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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Indianapolis - Itec conference

I got back late, will do regular blogging tomorrow. Did a great deal of schmooze, greet and meet, Q & A and all of that with techy people. Met a guy at the conference who was originally from Russia and now works with a missionary group sending teams to Russia - and I surprised him by greeting him and speaking with him briefly in Russian! That was pretty funny...then my buddy and I grabbed a Subway for lunch and he conversed with the sandwich girl in Chinese (she was from Taiwan). Jarrett is a global traveler able to speak both Chinese and Japanese to some extent. Our philosophies of life are radically different and we have a lot of fun discussing that at times. He was a history major before going into IT and that is another fascinating subject. Never boring hanging out with Jarrett!

Our position in this conference was to present security solutions for spyware and intrusion primarily but also anti-virus and anti-spam, etc. We had several conversations with clients large and small about firewall inspection techniques, the problem of things like phishing, pharming, keyloggers, working with Citrix environments, what to do with a company that uses POP3 and on and on and on.....good stuff!

I have been quoted in trade mags like CRN and as I like to say it was because they were looking for someone to say nothing eloquently! But this gives me some weight amongst vendor partners and thus I sometimes get to do some fun stuff like take a cruise with large numbers of upper management of a security company or stay in a $2,000.00 a night suite in Las Vegas in exchange for speaking in conference to tech attendees. Amazing what a little knowledge and a gift of gab (some would say that in a different way utilizing the excrement of male cows, probably) can do for you sometimes.

Anyway, Indianapolis is a great city! It has around 1.7 million residents, so it is not too small. Business opportunities are burgeoning here, the taxes and home prices are very reasonable and the city itself has become world-class. We stayed at the largest hotel in Indiana, right across the street from the convention center/RCA Dome. Here within five blocks or so are two museums, a world-class zoo, the baseball stadium, the football stadium, plenty of great restaurants and galleries, the downtown mall with second-story walkways connnecting the buildings above the traffic, and one of the great parks you will ever find, the White River/Central Canal park. Indianapolis is very art-friendly with various galleries, including a kind of art district, in addition to museums and various public sculptures. The once-segregated city is now one of the least segregated in the north.

Parking is everywhere downtown, the wide one-way streets in the heart of the city help traffic and the interstates are sufficient for traffic flow even in "rush hour", which is nothing like, say, Chicago or even Seattle traffic.

I could go on, but I certainly would think of moving here were I to relocate. My family loves the place. Far more family-friendly than most large cities. Therefore I brought my wife and two youngest kids (18 and 14, respectively) with me on this trip. We checked out the park and canal walk yesterday afternoon, among other things and while I was "conventioning" they did the Zoo thing and a museum as well.

We are all pretty worn out, but I do anticipate beginning the "odds" post either tomorrow or Friday and we will dig into that and also dating methods. Cheers!

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