Thursday April 24, 2003

ETech Con - Day Two

More interesting talks at Day Two of the O'Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference. We made it to the first keynote (scheduled for 8:30 am) after a 1-hour drive through some nasty rain. Yuch!. The first speaker was Alan Kay, inventor of SmallTalk, who gave a well-attended talk on User Interface history, entitled Daddy, Are We There Yet, complete with video clips. Many of the things we take for granted today were in research labs 40 years ago... yet some of what was in those labs still hasn't made its way into currently available computing interfaces.

The second keynote, Personal Interfaces, was presented by Kevin Lynch of Macromedia and focused in large part on what Macromedia is doing to turn Flash (an animation engine) into a much more functional development system for creating desktop Internet applications that will still work after being disconnected from the Internet.

The third keynote was an energetic and very interesting discussion of social structure and social software, with the intriguing title, A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy. This talk was presented by Clay Shirky (without any visual aids; I took 5 pages of notes!). Clay has achieved a place on my short list of "must hear" speakers - no matter what the topic, if he's speaking, attend the talk!

With lots of things going on at home too, we could only attend the morning sessions. I'm sure the ones we didn't attend were just as informative and interesting. So far, this conference has been an all-around winner.

ETech Con - Day Two ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Thu, 24 Apr, 21:35 Pacific