“How can I get to PDC for free?”

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Want to go to PDC 2005 for free? Here’s your chance. From Channel9:

“Write a blog entry that explains why you want to go to the PDC, add the special contest flair to the entry and you just might be able to attend PDC05 for free*”

I like the idea of a “blog your way to PDC” contest. It encourages conversations about PDC as well as having the side-effect of increasing the overall Google links to PDC. I imagine it’ll also give Scoble and others more blogs to link to.

For me, I’ve been thinking about PDC and wondering how I can swing it. I scurried off to the last PDC at the last minute and wound up staying an hour’s drive away–read that 20 miles away. During the nightime commute at around midnight the traffic was light and I’d be back in bed in about 25 minutes. During the morning commute it was a 5 mph race to the morning keynotes. Traffic was awful.

If I go this time, I know I’d want to stay in one of the hotels right at the convention center. The closer the better. Or at least one where there’s a provided bus. Signing up early is the answer.

TechEd didn’t have any explicit Tablet birds-of-a-feather sessions, but because the cabanas were so good, many of us had our own impromptu Tablet get togethers there. And on the last day a group of us Tableteers shuttled our way to DisneyWorld too. I’m guessing I’ll see a bigger Tablet presence at PDC.

PDC is on my mind for one reason–Longhorn. I need to know more. What’s really going to make it into Longhorn. The computing world is changing–with 64-bit Windows here, Longhorn looming, and Apple making the switch to Intel–more than ever I need to understand the ins and outs of the latest technology.

How will the Tablet fit into these transitions? Intel is bringing workstation-level performance to notebook computing via its dual core processors. Will the Tablet be at the edge of these innovations? What about Longhorn? Will Longhorn facilitate more Tablet creativity and capabilities? Will a 64-bit Tablet be feasible in the near term?

At the last PDC there was lots of high-level proof-of-concept thinking and as a result the enthusiasm got ahead of the engineering. Now’s the time to get real. Like the release of 64-bit Windows–which is probably the most underplayed, under-appreciated event of the year. 64-bit capabilities are huge. As a developer it reshuffles what is practical and is going to have a significant impact on the next generation of apps.

What’s the next real thing? I’m hoping it’s going to be Longhorn. And I’m hoping by PDC this is going to be clear.