Interesting end to the past 3 days.
The second annual EAST
Partnership conference has ended, and I'm not too sad
run where 10 select students get to display their projects for the year, with one being selected to represent the school. My school's project covered something of a "Smart House
" for Habitat for Humanity
, but wasn't presented all that well.
The day started with a bit of "abuse" of our equipment (dvd laptop + projector = mini-theater), and watched the first half of The Matrix
before the conference began officially at 9:00. We ended the day the same way, only we got to where they have to go back and get Morpheus
, and we had to stop.
This year was unusual, because in one year the conference
almost doubled in size, expanding from about 50 schools last year to 98 this year. Most of the schools are from Arkansas
, with a few from Alabama
, the Chicago
area, and 3 schools from Hawaii
Projects were judged
and awards were given out yesterday. I can't remember
the exact winners(I was way too tired to care
at that point), but I do know the prize was a plaque and a nice shiny new Dell
Oddly enough, as impressive as the conference is (booths filled with computer equipment, touting software ranging from microstation
to Softimage 3D
), it's a little subjective as to what is impressive. One class wrote a TCP/IP
chat program in VB
. Whoopee. I built one during the summer at work. Logged on to IRC with it too. Then Avid
Software was there too, with their latest machine built for them by IBM. Nice machine, but our p2-300 with Ultra160 LVD SCSI
matches it frame for frame, only we use Adobe Premiere (and their machine is a p3-933 with 128MB of RDRAM).
That reminds me. I swear that every booth looked like a freaking TRADE SHOW
. Every presentation and booth listed EVERY peice of software they used, from Microsoft Word
to the latest high-end peice of 3D wizardry that cost them $18k. Had Microsoft been paid $1 for each time they were mentioned, they'd easily have made $100k+. That brings on the subject of another rant.
Turn back now
Alright, you asked for it
It's WAY TOO MICROSOFT ORIENTED. In webpages, everything is done towards IE. Everything is done using NT
Server. Everything is done with VB/MSVC++. Only ONE person there I saw was using anything but, and they were using Borland C++
4.5 and the DOS IDE
. And as far as I know, my lab is the only one with a non-windows box. I was tempted to go up to the all-around-NT guy (he's big among the EAST group, he had a fit when he found out our lab was running a linux
box), and say "My Linux box says 'Hi'
Not only that, but some EAST student from the previous year, whom I had met and was pretty cool with, told me one thing as I started to talk with him. "Linux Sucks
! And he's supposed to be a representative
for the highly technical half of one of the state colleges.
Personally, I hate NT
. It's a bit of a headache to manage at times (we have rebuilding a machine down to an art using Norton Ghost
), and tends to be inflexible. 2K I respect more, but it's still not something I like totally. But when people are often actively deferred from using something else because they WANT to try it, and maybe develop something incredible with it (use of non-ms OSes is often actively discouraged on the list serve).
The ideas, and reasoning behind the "East Initiative" are good, and for the most part respectable, but I think that it needs a major overhaul in attitude and administration, and cover more than just windows-based stuff.
End Rant Mode