Malaysia - Days 2 and 3 and 4 wrapping up
Yesterday was an exhausting day. I had back-to-back-to-back sessions. Tim Huckaby and I did a Web Services Chalk Talk and had a blast. Tim and I have very different philosophies but when we work together we compliment each other very well. We had to do a little (a lot) of "teeth-pulling" to get folks to open up, but humor always works - and you know Tim is funny. Then I presented Internationalizing ASP.NET for the first time to a non-native-English speaking crowd. ;) I showed an ASP.NET eBanking site that (along with the help of many friends) I localized to English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Bahasa Malaysia. After this session I directed a Hands on Lab (HOL) on Internationalizing ASP.NET. It was my first experience with Microsoft (Connectix) Virtual Server (Virtual PC). (Seems like a pale VMWare-lite to me. As a VMWare user for the last several years [since Version 1] I don't see why people are making such a big deal about Microsoft's acquisition of VirtualPC; It's hardly as cool as VMWare 4.0.)
Mo visited the Batu Caves with Kevita. They walked up 272 steps to the Temple Cave, a Hindu religious site.
"The best known of these caves is the Temple Cave, a large cavern with a vaulted ceiling about 100 metres above the floor. To reach it one has to climb 272 steps, a feat performed by many Hindus on the way to the caves to offer prayers to their revered deities. Every year, on Thaipusam, as many as 800,000 devotees and other visitors may throng the caves. As a form of penance or sacrifice, many of them carry kavadis. These are large, brightly decorated frameworks, usually combined with various metal hooks and skewers which are used to pierce the skin, cheeks and tongue."
We're doing lots of shopping, but not lots of buying. Some kinds of electronics are cheaper here - you can buy an optical mouse for about $2 to $5 US Dollars. But if you want a deal on a digital camera you'll actually pay slightly more here. I paid $400 US for my Casio but here the best deal I could find was RM1688 (US$444). I did get a fantastic idea on a local phone (handphone). I paid RM200 (~US$50) for a new Siemens phone, a local number and enough minutes and SMS credit to last the week. Plus, I'll sell the phone back to the guy for RM100 before we leave.
This evening we were given a tour of the Microsoft Malaysia office on the 29th and 30th floor of the Petronas Towers. They have a FANTASTIC office. My ears popped on the way up.
Tommorow I'll give kind of an experimental session on "The Zen of .NET" for the first time. I'm still formulating my thoughts about what I want to say. A lot of people don't quite understand where .NET fits into the world. They try to fit it into little catch phrases like "It's Microsoft's Java" or "It's just another VM" or "It's the new Platform." I want to explain a lot of the concepts I talk about in The Myth of .NET Purity. People forget that Windows is the platform (today) and that the .NET Framework levels the playing field. I think I'll spend a lot of time at the command-line and in ILDasm and Reflector. We'll see how it goes!