Tuesday Sep 24, 2013

Thomas Kurian Keynote: New Oracle Cloud Services

Thomas Kurian, Oracle executive vice president of Product Development, made three major announcements about the Oracle Cloud.[Read More]

Thomas Kurian/John Fowler Keynote: Transforming Business

Oracle Executive Vice Presidents Thomas Kurian and John Fowler talked about how Oracle's latest products simplify IT.[Read More]

You Deserve a Diversion

Take a break from all of the learning—there's plenty to divert your mind at Oracle OpenWorld.

By Tom Caldecott 

You’ve come to Oracle OpenWorld to work, work, work, yes? But this year, there are new and tempting experiences for fun, fun, fun—along with the traditional diversions of years past.

Feeling tired? Need a little exercise to help you through the keynotes, sessions, and hands-on labs? The Bocce Experience in Moscone West is the answer. Choose from two courts—perfect for players of all skill levels. “Some of our visitors know how to play, some of them think they know how to play, and some don’t know how to play at all. It’s a very simple sport, and it’s a very social sport,” says Patti Bassett. Patti and other instructors are on hand to teach the rules and techniques. And, judging from the response, it’s an extremely popular sport at Oracle OpenWorld. According to one of the people manning the booth, “We’ve been very busy. Last night, both courts were occupied until 7 p.m.” The courts are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Fuel all that exercise with the gelato that's a complement to the bocce play.

Thirsty after your bocce game? Head over to the booth of the Australian winemaker Penfolds in Moscone South. Penfolds, a sponsor of Oracle Team USA, was invited by Oracle to share its wine with conference attendees. You can taste two types, “our Koonunga Hill Chardonnay and Bin 8, a cabernet shiraz blend, which is a brand new wine we just brought into the states about six months ago,” says Lisa Brown, public relations director of events for the winemaker. And best of all, the tasting is free.

But what about dessert? No problem. It’s off to the Sweet Shop at the Palace Hotel for a make-your-own cupcake. The pastry chef has made a choice of cupcakes and icings. Choose a vanilla, chocolate, or red velvet cupcake. Choose an icing or two: vanilla bean buttercream, dark chocolate ganache, cream cheese, raspberry buttercream, or coconut. Then, pick your toppings, including fresh fruit, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and pecans. As a pastry chef at the booth says, “It’s really interesting to see what people come up with in terms of their favorite combinations.” The Sweet Shop is open Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

And don’t forget to visit the other diversions scattered around Oracle OpenWorld venues and in the Exhibition Halls: Tap and Brew, Brew House, Golf Experience, Game Zone,  Juice Bar, and Tranquility Lounge.

That's how to have fun, fun, fun while you work, work, work.

In Search of Cool Stuff

The Quest to Find Unique Giveaways and Prizes

By Michael Kure 

I just finished reading The Lost City of Z by David Grann, and as I was navigating through the crowded aisles of the Exhibition Halls in search of cool stuff,  I could not help but feel a bit like the book’s protagonist, Sir Percy Fawcett, and his ill-fated quest to find the fabled lost city. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement.  The fact is, it doesn't take much perseverance to find some cool booths with hot giveaways and raffle prizes.

Let’s start in Moscone West. Walking through aisle 3300, you can find one booth offering, not one, but three giveaways—a t-shirt, mobile phone stand, and a unique mug. Over in 3400, a fully-loaded wine picnic basket is available via raffle, and down 3500, you can’t miss the glossy black Sym scooter on display and up for grabs to one lucky winner. Then, one aisle over, you will find a pair of flight attendants touting high-end merchandise such as their branded polo shirt and coffee mug, among others, all available through a prize draw at the end of the day.  

Exploring other aisles of Moscone West will reap more rewards such as pink and blue piggy banks, a remote-controlled Ferrari (toy version, of course), squeeze balls, and too much candy for your own good.

Not to be outdone, Moscone South is also dense with cool stuff.  In aisle 700, there is a poker table complete with dealer where two pairs will win you an attractive water bottle. A few aisles over in 300, a simple conversation will get you a classic brown coffee mug. And , as the San Francisco weather cools down, you can keep your head warm with a red baseball hat available in aisle 900.

Speaking of which, as you cruise down aisle 2500, you will discover an oasis of Oracle Team USA gear ready to buy and wear. There are additional treasures to be had if your poor feet can stand it, such as a squishy sushi shrimp from aisle 1500 or an SD card from aisle 2500.

As for me, I am looking forward to exploring more undiscovered territory at Oracle OpenWorld.  But I’ll wait until tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 25 is the last day the Exhibition Halls are open, so be sure to spend time there learning from Oracle partners ... and getting some cool free stuff. 

Getting Hands On at a Hands-On Lab

In which a technology writer goes mano a mano with a Hands-On Lab. 

By Tom Caldecott 

The hands-on lab was on the topic of Oracle Java Cloud Service. Am I an engineer, a developer? No. A blog technology writer. So why did I attend? To talk about the experience.  

My badge was scanned. And I was green…not yellow. In other words, I was accepted into what a fellow attendee called an extremely popular experience. “You don’t always get into every lab you want. They usually fill up quickly, so you have to sign up as early as possible,” he said. 

Once inside, I sat down at a laptop. The head instructor for the lab gave a presentation on the benefits of the cloud service offering. A desktop view of folders to open appeared on the laptop screen. And we were off…well, all except the blog technology writer who stared at the screen. “Are you doing OK?” asked an instructor. “I’m just….resting…yes, that’s it…resting,” I said. The instructor smiled and moved on.

For me, all I could do was observe the rest of the lab. For the engineers and developers, it was a valuable and rewarding experience as they moved through instructional text, testing their knowledge, and asking questions of the experts. “That was extremely helpful,” said one attendee when asked for his feedback.

“In this lab, we get people with all levels of experience regarding Oracle Java Cloud Service,” said the head instructor.“That’s what we’re here for, to help them learn.” And, in fact, that’s what all the labs are about.

They offer the chance—in an hour or so and with the help of experts—to learn what could take days or weeks to pick up on one’s own. Which makes the popularity of Hands-On Labs easy to understand.


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