I made reservations for a tour of LA today. The tour was ok, but the city is not too impressive. Of course it's big, like it would seem for anyone else from Holland. We went up to Beverly Hills, Rodeo drive, Melrose and Hollywood. Then downtown LA where we got off the bus to go straight to the convention center. I say we, 'cause I met this guy that's staying at the same hotel and also a PDC attendee. A coworker of him arrived later in the day. We were both looking for a place to get some breakfast, since, like I said, this hotel does serve. And if it did, I probably wouldn't want to eat here. He, Emad, said he wanted to go to the preconference sessions but didn't know that this required registration (and paying) for these sessions (which he hadn't done).
So he decided to take the same tour. In the afternoon we registered for the conference where every attendee is given a bag full of goodies. Kinda like at the TechEd this summer. And then I went to attend the .NET Rocks meeting at 18:00. It was a bit disappointing, since I listen to the shows and expected a more indept talk with one or more guests. They had Robert Scoble, Tim Huckaby, Scott Hanselman and a few other people that know a lot about .NET. But they went for a quiz-type session, where people from the audience would come up to a microphone and a question on some .NET subject was posed to one the the experts. The one from the audience would have to agree or disagree with the answer given. 2 out of 3 right meant a few gifts, Xbox games, a t-shirt and even an Xbox. The questions were pretty lame. They were not dumb, but they were trying to hard to make it funny by answering most questions with a joke first, and then with the real answer, without much of an explanation. They were all done in 45 minutes.
Anyway, after dinner we went to a couple of BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions where they would discuss Visual Studio .NET features, tips and tricks with the audience or the application blocks and other patterns and practices. It was both of limited interest and I was getting tired. Looking at my laptop clock, which is still set to dutch time, it's 7 o'clock in the morning (and 10pm in the evening here). So we decided to leave and be up at 7.30 to get to the conference center for breakfast and the first keynote speeches.
BTW: I'll try to post some of the pictures every day, but the number will depend on the upload bandwidth. There's a wireless lan available which worked pretty good so far, but a lot of people are expected tomorrow when the actual conference starts. Then again, lot's of people cannot make it in time, because there are huge fires at the border of LA county and the surrounding area. So many flights have been delayed and even canceled.