This week is the COMMON 2012 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Anaheim, CA. It's been a busy week of giving presentations, talking with clients during the exposition hours, attending evening social events, and general discussion among peers passionate about IBM i. I spent an hour at the IBM Systems Magazine booth where they were advertising their bloggers with pictures of heads on a stick – so Minnesotan in California!
Here are a few observations from this week:
- The overall mood about i seems to be positive. This is a very subjective statement, but the people I talked to weren't bemoaning marketing nor were they voicing concerns about i going away. Rather, they talked about their positive experiences with solutions on i and most questions I got were about solving technical problems. I talked to a couple people that hadn't been to COMMON in 10 years, but they were back this year.
- When I give a presentation, I generally ask for a show of hands to see what releases are installed. My highly unscientific results show that the majority are now on 6.1 or 7.1. There are still some shops on 5.4, but the majority have moved forward
- Several people found out about improving IFS save times by using async bring from the blog, Achieve Faster IFS Save Times Using SAV With ASYNCBRING, written early this year and were thrilled with the results that enhancement provided. It's really great to hear about how information written in this blog has helped people solve problems they were dealing with.
- In fact, there was a discussion at the IBM i Q&A session about IBM's documentation on new features. Because IBM has delivered so much new function over the past couple years via PTFs, it's not always easy to find the documentation. This blog has been one way we're trying to communicate the new features and that will continue to be the case. The IBM i developerWorks site is also an important location for documentation on recent enhancements.
- DisneyLand is amazingly clean. I have never seen such clean concrete!
- Disney's attention to detail is impressive. In the hotel room you will find Micky Mouse gloved-hands that serve as light-fixture holders, Micky ears on the sink and shower faucet handles, a Micky glove with a pointing finger on the shower faucet to show which way to turn on the water instead of the usual red arrow, mirrors that are shaped like ones you might see in the animated movies, night-lights in the formation of fireworks. The music from the bed-side lamp was a bit too much for me though!
I always enjoy attending the COMMON conferences and it's been a great way to meet others with passion about IBM i.
I do want to share two additional things this week....
COMMON has published their call for presentations for the 2012 Fall Conference and Expo. New speakers are always encouraged, so if you have expertise you'd like to share, submit your session idea. The deadline for submissions is June 4th.
Finally, COMMON Europe is coming up in early June. I'll be traveling to Vienna to do some presentations there and will also attend the COMMON Europe Advisory Council (CEAC) meeting. This is the 50th anniversary of COMMON Europe.