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February 22nd, 2010:

EntConnect 2010

I don’t know how many of you remember Midnight Engineering magazine, founded and edited during its life by the other Bill Gates, William E. Gates. From 1990 to 1998, the magazine covered the soft issues of technical entrepreneurship and the challenges faced by “midnight engineers” developing and selling products from their spare rooms. Bill and I were in the magazine startup business at about the same time and spoke often, and I wrote an article or two for the magazine down the years. In 1992 Bill started an idiosyncratic ski party and bull session here in Colorado, which grew into EntConnect, a small but intense skull-session kind of conference held every March near or in Denver.

I moved to Colorado in 2003, and Midnight Engineering alum Jack Krupansky has been bugging me to attend the conference ever since. I don’t know why it’s taken so long, but barring rogue asteroids or invading aliens I will be attending, and presenting a short session on POD publishing. Admitting that I’ve never been to an EntConnect, I can’t tell you much about it from personal experience, but everyone I’ve spoken to who’s ever gone says it’s been a wild time and well worth it. Don’t think Comdex. Think a geeky tech retreat with go-karts, trap shooting, snow skiing, and freewheeling interchange among a modest-sized crowd of very smart people who aren’t famous for taking “no” for an answer. (I’ll post photos and a wrapup here after the conference.)

This year, the conference will be held on March 25-28, 2010, at the Crown Plaza Hotel at 1450 Glenham Place in downtown Denver, just off the 16th Street Mall. The full 2010 conference schedule has not been posted yet, but I’ll be on it, along with Matt Trask on virtual machines and Chris Seto discussing recent innovations in tablet computing. Other stuff will be on the menu as well, but the real win I think is just the face time with other people who think small is better.

Here’s the conference home page. You can jump off to the registration page from there, and when the schedule is firmed up that’s where it’ll be.

Now, I’m not a skier, at least not on frozen water, but there will be a ski outing on Thursday, and lordy-lord, we have snow here to spare. However, I should be there for the rest of it. (How long has it been since I’ve even sat on a go-kart? Only my dear sister knows…)

Sounds like a riot. If you’re within striking distance of Denver, consider joining us!