...and all sorts of other things I didn't get to see much of, at this year's BrainShare conference. Held in the gorgeous city of Barcelona, Novell's BrainShare 2005 brought together users, developers and partners of Novell's extensive software range. Oh, and a gaggle of journos too. The conference was held in the CCIB building on the coastline -- splendid views of the Mediterranean sea were to be had (just behind this view of the building). I didn't have any time to paddle in the lush blue sea though...
Inside, Novell execs held press conferences and individual presentations, while a number of Novell partners demonstrated their wares on the main floor. There was little in the way of major product launches; GroupWise and ZenWorks had seen major releases a few months before, so much of BrainShare was devoted to demonstrating them in action. The same for SUSE -- Novell's 'labs' folks were proudly showing off new goodies in the upcoming SUSE and OpenSUSE 10.0 releases.
IBM, Dell, HP and many other big names from the computing world had a presence. Up on the first floor, the Developer Den and Press Room contained coders and journos 'sampling' a great deal of the free food and beverages on offer. Yum indeed. And, excellently, we even managed to catch the final moments of the Ashes thanks to one writer -- he'd pointed his laptop at the Beeb's Radio 4 website, providing us with streaming coverage of the thrilling finish. This is the main show floor:
On the first night, the lovely PR people bravely took all the journalists out for a meal and drinks aplenty. Then, after returning to the hotel, we continued working through jars until 2am when the bar closed -- and that's when another English journo (who'll remain nameless) and I decided to 'pop out' and find some random establishment for the last drink.
After walking for two hours, we stumbled across a bustling casino wherein we managed to snag a quick drink before setting off to find our way back. Even though we'd completely sobered up (thanks to all the walking), we were completely, utterly and hopelessly lost. And despite asking strangers directions to the 'Diagonal Mar' district -- in rather poor Spanish accents -- we only ended up wandering further from our overall goal. It was all jolly good fun though.
It took us until 7am to find the hotel; the first keynote speech was at 8am. Blimey. But your dedicated LXF writer didn't let complete exhaustion get in his way -- I power-napped for a couple of hours, got into the show at 10am, and started interviewing/photo-taking/chit-chatting. Keep an eye out for a mini report in LXF74. In this shot, from my hotel room, the sinister-looking building on the right was (supposed to be) our landmark to identify when we were lost. It didn't work though.