No quite recovered but I'm working on it !! I think I had three free sessions all week when I wasn't teaching or running a Lab so you'll forgive me if I can't add much to your knowledge on how the conference went. One of these days I'll learn and manage to reduce my schedule to where I'm attending more than 1 session in the week !! Anyway - the attendance was _very_ poor. Even COMMON's numbers (of which we heard several versions during the week) the lowest of which was about 2,800 seemed high to me based on the amount of "traffic" - Don would have a better feel than me though. This is the first time I can recall even the "sexy" Labs like Java having space available. Susan and I had space in every Lab - I think our highest was about 80 out of 90 seats in use - that's unheard of. There were a lot of blowout sessions (I had three back-to-back) but that was because they were in a room that was way too small to start with. Only managed to get to CUDS one night - Andy by all accounts had done a great job all week and everyone told me that traffic seemed to be higher than previous conferences. To me it seemed that the smaller room (and decent beer for once!!) helped make it seem as if more was happening - rather than the "barn like" environs we've had recently which seem only to highlight the small numbers. Kudos to Andy. Mom was a completely different format - no formal item by item report followed by questions, but a horseshoe like seating arrangement with David H. taking questions on a series of topics. I couldn't get there for the start (hadn't eaten lunch so a refreshment break was called for) so I missed the Education topics which was my main reason for attending. By the time I arrived they were well into Fees - some were complaining, others still saying that it was still the best bang for the buck. Also lots of complaints about the disappearance of the guest program (it's only "resting" !!) To me the two most significant statements that I heard were a heart-felt complaint from one attendee that in spite of volunteering at several conferences she had finally given up as she felt that a small clique ran the show and that breaking into the in-crowd was not something that a mere mortal like her could accomplish. She also made a comment about Soundoff that raised a point I'd never considered before. In short she noted that the same people always seemed to stand up each time and that "ordinary" attendees like herself tended to feel that they shouldn't get up until the "big boys" had had their turn. She also made the comment that she felt such major Business Partners and companies that had hundreds of AS/400s didn't need to use Soundoff to bring a problem to IBM's attention - they must have other vehicles. Small Users like herself have no other effective avenue. I confess that I see how she feels, but I find myself torn on the issue since I also know that many of the people to whom she is referring are making the statements in public that they have already made in private. I know Al and others have done this a number of times in an attempt to show Rochester that it's not just them that feel this way. Since that is very often the case it obviously benefits the small users too. The other comment was from a gent whose name I can't remember but who used to be at COMMON all the time and then dropped out of sight about 8 years ago. This was his first time back and he was shocked at how much had changed. He noted that it seemed to be less a "sharing" event and more a business type affair than it had been. Can't argue with that. +--- | This is the Midrange System Mailing List! | To submit a new message, send your mail to MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com. | To subscribe to this list send email to MIDRANGE-L-SUB@midrange.com. | To unsubscribe from this list send email to MIDRANGE-L-UNSUB@midrange.com. | Questions should be directed to the list owner/operator: firstname.lastname@example.org +---
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