11 days to the MySQL UC: Why I need to get an iPhone or G1...
By Duleepa Wijayawardhana on Apr 08, 2009
Monday was my talk at Ames, Iowa at Iowa State University. To get there, I took the Greyhound from Chicago to Ames, a nice lovely eight hour bus ride across snowy, icy weather. And it is in Ames that I discovered the wonderful reason to have an iPhone. For the first time in the trip I had neglected to find out where it is I would be dropped off, and neglected to take the phone number of the hotel.
The bus station for Ames is in the middle of nowhere in an industrial complex. At 2am on a cold night after a storm, there was nobody about as the bus unceremoniously dropped me on the street and sped off with me standing there baffled... no sign, no taxi number nothing. I was suddenly picturing me using my backpack as a windbreaker and huddling against a building trying to make a fire with all the business cards that I had with me.
An iPhone would have been very nice. Instead I used my "call a friend" lifeline and woke up Niall on the MySQL Web Team in Montreal and got him to Google me a cab company in Ames, IA.
So Ames was the smallest crowd yet, but a very involved crowd with lots of questions and lots of talking afterwards. Iowa State, to my considerable surprise (no offense, but shows my lack of knowledge) was the place the modern computer was invented, the Atanasoff-Berry computer, has a large Engineering school and a considerable amount of Virtual Reality and Visualization research.
So now I have been through Omaha, Nebraska and have made it by train to Denver. We are almost 10 days away from the conference and 1200 miles to go. So, some quick updates, yes, Colin and I have not yet made our plans on the topics in the universities we will be jointly presenting next week at various California Universities in the San Francisco and Bay areas.
I can however say that the format I've been following where the audience leads the discussion is most likely where we will go. So if you have a topic you want to discuss, please come and bring it with you.
On another topic, you might have noticed Kaj's blog post on the Great Open Cloud Shootout... Check it out. From talking to so many students, it is the future of databases and how to handle distributed data structures is something that is on everyone's mind. This should be extremely fun. Mark it on your calendars.
I also promise to finally put up photos from the trip and it will happen tonight and tomorrow!