shaydchara: dirty black keyboard with the F1 key missing (F1)
I skipped the 8:30 session in favour of breakfast. While standing in line to be seated, I got into a random conversation with the woman ahead of me in line (also at the summit) and we ended up sitting together for breakfast, which was nice (and unusual for me. so social!).

10:00-11:00 Useful Shareware for Technical Communicators (I learned more from the guy I was sitting beside than the presenter, including Illusion OS - a free open source version of XP!)

11:30-12:30 Proces Re-Engineering for Topic-Based Authoring (another great session, gave me lots of ideas)

12:30-2:30 was the closing luncheon, wherein I picked a table at random and had yet another conversation with a person I had not previously met. She had been a research chemist for Eastman Kodak before becoming a tech writer. I learned a lot, including Kodak's Big Blunder that cost them the market.

C and I travelled on MARTA to the airport together after the luncheon. There was a wicked thunderstorm: for a while there was about 4" of water on the tarmac and huge lightning strikes. Our flight was not delayed, though, so I was on the ground at YYZ by 20 after 7 that night, and back home by 9pm. My puppy gave me kisses and chased the cat it was so exciting.
shaydchara: dirty black keyboard with the F1 key missing (F1)
Tuesday. Tuesday kind of hurt, what with the staying up late and getting up early. Also, $2.50 for a bagel is a crime. Srsly.

8:30-10:00 WinHelp, WebHelp, AIR... Help?
10-10:30 break
10:30-12:00 Structure 2.0 (or, how the Symantec Tech Pub team saved the company millions and increased sales. True story!)
12:00-1:30 lunch (ate alone this time, then read a lot of "Black Powder War")
1:30-2:30 What Tech Doc Can Learn from the Comics (great session, very informative)
2:30-3 break
3:00-4:30 Understanding User-Generated Documentation: FLOSS Manuals (awesome stuff - go learn about FLOSS!)
4:30-5 break
5:00-6:00 Quick Reference Guides: Short and Sweet Technical Documentation (worst session, but got trapped and couldn't escape)

Dinner: with J and C (also from Winnipeg), and we shared this massive four-layer "Suicide Chocolate" slice of cake. It was all the 3 of us could do to finish it!

After dinner, I packed and read more adventures of Temeraire and Arkady before I crashed into bed (later than I meant to. oops). (And can I just say I ♥ Iskierka and Granby? hee~)
shaydchara: an orange tabby cat sitting beside a t-shirt that says "pen > sword" (pen > sword + Rufus)
Monday morning started reasonably at 9am with the keynote speaker, David Pogue, author of Macs for Dummies, NY Times columnist, etc etc. He was very entertaining and made a lot of good points about simplicity in design. He sang the iPhone Song and accompanied himself on a Yamaha keyboard, (there is a music video of the song), and then things got meta as people took out their iPhones with the lighter app and waved them at him. It stopped in him in his tracks, I kid you not, it was freakin' HILARIOUS! (His presentation was pretty similar to the TED one, except he focused on docs instead of the voice software at the end.)

Favourite quote: "The software upgrade paradox: if you improve a piece of software too many times, you ruin it."

At the keynote, I met two older tech writers, who had worked together on a project in China. One of them was from Calgary, and as we kept bumping into each other, we started making plans to do meals and such.

After the keynote, the Expo hall was open, so I wandered around talking to vendors, picking up brochures and swag, and entering all the draws I could find. heh. Except the Wii, as I already have one, and thought it more generous to leave that to others.

I had lunch with J from Calgary, and after lunch the "educational" sessions started. So, more for me than for you, I'm noting the sessions I attended. I was going to reformat and fix up the notes I typed on my Palm, but hey, I left it at work. *headdesk*

1:30-2:30 Documentation with Wikis, Blogs, and Online Communities.
3:00-4:30 Structured Authoring for Personalization

4:30 to 5 was a break, and I went to the expo hall again, and got talking to vendors and so missed the 5pm session I was going to attend. But that's okay! Because the STC is putting video of every session up online for attendees! Yay!

I skipped the Annual Meeting in favour of dinner, came back for the Communities Reception, wherein they had a trivia contest and I won a t-shirt (see new icon), and bought 2 umbrellas and a flashlight for a buck each, and then there was the Tweetup! I was a bit nervous about it, what with the randomness of my Twitter feed and all, but wore my tweetup badge anyway (apparently if you use the barcode app on your iPhone to scan the bar code on the back it auto-follows the person, so you don't have to write down their Twitter name). It was quite fun and I met even more new people and we chatted for a good hour or so. Then M (from Winnipeg) and I walked back to the hotel for the Canadian drop-in get together and hung out there for another hour. At which point it was after 11pm, so we all crawled off to bed as sessions started again at 8:30 the next morning.
shaydchara: dirty black keyboard with the F1 key missing (F1)
My day started waaaaay too early, as I was in a cab by 6:20, headed to the airport for the Technical Communication Summit of the Society for Technical Communication, in Atlanta, Georgia (aka #stc09 for those watching the Twitter feed). My flight wasn't til 9am, but for "international" flights, you're required to be there 2 hours in advance. Still, extra time was good, as my flight was by commuter jet, which meant I had to go through security in Terminal 1, down the stairs, round the corner, down more stairs to the tarmac level, and then catch the shuttle bus to the unnamed terminal where the flight actually boarded.

Arrived in Atlanta, took the MARTA elevated train from the airport to almost directly beneath the hotel, checked in, dumped my stuff, and went for lunch. Was starving. After lunch, I got my registration package and then had a couple hours before the opening "first timers" session. So after debating a nap, I grabbed camera and water and sunglasses and hiked downhill to Centennial Park. I did not find the alleged Olympic Rings, as a Cinco de Mayo festival was on, and it was actually quite crowded and busy. I indulged in some photography of some of Atlanta's weird architecture for a while.

Back at the hotel, went to the 4:30 newbie session, which was actually quite good. Then there was the opening general session, which included a great talk by Shawn Henry on why accessibility in documentation is so important. After that was the ribbon cutting on the expo hall, and general milling about with finger foods and drinks and such. Despite my INTJ ways, I managed to make friends bump into people and hold conversations, although it meant I didn't get to eat that much, so had to go grab dinner afterward.

Aside: Lack of accessible design was why I had to find out through word of mouth that wifi was not, in fact, free in the hotel, but cost $12.95/day. The landing page for the Hyatt would not load on my Palm T|X.

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shaydchara: a pen and notebook (Default)
Shay D.

January 2014

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