Following a very full and enjoyable family weekend, today I was at the annual Microsoft Architect Insight Conference held, this year at Beaumont in old Windsor. I spent many a happy hour, here, early in my IT career, when it was the ICL (International Computers Limited) Training Centre. The accommodation, 'though, has improved considerably since those days.
I had a long-standing commitment to speak in the Enterprise track on a CIO's view of architecture. This may have come about because I'm a member of the Microsoft Architects' Council and complained that last year's conference was too technical, and didn't have enough of the high-level view.
This was an interesting day interspersed by 'phone calls and messages, despite the fact that my mobile 'phone reception was almost non-existent. I had lots of calls and messages concerning Newham Infrastructure project issues, and the announcement of my Socitm presidency – so I wasn't able to attend all the sessions I'd have liked to.
The evening, though was thoroughly enjoyable. Over dinner there was a quiz with the following rounds:
• Acronyms – several of them were not IT.
• Photos of buildings from around the world – What building, and which city?
• 25x 10-second film clips played; identify the film and the year.
• Jelly bean taste recognition – 6 samples – 48 flavours to choose from.
• Naming the title and artist from 10m second music clips. After the clips were played, we were told the competition was actually to complete an anagram from the first letters of the answers.
• Finding headlines in stacks of papers (supplied) and getting them to the compère, wherever he may be.
I got back to my room, to work, at 11pm, but managed little more than updating my diary!