April 16th, 2007 by Mark Rittman
I’m over in Las Vegas now for the Collaborate’07 event, a joint user-group conference by the IOUG, OAUG and Quest. The event’s being held at the Mandalay Bay hotel, one of the “mega-casino hotels” on the Las Vegas strip, and I’m staying up on the 31st floor. In the end, the journey wasn’t too bad – I paid £75 for an exit seat for the main flight over to San Francisco, and although we were an hour late getting in, I still caught the connector flight and arrived in Las Vegas around 8pm. As I’d been on the go for just under 24 hours, I had a quick shower and went to bed, and as is the usual for me on the first morning of a trip to the States, I was awake around 4am and ready to get up.
One of the good things about being in a casino hotel is that, effectively, it never shuts down. When I got up there were people walking down the corridor, and in fact when I eventually left the room around 5.30am to get a coffee, people were still up and the casino itself still had people in using the slot machines and playing the tables.
Someone said to me before I came over, that because of the jet lag and the fact that everywhere’s open all day and all night, they just spent their three days here on UK time and never actually bothered to trying an get their internal body clocks in order; for me, it’s 9.45 in the evening now and I think I’ve got myself sort of in sync, but we’ll have to see what time i wake up tomorrow.
In the morning, I went down to the hotel Starbucks and got myself a coffee and a pastry, and then went along to the registration area around 7am to collect my pass and conference bag. It never fails to suprise me how early things start over here – registration opens at 7am on a Sunday and there were lots of people there, few of which I suspect had jet-lag – I just think things tend to start earlier over here, which actually suits me well as I’m more of a “morning person” anyway.
After registering, I took a look around the hotel and tried to get my bearings. Like last years’ hotel, this years is huge and there’s about 15 restaurants, theatres, a massive casino, a shopping mall and around 3000 bedrooms.
As you’d expect, everything’s done on a larger-than-life scale, and even though you’ve seen most of the Las Vegas landmarks on screen or in photos before, seeing them in real-life is still very impressive, even more so when you realize most of the new, big hotels were built in the last ten years.
Seeing all the hotels – New York New York, with the Statue of Liberty outside, a hotel made out of skyscrapers and a Brooklyn Bridge, the Mandalay Bay, the Luxor with the Sphinx outside and the pyramid hotel, the Eiffel Tower – the only shame is that Janet and the kids can’t be with me as well. It’s quite a priviledge to be here, and thanks to the UK Oracle User Group for bringing me over.
Having just said all the stuff about what a wonderful resort and hotel this is, in actuality I spent all day today in my hotel room, trying to get Oracle Real-Time Decisions working (and I bet I was the only person in Las Vegas doing that today.) Real-Time Decisions is a “decisioning engine” with a developer tool integrated in with Eclipse, and a rules engine that uses data mining to present the most profitable (for example) choice based on a set of customer attributes. I’m working on putting a paper together on RTS and it’s going to feature in my new seminar, so I took the opportunity today of a day free to try and get it working. It’s now at the point where it’s installed and configured (and that was a job, let me tell you) and I’m working through the examples. More on this later in the week.
Anyway, that’s it for me now. Tomorrow starts off with a preview of 11g by Ken Jacobs, and a keynote later in the day in which Charles Phillips will presumably announce the completion of the Hyperion deal, and Project X, which is rumoured to be around the publishing of SOA components taken from e-Business Suite/Project Fusion in a way where they can be assembled, at run-time, by users into custom applications. Should be interesting.