Tuesday, December 07, 2004

NZ tour done - on to Adelaide

Monday night's Auckland presentation and Tuesday's presentations in Christchurch and Wellington are done, and overall, they went pretty well. I got around 40 people in at Auckland, and outstanding 56 for a lunchtime session in Christchurch and about 30 or so in Wellington (apparently I was competing with one of the main IT Christmas parties held in Wellington). This is the Christchurch crowd just before I kicked-off:

The two highlights of Tuesday where the guided tour of Christchurch that Peter Jones (who runs the user group down there) provided, and Helen Hunt's (the Unisys developer, not the actress) tour of Wellington. Peter took my up to the top of some mountain that overlooks a lot of Christchurch, and provided my only glimpse of what I imagined the real NZ to look like:

Helen took me on a guided tour of Wellington after the user group meeting, which was even more generous considering she was (coincidentally) on the same 6am flight to Sydney as me. We went up to the top of Mount Victoria and also around the dock areas of Wellington:

Sunday, December 05, 2004

MSDN Update Comes to Auckland

I'm in Auckland tonight for the second leg of the MSDN Update tour. Melbourne and Sydney are done and went pretty well, and I've made a few modifications to the slide deck to hopefully make them more visual and interactive. WSE (or any RPC/ IPC technology) is fairly dry, and there isn't some WinForms-like demo that can capture what you are trying to talk about. Showing a screen-full of raw SOAP message headers is pretty boring stuff, and I think it would be useless to most of the audience.

I haven't been to NZ before, and its a pity that I can't spend more than 2 days here. Seeing the city and the main tourist attraction barely scratches the surface of a city, and you really need to get out into the suburbs and beyond to experience a place. My preferred tourism strategy is to get a hire care and deliberately seek out places that aren't popular with tourists. Tourism centres are designed to rip money out of you and present some pre-canned packaged experience that someone with a marketing degree has dreamed up. While this can be fun for a while, I tire of it very quickly, and there is nothing more satisfying than finding a hidden gem to visit that doesn't even rate a mention in a Lonely Planet tour guide.

Tomorrow, it's Christchurch at 11am and Wellington at 6pm.

A few shots of and from the Skytower: