Fun time at GLUG, GANG and TechSmith in Michigan

Funny that my last post was a week ago as I was on my way to Michigan. Perhaps the fact that I have been silent for a whole week is testimony to the fact that I was having too much fun to sit down and blog about it!

Both user groups got “the same” presentation: Overview of ADO.NET Entity Framework, but as Jeff McWherter, (who attended both talks and did a lot of driving to do so!) notes, it was very different from one night to the next.

The first night was at the Microsoft office in Southfield, outside of Detroit, at the GANG user group. This one wasn’t an INETA sponsored event, but as long as I was so close for the next night’s meeting, I just came in a day early to do it. There were a whole bunch of fun and friendly folks there and I got asked a lot of great questions. It was also great to see some familiar faces such as Patrick Steele and Josh Holmes (who was on the INETA speaker bureau until he swallowed the red pill and became a D.E.).

The next night I spoke at GLUG in Lansing Michigan. But first I was treated to some local flavor thanks to u.g. leader Joe Kunk who was a great tour guide. Lansing is the capital of Michigan and Joe works for the House and was able to give me a great tour of the incredible and recently renovated state capital building. THen I was treated to lunch at a classic lunch spot called “Kewpees” where I experienced their famous Olive Burger. It took a little encouragement from Joe before I ordered it, but it was pretty good! I found the website with the Kewpee history where I learned that Kewpees was a chain but there are only a few left. One was actually in Utica, NY, about an hour from where I grew up.

After lunch I got to go visit the always fun Betsy Weber at TechSmith. I was surprised that when I was on the phone with her in their parking lot and asked “which building are you in?” she said “all of them”. That’s four buildings though they are building a new (green, LEED Certified… yay) building so they can all be together again. It’s a big and growing company! Betsy introduced me to the president, Bill “We will not share your e-mail address with anyone else, period” Hamilton and (man, I really need to learn to edit when I talk) somehow my past job history at Playboy and Penthouse came up. Luckily, he is a funny laid back guy (which is probably why the whole company seems to have a cool and relaxed atmosphere) so I hopefully didn’t shock him too much (though I think I did try just a little. :-)) Not only did I get to see what’s coming in Camtasia (key to me is that many existing features will be much simpler to discover and use), but I also got a tour of the cool Jing project that had just been released 2 days prior and already had over 11,000 downloads.

Next on my tour was a tour of Michigan State and I can tell you that the locals are PROUD of this university!

The meeting was held on campus and I was surprised that there were almost 50 people there. Unfortunately I had a strange problem with my VPC which was finally solved with a total reboot of my computer (which takes some time to get everything up and running again) but thankfully I was able to do what I came to do. While I was futzing with my computer, the group was introduced to two reps from webhost Verio (located in Florida) who had come up from Florida to meet the group as they were the first to sign up for free hosting for INETA user group members. I was pretty impressed that they came up for this reason!

After the meeting I had a blast at Bennigans with a bunch of folks from the group and the Verio guys then it was off to Ann Arbor for a mini-vacation and the art fair.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this really great trip!

I will post my revised Powerpoint and demos shortly and will write a quick blog post with links to them.

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