Monday, September 19, 2005

OOW2K5: Having an ACE time!

It's good to be back in San Francisco attending Oracle Open World 2005, as an ACE. Last time was in 2003 in the days when the ACE program was the OTN Community Award.

This time I'm staying in the Ramada Downtown, a motel so obscure that the cab driver had never heard of it. On the Ramada website it is described as "quaint". Finally I know what Americans mean by the word "quaint": it means just like in the movies. Americans call a sleepy English village quaint because it looks like something out of a Harry Potter film. My hotel is quaint because it looks like the set of an Elmore Leonard adaptation.

It doesn't have room service, just a leaflet for the local pizza delivery place. This is called Extreme Pizza, which is probably the only XP I think we can all agree on. Actually the Ramada is not at all bad. It's just it's so far out the lamp-posts have DB2 banners. Still on a clear day you can see the Marriott Intercontinental (where I got to stay in 2003).

I spent Sunday not being as jet-lagged as I was expecting. In the evening there was a dinner for the ACEs and the Oracle Magazine Editor's Choice Award winners. I got invited twice, as an ACE and a member of the magazine Editorial Board, but only had the one dinner. I did ask Kent Graziano if he was John Spencer, which was (I think) my only bloomer of the evening. Tom Kyte was on my table; at one point he used the word fricking, and he meant it. Tom and Ken Jacobs had a classic contest, matching error messages to the numbers. Tom on the role of the database in modern computing: applications come and go, only the data remains". I also learnt that Ken Jacobs is called Dr DBA after a presentation he did which was based on a television show; it turnes out to be Frasier and not Dr. Ruth (which was my guess).

I also met Mark Rittman, who is the ACE of the Year. He was remarkably coherent for a bad who spent the aftewrnoon in the pub. When I last met him it was in Birmingham, England; he had only just won the OTN Community Award and admired my OTN Expert fleece. I think he's been lobbying OTN to get to SF ever since.

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