Alex Gorbachev at the TOUG July 2008 Meeting

Jun 26, 2008 / By Alex Gorbachev

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Small local user group meetings have their own beauty because of the special intimate atmosphere. We expected somewhat higher attendance but it seems that people were already in the holiday mode — it’s been a somewhat hot day and school kids had their last classes yesterday — so we’ve got about half of expected 50 attendees.

I should say that it’s been a nice and relaxing day for me. I started the morning reviewing my slides and then continued at the airport and on the flight. My flight to Toronto arrived just a bit late but I had plenty of time so I arrived quarter to one at the Oracle office building in Toronto (technically, Mississauga).

Djordje Jankovic and Carol Legros, who invited me there in the first place, were already there and, being a nice host, Djordje took me downstairs for a quick lunch. When we were back, the audience was almost ready so I just few 5 minutes to hook my laptops up which is more than enough — I know my Mac well enough now to avoid any surprises. Kenotes even managed to display few PowerPoint slides that Djordje used starting the meeting. By the way, he admitted that Keynotes is way cooler than PowerPoint. Well, that’s no brainer!

At the end of the short opening, Djordje was very kind to introduce me so the most of the About Me slide had been done. The presentation itself went very well and I liked my pace since I didn’t have any time pressure. I’ve done this presentation before in 45 minutes and this time it took slightly more than an hour but I was able to spend additional time on few more complex topics and explain the underlying concepts making sure we all are on the same page. I also enjoyed the questions during the presentation — always a pleasure to know which parts are more interesting to the audience and questions is one of the best indicators. Another one is when people take notes. All in all — it was a very encouraging hour. Thanks to every one who attended!

The next presentation was about high availability features of Oracle 11g delivered by Mohamed El-Shafie. Mohamed is working for Oracle as Senior Sales Consultant for the Canadian public sector and it was interesting for me to see what technologies are popular there and what are the typical business requirements. I hope Pythian can drill into the public sector at some point — I feel there are very interesting challenges and we could add lots of expertise there.

Unfortunately, not a singe day in this life is perfect. I kept starring at the iPhone during Mohamed’s presentation as it was the first half of the Russia-Spain match in Euro 2008 semi-finals. The half game was over scoreless and I was somewhat nervous that Spanish can get lucky in the second half. Well, looks like I was wrong and Russians just didn’t pull it out — by the time we reached a sports bar — Spanish were already leading 2-0 and they looked definitely stronger in the last 20 minutes as far I could see. It’s not unexpected that Spain scored one more at the end. Well, you can’t complain — all 3 goals were very nice actually.

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