|Tuesday, October 19, 2004: Ahhh, New Orleans. We arrived to a beautiful, if somewhat warm and humid, day. After a quick muffaletta lunch, we stopped for the obligatory photo of St. Louis Cathedral in the heart of the French Quarter.
|Here is this year's Orchard crew, ...
|... and just me. I have a collection of photos of me in this exact spot over the years, so why not add another?
|Next stop: Aunt Sally's for some tasty pralines, then Cafe du Monde for those amazing beignets.
|What better to place to meet for drinks with our international friends than Pat O'Brien's? Joining Michael, Jeff, and me were Pete (New Zealand), Tom (Denver), and Ant (Australia ... for now). Our photographer was Lahav (Canada).
|Pat O'Brien's has a beautiful courtyard which was a perfect location for an afternoon of enjoying Hurricanes.
|After a long afternoon of discussing the merits of naming conventions, method wrapping, and open source projects, the Orchard Software mascot, Orchy, posed with the afternoon's wreckage.
|Pete and I walked over to his room near the corner of Decatur and St. Louis Street to pick up his bottle of Glenlivet. Here's the lovely view from his booked-at-the-last-minute room.
|With an hour or so left before the 4D welcome reception began, a small party broke out in my room with the help of some beer from the bar downstairs and Pete's Glenlivet.
|Here, Rob laughed at the size of Tom's camera, because Rob's camera is approximately the size of a microchip.
|Here are Pete and Damon, ...
|... and Steve and me.
|Finally, 7:00 rolled around and we headed downstairs to the 4D Welcome Reception.
|The reception was a great chance to see old friends (Brian, Tom) and meet new friends (Stacy).
|Here are Mike, Brian, Melinda, and Dave.
|And here are Chris, Lo, Steve, Pete, Tom, and Jeff.
|When the 4D-sponsored open bar closed at 10:00, it was time to head to Bourbon Street.
|At 11:00, Brian and I headed back to the JW Marriott after snapping this photo, which turned into a Summit tradition. Others were not as wise. Reports of closing down bars were heard the next day.
|Wednesday, October 20, 2004: Before the opening keynote, it was evident that those clever 4D folks had been busy the night before. A slideshow featured photos from the night before, including this classic of Mr. D. and his ubiquitous camera.
|Next we had a full day of great sessions, but let's skip ahead to the nightlife, shall we? Enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail were Melinda and Tom.
|Jeff, Michael and I joined Lahav, Chris, and Rob and headed to a restaurant in the French Quarter where we celebrated Lahav's birthday. Most of us called it a night after that, but reports of another wild night on Bourbon Street continued to come in the next day.
|Thursday, October 21, 2004: Back to the Summit. The second day's keynote was the most amusing ever. Toward the end of the keynote, 4D's Sati came out in a lab coat, clutching a bottle of pills and raving about Database Growth Hormone. Slides showed how the current version of 4D was like a regular bodybuilder...
|... but the next version of 4D (stoked with DBGH -- Database Growth Hormone) would look like this, due to increased table, field, and data file limits. You had to be there, but it was funny stuff and very welcome news.
|A trio of 4D celebs: Tom, Bryan, and David.
|Pete and Damon kept their accents fresh (New Zealand and Australia, respectively) by talking to each other. After a few days, we Americans no longer needed subtitles to understand them.
|After another full day of excellent sessions, it was time to kill a few brain cells at the 4D Bourbon Street Party. Steve and Tom adorned themselves with all the plastic bling their necks could hold.
|It's a scene straight out of "The Right Stuff" or "Armageddon." The baddest of the bad, the 4D Developer Posse hits the street, ready to sort your data, serve up your selection, calculate your totals, and churn out your XML. They'll even do it recursively -- they're just that bad.
|As we approached the party balcony at Bourbon Vieux, we saw that Pete, Ant, and Christian were already there. I took a photo of Chris ...
|... and he returned the favor.
|Pete and Ant were looking quite flashy themselves in their new beads out on the balcony.
|Here are some of the establishments right across the street from our wholesome party.
|Here's the view looking in the other direction toward our hotel.
|Inside the party, a friendly lady was on hand to apply excellent 4D tattoos, including a "Born to Code" design and a fleur-de-lis overlaid with "4D." She assured us they were temporary, but there were quite a few visible the next day on heads, arms, and necks.
|While partygoers enjoyed delicious local food like crawfish ettouffee, rice, beans, and sandwiches, several belly dancers performed for the crowd.
|They were nice enough to pose for some photos as well; here with Christian ...
|... and here with Dennis and Paul.
|Gary joined the band onstage for several jazz numbers.
|"Like, omigod, you want me to do what? For beads? Me?"
|The official 4D party ended at 10:00, so the unofficial party started down Bourbon Street at the Funky Pirate, commonly known among Summit-goers as "that one blues club."
|I stayed out with the crowd out on the street, where I was looking just as friendly as always.
|A few beers and a little while later, feather boas appeared out of nowhere, along with a fresh supply of beads for sharing. Steve, Jeff, Brendan, and Michael were clearly enjoying the lovely night air.
|Brendan was careful to color-coordinate his bright green beverage with his bright pink boa. You gotta respect that kind of fashion flair.
|Of course, white and purple boas are also nice. We broke down Jon's resistance until he could no longer refuse the white boa, but he didn't seem to mind.
|At the end of the night, I didn't have the heart to scrub off my lovely 4D tattoo, so it stuck around for a couple of days.
Friday, October 22, 2004: It's hard to believe, but most people seemed to be present for the next morning's sessions. I took a couple of photos of the French Quarter from my hotel room on the 19th floor of the beautiful JW Marriott.
|It all looks so bright and clean and innocent in the light of day!
|One of the best things about the 4D Summit is making great friends, which makes one of the worst things having to say goodbye to them. So, no one can blame us if we took a little longer than necessary to finish up our lunch.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy