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ASE Certification.  This week made all the hard work worth it!

Inside ASE 1999 Toronto

This by far was the best day of the conference. The morning opened with a panel discussion by senior members of the Compaq management team. There were six panel members, and each went over their duties and responsibilities at Compaq. This took around 30 minutes, of the scheduled two hour session. The rest of the time was spent taking any and all questions from the crowd of around 3,000. There were many questions that caused some people on stage to squirm, but to their credit they answered all of the questions posed to them in a direct and forthright manner. That is refreshing to get that from a management team.

We spent the next couple of hours in the Living Lab and Cyber Café area. We took a closer look at a couple of products that we passed over earlier in the week. We also spent some time around the networked Quake 3:Arena setup they had.

At noon, we attended an exclusive Master ASE lunch that Compaq hosted. There were fewer than 100 people there. We went over the state of the Master ASE program,  how Compaq was pleased at the development of the group, and what is in store in the near future for the Master ASE program. The best part was that we had a panel discussion here also, with the same six folks from the morning session, except this time, we had them all to ourselves. And since we are an advanced group, they were more detailed in their answers and explanations to us. It was great to be able to get the ear of Compaq’s top management in a more intimate setting. The really seem to be looking to the Master ASEs for help in shaping the future of the entire ASE program.

In the afternoon, we spent the time in the non-disclosure area. This is Compaq’s version of Skunk Works. All of their new and cool technology is in here. But since it’s non disclosure, I can’t say anything about what was in there except that there is some really neat stuff coming from Compaq in the very near future.

The final keynote speech was delivered by Don McMillan, Engineer Extraordinaire. He worked at Bell Labs and was on the team that developed the first 32 bit processor. He then moved to VLSI and designed other microprocessors and ASICs. But that is not what he is really known for. You probably have seen him in commercials or on a comedy special. He won the 1991 San Francisco International Standup Comedian Competition and after that gave up computers and took up comedy. So the final keynote speech was basically a standup routine, and the guy was a riot. He had everyone in stitches the entire time. It was a great way to end the week.

So that wraps up the 1999 Compaq ASE conference in Toronto, Canada. It was an incredible conference, both on the education and the entertainment side. Early word is that the 2000 conference will be held in Miami, FL around the October timeframe. I’m looking forward to it already.

No pictures from today, since everything we did was at the conference center. This will be the last entry for this conference, as my flight back is tomorrow morning. Hope you enjoyed the daily reports!