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IBM Travelstar drives are not waterproof. Aka: What not to do when starting a presentation...

By Andrew Pollack on 04/21/2005 at 05:07 PM EDT

Well, I'm back from Munich and a great time was had, I must say. The H&T people outdid themselves with this show. It was their most well organized and run to date. I did have one problem. It was kind of a big one. 3 minutes into my first session, "Domino 7 meets IBM DB2" I knocked an entire 5oz glass of still water into my laptop. Directly into it. Right into the keyboard. When I picked it up, water POURED out of it. Within a few seconds, it was clear that there would be no demo today. One kind soul ran out and grabbed towels.

Reading the small room was pretty easy -- when you're speaking in another country, your audience is by definition limited to those with good enough English skills to understand you. It was clear to me that they sympathized, but weren't looking to reschedule. If I'd closed up and postponed, they'd not be back. So I did the entire session with no slides, no demos, and nothing else to distract from the droll tone of my voice. I made it more of a discussion and referenced the presentation available on-line for detail. We actually covered everything fairly well I think, and I did get compliments -- perhaps just in sympathy. Some humor, some good empathy, a great crowd, and patience carried the day and the session worked. In truth, I had fun with it. The remaining session that day was done from a backup presentation copy on a borrowed laptop.

The next morning, I walked to an electronics store and purchased a replacement drive, and a copy of Windows XP Home. In German of course. I installed the operating system largely from memory of options (because of course I couldn't read the installation screens or any windows menus) and restored my backup data just in time to deliver the remaining session. I'm home now, and rebuilding the drive.

A long week.

There are  - loading -  comments....

Wow...By Wild Bill on 04/22/2005 at 04:22 AM EDT
What a trooper. Good for you!

---* Bill

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