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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!


  1. A good ski resort will have ski instruction. Downhill skiing is actually a lot of fun if you learn to do it safely and properly. Of course… it’s cold…


  2. Rich, N8UX says:

    I completely forgot about Midnight Engineering mag — and I was a long time subscriber! Wish I still had my back issues.

    Also brings to memory the day my then girlfriend came home to discover I had attached servo motors to the mini-blinds.

    Sure would like to hear your POD presentation. Perhaps a writeup here afterwords?

    1. Sure. I don’t know precisely what form it’ll take–I can always post the PowerPoint if I do one–but I’ll put the gist of it on my site somewhere.

  3. John Gaudio says:


    Thank you for the kind words. I’m delighted to hear you’re joining us, and just wrote a short post on it at I’m anxious to learn from you about POD (Print On Demand) publishing, and hoping I can apply some of what I’ll learn to POD video and audio publishing for

    Now that you live in Colorado there’s really no good reason for you to stay away from the slopes, so if you’re up for it, let’s head into the mountains early in March, to start getting your ski legs adjusted to the snow. 🙂

    John Gaudio,

  4. bcl says:

    Wow, has it been that long? I still miss reading Midnight Engineering, I have my back-issues around here someplace. I also remember that he thought the Internet was going to be a passing fad.

  5. […] briefly described the conference in my February 22, 2010 entry. It was a piece of early community building by the founder/owner of Midnight Engineering magazine, […]

  6. Gary L. Redfield says:


    Can you tell me what happened to William Gates and his Whirlwind Publications magazines? Back in the late 1990s I wrote a series of MicroComputer Journal articles. At that time he was having horrible trouble trying to run a monster printing press all by himself and therefore couldn’t meet publication deadlines. Just wondering how he is faring today, if you know.

    Thank you for any information you may be able to provide.


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