Friday, July 15, 2005

WinHEC Day 1

[Posted on my MSN space on April 26, 2005]

WinHEC Day 1

Now for the real deal. You gotta love the time difference on the West Coast. I was actually able to roll out of bed at 6:30 and function without too much difficulty.


As usual, WinHEC kicked off with a keynote by Bill Gates (and others). It was the usual smoke and mirrors, but it was good to see that at least conceptually, a lot of the ideas tied to WinFS (personal information managment and search) have been added back into Longhorn sans WinFS. You can view the keynote

Goodbye SMI - ACPI and Graphics Driver / System Firmware Interface

With all due respect to the presenter (who knows infinitely more about this subject than me), this session was pretty much a wash. This ended up being a 30 minute session on current challenges with post-boot graphics driver/firmware/acpi communication and interaction, followed by Longhorn challenges. No solutions, call to action, etc. Just challenges. Not much to take home here.

Pre-OS Firmware for the Longhorn Boot Environment

Pretty good session on upcomming preboot (boot loader and OS loader) changes in Longhorn. Discussed the differences between loader behavior on traditional PC/AT systems and new EFI systems. Also presented challenges and potential solutions of systems that support both 32- and 64-bit. I have yet to meet someone outside of Microsoft or Intel who is completely sold on EFI, but this session did give some good info.

USB Flash Drive Standardization Effort

More of an informational session about the efforts of UFDA (USB Flash Device Alliance), U3, and IEEE to develop standards around UFD's. I attended this session mainly out of curiosity. HP currently uses UFD's as a restore solution for our Thin Clients and have had a handful of customer issues with UFD's that are not compatible with our FreeDOS implementation (or our internal WinPE-based implementation). The main take-away in this session is that maybe we should be participating in this effort to ease our support issues when customers try to use a new/unsupported UFD when managing their HP Thin Clients.

Welcome Reception

Normal buffet food and drinks. I didn't stick around for too long. I gave installing Longhorn on VirtualPC another unsuccessful try then called it a night after checking in with the office.
Some more photos of the event facilities, etc. I definitly love this new phone. I typically don't bring a camera to these conferences, and when I do, I rarely take pictures. Having a camera in my phone really makes it easy!

Alienware PCs
Down to the water
Real F1
F1 Game
HP Exhibit
Lunch and Exhibit Hall
Slot racing
Gibson x64 Les Paul

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