Joint me in Amsterdam!

Oooh, bad one, I know... Hey, how about this: I thought I was going on vacation until I had a look through Richard Legget's very cool Flashlite Spark app today (soon to be released to the hungry masses from what I hear) and realized that I'm MCing the Open Source Flash workshow, giving two talks and chairing the Open Source Flash panel -- umm, and making an appearance at MMUG NL where the topic will be... drumroll... Open Source Flash! (Do you guys see a pattern here?!) Vaca-wha'? Seriously though, it's so exciting to see the Open Source Flash movement causing such waves in the community and I'm psyched that I'll get to see some great friends in Amsterdam and bitch about usability and stuff too in the process.

So if you want to catch me live (no guarantees I'll be kicking), here are some events that I'll be in various levels of awakeness at:

15th: Arrive in Amsterdam at around 6.30pm. Get lost -- try to find hotel. Give up. Stumble onto a coffee shop. Get stoned. Miraculously locate hotel many hours later on forgotten map tucked into left pocket.

16th: Something tells me I have to get up early to MC the Open Source workshop. I'm not sure why Stewart called it MCing. I'm slightly worried that there will be turntables and vinyl records involved. Some amazing people are going to be holding hugely informative sessions during the workshop. Me and the dancing girls are purely for entertainment value so try not to focus on our amazing antics.

17th: 3.45 - 4.45pm - Open Source Flash Revolution (Paradiso) -- Wherein Aral tries to show off all the cool Open Source Flash stuff on his new Ubuntu installation (note to self: Install Ubuntu after this.) Fingers crossed. Anyway, no one will know if I fail to pull it off and end up showing stuff on Windows instead. (2nd note to self: It's not very clever to install linux for the first time in your life a few days before a presentation just to make a point.)


10 - 11am - Open Source Flash Panel (Theatre, De Balie) Where's it all heading? Where should it go? Why is it free? Please sir, may I have some more? These questions and more will be side-stepped with great skill as we engage in group psychadelics in a really cool decked out theatre hall. Expect opinions. Bring your own. Share.

2.30 - 3.30pm - Usability as competitive advantage (Cinema, De Balie) Our industry is seriously screwed up. I'm sure there are more eloquent ways of putting it but I'm not entirely convinced that, when sporting an industry-wide ~60-75% project failure rate, we deserve anything but a blunt wake up call. If you make the mistake of asking me (without clearing your appointments for the rest of the day first), you'll get to watch a long-winded (yet strangely endearing) animated feature about how I see software development as risk management. And how, in order to create successful applications, you need three things: Good people, a good process and your sonic translators surgically attached to the opinion amplifiers of your users. (Pizza helps too.) Good people have seemingly super-human qualities that can save a project even when faced with project managers and a management team who (a) were born, bred and lead happy, fulfilled lives in the Stone Age, (b) had empathy-gland surgery at an early age, (c) shed their ears at puberty in exchange for an abundance of pubic hair and (d) have an unexplainable urge to shoot themselves in the foot at regular intervals while simultaneously blaming the development team for a lack of bandages and Paracetamol. (And, if left in such situations for extended periods of time, these good people will ultimately burn out, switch jobs, or start doing all their shopping on, switch jobs and then burn out -- some also get hamsters -- ok, that's a rumour... I don't believe that one. Seriously, I don't. Nothing to see here...) Yeah, so this session's going to be fun, you can tell, right? I'll leave the other two for the talk...

See you all in HAMSTER DAMN! GET IT JOEY!.. THERE IT IS... Don't let it get away... damn, critter... he is mighty cute though... gotta love hamsters... what was I saying?