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The Riverblade Developer's Blog

Beth demonstrating Visual Lint at the ACCU Conference 2008  Anna taking part in a discussion panel at the European Software Conference 2007 

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So this is what conference preparation is like...
Monday, October 29, 2007

For the last couple of months or so we've been charging around trying to get everything ready for the European Software Conference[^] in Cologne this weekend.

As we are sponsoring the event this year, we've actually had to get some marketing materials together this time. That's a challenge for us, as we're neither graphic designer nor have any significant marketing experience.

So, in the past couple of months we've:
  • Identified a local business to print business cards for us (I got bored printing them myself)

  • Written some blurb for the ESWC website

  • Designed an animated banner ad for the ESWC website (time consuming, but not as hard as I feared)

  • Designed a half page ad for the ESWC programme (not fun in Photoshop, but I didn't know Publisher at the time)

  • Taught myself how to use MS Publisher 2007 so we could design a product brief[^] (which seems to have come out rather well, all things considered)

  • Found a printer who could produce 200 copies of it at short notice

  • Given parts of our website a minor facelift in case Dave Collins of Shareware Promotions[^] decides to look at it during his website critique session (he always picks on the sponsors. It's entertaining, but can be embarassing if the spotlight shines in your direction... )

  • Found out that the event organisers want me to take part in two of the discussion panels - "DRM and software licencing models" and "The role of the Internet in being a successful ISV". That means being up at the front (eek!)

  • Bought a new shiny 17" widescreen Vista laptop to run demos on (any excuse for new hardware...)

  • Spent far more time than could ever be reasonable recording screencasts for the above demo (6 hours editing for 4 minutes of footage!) using Wink[^]

  • Spent nearly as much time cursing Powerpoint and Flash for not working together. Can anyone say "VBA Hack alert!"?

  • Decided it would be a good idea to buy a laminator so we could make some shiny marketing stuff even shinier. Found it was cheaper on Ebuyer than locally, ended up buying a dual core Xeon server at the same time, and as a result went on a week long diversion learning how to use CruiseControl.NET...

  • Went on a frenzied refactoring binge to test the aforementioned build server. I do like deleting unnecessary code.

  • Cursed EasyJet for their useless baggage restrictions (hold, not cabin), and bought tickets for Eurostar instead. I'm actually looking forward to travelling for once.
I think everything is ready. At this rate the conference will be a restful holiday by comparison to the preparation, though.

No doubt Microsoft and Digital River will be buying drinks again the night before the first session (we're all meeting at the Brauhaus Frueh[^] on the Friday evening, and if last year is anything to go by it will be a blast). What's the betting that everybody has a hangover again on the morning of the first day?

I really need a holiday. Mind you, we're learning new things, and that's no bad thing.

Posted by Anna at 23:00 | Get Link


Service Interruptions and Comment Spam
Monday, October 08, 2007

If you've tried to access our site over the past few hours you will have been confronted by a rather unfriendly "account suspended" page.

The cause was the volume of comment spam this page has been receiving - apparently it was causing the CPU utilisation on the server hosting the site to become unacceptably high as a result of which our host (without telling us, naturally) unilaturally suspended the account. Of course it has taken us two hours to find this out. Such customer service...

As an emergency measure we've disabled post comments until such time as we can be sure that this won't happen again. If you've been trying to access the site during this period, please accept our apologies.

Posted by Anna at 21:06 | Get Link