TechEd Past -- 2002

“You want me to stop at the drive through liquor store?” Thus began my experience at TechEd 2002 in New Orleans. The cabbie’s question was only my first experience with the city’s open liquor container policy. It was my first visit to New Orleans and my group took in all the sights. Acme Oyster House, Mulate’s, Harrah’s casino, CafĂ© Du Monde, Pat O’brien’s in the French Quarter, and the, uh… rest of the French Quarter, if you know what I mean.

Technology to Snooze By

One thing they got right in 2002 was to have TechEd in April. New Orleans in June is hot (as we’ll see in the 2010 edition). Held in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the technology of the year was nothing to write home about, and it seems like few did; there’s not a lot of historical blogging available from 2002. 2002 brought us session topics like “Advanced Visual J# .NET” (Advanced you say?), “Deploying 802.11 Using Windows XP and Windows 2000 in the Enterprise”, and “Cross Platform Programming for the Pocket PC and the Smartphone 2002”. It’s amazing how some things that are totally taken for granted now were difficult problems to solve just 10 years ago. Microsoft was really pushing web services and using XML for those services. They announced SQL Server 2000 Notification Services, MapPoint .NET Web Service, and the XML Web Services Toolkit for Exchange. Let’s talk about that.

Free Admission

I wasn’t scheduled to go to TechEd 2002. Somewhere along the line, Microsoft got word of some of the work I was doing at my day job integrating Exchange into web applications. We talked on the phone and they asked if I was going to TechEd. I said that I wasn’t, but would be glad to go if they comped the price of admission. And that’s exactly what they did.

After I arrived, I met with a PR person and a Microsoft person to show them the software and I’m pretty sure they weren’t impressed (rightfully so….it was pretty lame what I had done with it). They said that they’d call me if there was a journalist who they wanted to see the app. They never called. But that was alright with me as I was already in New Orleans! Hand me another beignet.

Drinking with Manatees

The party was at The Aquarium for the Americas which is a nice aquarium on the riverfront. As usual, free food and booze. I have no idea if they actually had manatees there. There were a lot of other parties I visited that year. I went to an invite only party at the House of Blues where I saw Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters play for the first time. If you go to New Orleans, make sure you see them play. It’s a hoot. The MCP party was at Pat O’Briens on the river (which I stole a small glass from…don’t tell) and tried a Hurricane for the first time. I remember saying that after a few sips of a hurricane, it just tasted like Kool-Ade. I don’t remember much after that.

This is the second in a series of posts taking a look back at TechEd in the past 12 years. At least, of the ones I attended.

Next Up: Ghosts of TechEd Past – 2003