November 14, 2007

Oracle OpenWorld - Day Four - Dell Keynote

I'm sitting in the Michael Dell and Larry Ellison keynote from 12:45-2:30. I'll blog the Ellison part separately since it will probably be more relevant to regular readers.

Mr. Dell (who, in a strange twist of cosmic fate, got a job as CEO of Dell) is supposed to be talking about how Dell is making its IT infrastructure simpler. There's an irony to someone presenting on reducing IT spending at an IT conference. There's also something funny - but not that funny - about blogging about Dell on a Dell laptop. I've been here 20 minutes so far and I haven't heard much about simplification. I did get to watch a good opening Dell commercial. They showed it with the lights off. Speaking of lighting, they change the background lighting in the room depending on the main company presenting the keynote: Oracle had red mood lighting and Dell has a deep blue.

He's giving a message at the moment about "finding your hidden data center." To summarize this whole portion of the presentation, use virtualization (VMs or Virtual Machines) to put more servers on a single server. Dell (the man, not the company) then revealed a new convertible tablet laptop that Dell is releasing in the next couple of months. The new tablet from Dell (the company, not the man) has a neat feature that enables it to tell where multiple fingers are touching the screen at once. I was really impressed at the demonstration of how this new technology could be used to do finger painting. Well, I was really impressed until I realized that my iPod Touch already has multi-touch sensing technology (it uses it to zoom in and out on web pages).

Next, Dell's demo guy (the demo guy belongs to both the man and the company, so far as I can tell) showed some new software for managing technology. I'm finding the banter between Dell man and Dell demo guy to be worse than the banter between Oscar presenters. I've heard more believable dialogue between 2nd graders playing cowboys and Native Americans (modern 2nd graders are more enlightened). Dell (either the company or the man, it's irrelevant at this point) is also releasing some sort of flat screen with a built-in Blue Ray DVD player that also appears to house a computer inside. Dell will apparently be officially announcing this product in a week or so.

I actually perked up for a moment just now at a comparison of "On-Demand Desktop Streaming" vs. thick client vs. thin client. ODDS (I just invented an acronym) is a thin client-like (no install necessary) technology that can handle high-bandwidth video. They showed an example of watching a Dell commercial through the ODDS vs. thick client vs. thin client. The thin client updated once or twice per second. Aside from a sizing difference, ODDS and thick client seemed indistinguishable.

The blue lighting is lulling me into a coma.

It was just announced that Dell will be carbon neutral by 2008. I think that's the company not the man (though Mr. Dell may already be carbon neutral for all I know). I don't know why I find the concept of carbon-based life forms trying to be carbon neutral to be funny.

At the end of the Dell part of the keynote, they gave the audience an opportunity to text their thoughts on "the greatest benefit to Integrated IT." They put most of them up on the overhead screen. My personal favorite benefit of Integrated IT: "Everything crashes at once." I texted "Integrated IT = Chick Magnet" but I think it got censored.

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