My regular routine is to go to bed around 8:30 in the evening and get up around 3:30 AM. The weekend of the Schmooze the routine is drastically destroyed.
I slept in to 4:00 Thursday morning, packed the last of the Schmooze stuff, showered, shaved, then sat at the kitchen table for an hour going over my checklist to make sure I didn't forget to take anything. I left the house about seven. When I reached the outskirts of Urbana, I realized I didn't have my wallet. No credit cards, no money. So much for the checklist.
I arrived at the hotel about eighty-thirty. Harold Holmes showed up at about ten-thirty and the schmoozing had begun. By the time Harold and I returned from lunch several more Schmoozers had arrived.
The original intention of the Schmooze was getting back together with old friends, and making some new ones. We all met on-line, and we stay in constant touch on-line. But seeing everyone face to face, more than once a year, is the greatest benefit of the weekend.
Dan Veaner's report tells of all the fun things that went on, he also almost makes a person think that there are two distinct groups. But that's not really the case. We're all friends and enjoy each other's company.
That first night the restaurant and bar closed at ten. But we were ready. The official Schmooze hospitality suite opened immediately. It was stocked with soft drinks, wine, beer and snacks. At about eleven my eyes wanted to slam shut, but I managed to stay awake until two. Quite an accomplishment for me, ask my wife.
For three days the afternoons were spent around the tables in the atrium and restaurant. The evenings were spent in the hospitality suite. If someone has questions about programming, marketing, 3rd party tools, etc., this is where they get their answers. A lot of people went sightseeing and shopping. (See Dan's report for all the details) I'd rather stay close to the hotel and visit. I don't think anyone could get Rich Holler out of the hotel once he gets there. So there was always someone to talk to.
Bob Ostrander spent several hours with a group of young men from MainNet in Urbana. There might be some good things for the ASP coming from that meeting.
The 'Independent Shareware Awards' were a great success. And we had 'em guessing. The night before, Rosemary and I were talking in the suite. I said, to her, but just loud enough for those around us to hear, 'Too bad none of the winners are here'. She picked it up, and just sighed. A few weeks before I did have to do some prodding to assure that all the winners would be there.
For me, that was the best part of the Schmooze. That was what it was all about. I prefer to listen. And there was plenty to hear. Talk ranged from jokes to coding problems.
Harold Holmes talked about his new 'soon to be released' program SiteTrak. SiteTrak is set up to build a contact list of websites as well as crucial information regarding each of your programs. By using the list you can have your program submitted to websites within minutes. No more surfing around trying to find where to put your files. Everything is located in one central spot.
Tom Guthery and Eric Robichaud became involved in a lengthy discussion on 3D graphics animation. Eric talks in a graphical animated environment. His hands, constantly moving, provide the action. His speech, complete with pops, clicks, and zaps, provide the sound effects. And his facial expressions and body language provide the backdrop. It was entertaining and informative to just sit, listen and learn.
Hearing the problems of other authors, then their solutions was worth the price of admission. If you ever hear Eric Isaacson tell of his early programming years, you'll never forget it.
Last year, Rosemary West, a non-smoking advocate supreme, smoked a cigar. But she said she didn't inhale.
And then there's Russ,.....
Russ Irwin might be one of the most liked people in our industry. Without Russ, there would be no Russisms. (A Russism is something Russ says or does.) These Russisms are only passed by word of mouth. They can't be posted on any web page or written on paper. Private Email is OK, but spamming a Russism is taboo. At every Schmooze or SIC, we can always count on at least one Russism. We were lucky this year, we got two. So if you want to hear about the latest Russism, you must come to SIC or the next Schmooze. When you meet Russ, you'll probably find that you'll like him as much as we do.
The weekend went too fast. There is no reason others can't organize their own Schmooze.
We need more of them spread around the country. If anyone would like a little information,
let me know.