Tuesday started early for me because I had to be at the bloggers table in time for the opening remarks and keynotes starting at 7:45 AM. I had just enough time to grab a quick breakfast from the dining hall before finding my spot. I live blogged the keynote if you want to read all the details. To sum it up: it was twice as long as it needed to be, a bit fluffy on the marketing side, and made it clear that BI is what Microsoft is concentrating on in the near future (*cough* PowerPivot *cough*). Note to Microsoft for next year: when presenting to a room full of DBAs showing off Visual Studio is probably not the best use of your keynote time. The most entertaining part was when the rack full of servers overheated, the fans spun up to max RPMs, and everybody on twitter was taking guesses about whether or not there would be an explosion on stage.
After the keynote I went to Michelle Ufford's (Blog | Twitter) presentation on how GoDaddy prepared for the anticipated load that Super Bowl 2009 would put on their database servers. Michelle was a first-time PASS presenter like me and I thought she did a great job speaking clearly, staying on topic, and answering questions that came up. Tony Davis (Blog), Editor of Simple-Talk, was in the audience as well and I took advantage of the opportunity to meet with him and talk DMVs while waiting for Michelle to finish answering questions afterwards.
Michelle, Tony, and I made our way to the dining hall for the Birds of a Feather lunch and ended up sitting at Kathi Kellenberger's (Blog | Twitter) table. I talked with Kathi for a while about using T-SQL to select random rows from a table and she was kind enough to give me a personalized signed copy of her book Beginning T-SQL 2008. Also at the table was Kathi's editor from Apress; I took advantage of the opportunity to talk with him about how to get into writing books, and I'll definitely follow up with him in the next week.
After lunch I went to Jimmy May's (Blog | Twitter) session on disk partition alignment. His session was very popular at last year's Summit and part of my motivation for writing my disk performance series earlier this year. I nominate Jimmy for best speaker giveaway: At the end of his session he put a few copies of Windows 7 Ultimate out and said "First come, first served". Unfortunately I sat midway back and didn't get to the front before they were gone (Lesson for next year: Sit at the front of presentations!). Anyways, what floored me the most was afterwards I think he was as excited to meet me in person as I was to meet him. Thanks Jimmy, I'm honored.
I skipped the next time slot to talk disk performance with Chuck Lathrope (Twitter), then hit the last scheduled session of the day - Kalen DeLaney (Blog)'s Index Internals. I was surprised that the room was only half full, but that was probably due to a misprint on the schedule that listed her talking about Data Warehouses. About halfway through her presentation I realized that I was sitting next to Erland Sommarskog (Blog) of "The curse and blessings of dynamic SQL" fame. Very cool.
Dell sponsored an "after hours" event in the exhibit hall from 6-8. I went but spent most of the time taking with Wesley Brown (Blog) about solid state drive performance. From there I headed to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my friend Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter) and other folks from Florida (plus a few non-Floridians tag-alongs, more than happy to have them join!). I wrapped up the night at a fantastic party sponsored by SQL Sentry at the Tap House Grill where I had the pleasure of meeting PASS BOD VP Rick Heiges (Blog) and Andrew Kelly (Blog | Twitter), among the many that showed. Things wound down around midnight at which point I headed back to the hotel to call it a night and try to get a little sleep.
…Day 3 tomorrow!