James O'Neill's Blog

November 13, 2008

Back from tech.ed

Filed under: General musings — jamesone111 @ 10:40 am

I’ve had a busy few days: after Tech.ed we had some internal training in Barcelona over the weekend, and I  flew back from Tech-ed to a concert in London on Sunday night. I have quoted a line or two of Anne Clark’s on this blog: I saw her in a TV programme about a book called “Hard lines”, and they said she had a Album out. That was 1983 (or possibly 1982), and I’ve got just about everything she’s done since; but she hasn’t played in Britain for years and its taken me a quarter of century to see her live. Just brilliant. But I didn’t get home till 1AM.

Tech.ed seemed better than last year – at least to me, and I’ve got a long pipeline of posts about Windows 7 which will follow this one. My one complaint is that the shirts we given as speakers were cheap polyester ones and I’ve had some kind of skin reaction to them. When I got home It was a quick change of clothes in my bag and then jumping on a flight to Edinburgh for a virtualization event there. I forgot to take the anti-histamine cream with me, and so was itching like mad on stage for the day. Not good. Back south for a a quick team meeting and then off again for another presentation in London, home, re-pack and then I’m in Cambridge tonight, and presenting there in the morning. 

I have a ton of posts to write on Virtualization, PowerShell and some of the more interesting stuff about Windows 7/ Server 2008 R2 which now public and some other writing to finish which I’ll talk about here when it’s done.

The flight to Barcelona clashed with Brazilian grand prix, and I’m carrying the Media center recording of it with me, hoping to get a chance to see it in a hotel somewhere soon. I called home as soon as the ‘plane landed and got the news from my 8 year-old daughter (one of the world’s most passionate Hamilton fans) that Hamilton had won the championship, and it hinged on passing Timo Glock (though it was the following morning that I found out what a close run thing it had been). Because I’ve talked about F1 and some of the nonsense which has come from the people who run the sport on this blog, a lot of people at tech.ed started conversations with me about F1 and the race. One person has even mailed me to say he was looking forward to reading my take on how things finished and was bit disappointed not to have seen it yet. So… in the end justice was done. Massa benefitted from some very iffy Stewarding decisions (Hamilton’s penalty in Belgium, giving him a win and 6 point benefit, his own lack of penalty for a dangerous pit release in Valencia letting him keep a win which would have gone to Hamilton, and giving him extra 4 points, and not Penalizing him for going off the permitted track to overtake Webber in Japan giving him 2 more points, which only have been one had Vettel not received another dubious Penalty). Had Massa won people would have been saying for years that he shouldn’t have been champion (they would have ignored the fact those points were cancelled out by the teams error in Singapore which cost him a win and gave Hamilton an extra point).  On the other hand Ferrari – who always seem to be the beneficiary of these decisions – won the constructors’ championship. Reverse out the bad decisions and Hamilton would have won the drivers’ title by more (and had 7 wins to 4  for  Massa), and Ferrari would have had won the constructors by less, but the result would have been the same – the gap between the second driver in each team was greatly in Ferrari’s favour.

My worry now is that Hamilton will become as dominant as Michael Schumacher was and we’ll be in for seasons of very dull racing. From a purely sporting perspective the Senna’s untimely death meant we never had the spectacle of the rising Schumacher taking on the Senna as “old master”. Schumacher’s retirement means we don’t see him race Hamilton, and I don’t see him being temped back. But against that fear is the hope that with Vettel, Kubica and Alonso (who scored more points than anyone over the last 8 races) as well as the two Ferrari and two Mclaren drivers winning races this year we could be at the start of a new Golden age. I remember the days when Mansell, Piquet, Senna, and Prost were competing – hopefully there will be enough good cars to go round, and any one from half a dozen drivers and 3 or four teams could win. I’ve been a Williams fan since for even longer than I’ve been an Anne Clark fan, and Keke Rosberg was one of my favourite drivers. Two sons of great drivers have won championships in Williams’  cars. I still hold out hope that for a third.

Since I’ve been anti-Ferrari for decades (they were getting the benefit of bad decisions when James Hunt raced for Mclaren, and against Williams in the 80s and 90s) I should make my last planned comment on Motor racing for this year an acknowledgement that they can do something good – the FIA’s idea of all the teams using standard engines has to rank as one of the worst I’ve ever heard. Ferrari took a stand against it and helped drive down the cost of engines for non-works teams. Near identical cars which are the limiting factor – rather than driver skill -  is what has made American single seat racing so boring. So a tip of hat to the team in red for killing that idea.

And now, back to that large pile of posts …

This post originally appeared on my technet blog.


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