On Your Mark... Get Set... Go! to Sydney Tech Days

My excitement grows day by day as I prepare for my first Tech Days (and Australian) experience. I’ve been looking at pictures of the famous Sydney Opera House, remembering kangaroos at the zoo, wondering what Aussie food is like (yes, am one of those: a foodie). I hear that Sydney is a real foodie paradise, that it's gone way beyond bland English fare but for that matter so has England I hear though I haven't been there in years. My brother goes there a lot and foodie-ism runs in my family. Thus, he tells me there's great eating there. So, enuf of this food jag I've gotten on. I will STOP right now.

The Tech Days agenda looks lively and rich. I’ll be doing a vodcast with Angela Caicedo on Sun SPOTs (Sun Small Programmable Object Technology), an exciting technology from Sun Labs that offers the possibility of opening up the wireless and embedded space and sounds like great fun. Sun SPOTs rely on sensor networking based in Java technology. Sun offers a development kit for wireless sensor development and has open sourced the Sun SPOT libraries, as well as the Squawk JVM and the hardware.

Here’s what Sun Labs’ Arshan Poursohi says about Sun SPOTs in a Campus Technology interview: “You can put them into buildings to monitor, for instance, temperature conditions so you can fine tune the air conditioning and heating. You can deploy them on volcanoes and see what the eruption conditions are in a flow from top to bottom -- so you can see what happens as it's beginning to erupt. Robotics is another example. The embedded computer is so small and powerful enough now, that it can do a lot of really diverse tasks. So, if you can dream it up, you can probably attack it with a Sun SPOT.”

One of my favorites: An artist in residence at Sun Labs (yes, they have artists in residence!) placed sensors in the Park View Hotel in San Jose. People are invited to stand in the park across from the hotel where there are pointing devices that resemble telescopes that optically "ping" rooms in the hotel. Once sensors are found and contacted, properties are released into a wireless network that releases colors into the street-lights in the park below. Stay tuned for more about Sun SPOTs.

I’m also looking forward to catching the famed Tech Days spirit that leads people to embarrass themselves showing off strange and unusual talents and indulging their impulse to be outrageous in search of a Java jacket. Australians have a reputation for being spirited, fun-loving, playful, gregarious, people.

And I expect to cover Chuk-Munn Lee’s Ruby session, the amazing Michael Cannon-Brookes session on Rails, Joey Shen on troubleshooting tools for Java SE, and much more.

Finally, while I'm at it (this blogging business), I also finally got around to posting my first more general blogs here too http://blogs.sun.com/janheiss/ just fyi. I'll be blogging about everything AND the kitchen sink on this blog. For instance, the title of one of my first two blogs there is: Why are there so few women programmers? I have received some most thoughtful comments. So, please visit me over there too if you wish.

 Learn more about Sun Tech Days.


Janice J. Heiss


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Read about what goes on at Tech Days, what kinds of technical information is covered, and how the hands-on labs work for attendees.

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