Power to the people

I’ll never forget my first moments of the conference as Bring IT, Together conference co-chair.  When we moved the conference to Niagara Falls, we had to ensure that we had great internet access.  “Oh, sure we can do it.  We can seat 1000 people in the theatre with wifi.”

It was a few minutes into the opening keynote when I was told “I had no idea”.  We were sitting in the projection booth looking down and from behind the audience.  There were screens brightly lit everywhere.  Not only that, but if you looked closely, many people had two screens in operation.  Truthfully, I’d be one of those people.

The key to doing it all successfully is power!  You can’t have enough power!

I know that I’m a people watcher.  Particularly at conferences, there’s so much to see and interpret from people’s actions as you walk around.  But, at a computer conference, it takes on another angle.

The scramble for power!

This year, I saw the charging stations (they aren’t free folks, your conference committee rented them) fully used.  I also saw more people with portable battery packs in action.  For the person who lives and dies with their smartphone, they’re invaluable!

In the past, I’ve coped by bringing multiple computers.  When one’s battery dies, I just switch to another.  A smarter person might bring a notebook and a pen but I carry my MacBook Pro, my Windows tablet, and this year, my Chromebook.  It isn’t as goofy as it might sound; I needed two computers to display content on screens at the Minds on Media station.

I also wanted to test the Chromebook to see if the wild claims about battery life were true.  I’m always a skeptic when it comes to a new technology.  Would this really work?  It did!

Not only did it get me through computer use during breakfast, it was the place for my notetaking all day, and then back at the hotel room in the evening.  The only problem I had was the Android version of OneNote crashing.  Android is still in the Beta stage and you know what they say about Beta.  Rather than be frustrated, I just opened a new browser tab, logged in, and was able to pick up from where I left off.

But, it was nice to be able to go through the day wondering if I was going to have enough power.  I had more than enough.  It brought a nice sense of calm to me.

Do you have any power stories to share?

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2 thoughts on “Power to the people

  1. Doug, I love the Chromebook for battery life too. When it comes to a conference though, I want the ease of taking notes and tweeting from my iPad. On Thursday, I was really close at running out of power, and I left my charger back in the hotel room. I could have gone, but I didn’t want to leave. Aaron (@bloggucation) told me about the charging station. Thanks to the conference committee for renting them. I went to one right before the last session, but then went to give up when it wouldn’t work. Not Ruthie Sloan (@roosloan). She was there, and problem solved for me (with the use of her battery pack as well) to charge my device. We then had a wonderful conversation as I got enough power to make it through the Slam. A little power, some connecting, & some learning! Life doesn’t get much better than that! Hope others will share their conference power stories as well. I wonder if anyone else connected over power!

    Aviva

  2. What a great story about power. To me, there more than electric power here; it’s the power of connections. I’ve tried to take notes on a tablet but haven’t had the success that I’d like. I guess I’m more of an old school keyboard type of guy.

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