This is part of a series of posts about Storage Field Day 9.
Another tech event, another bunch of branded merch and corporate largesse to disclose. If you haven’t seen these before, take a look at previous disclosure posts.
This post covers the period from Sunday 13 March 2016 to Sunday 20 March 2016, and both the Pure Storage //Accelerate conference and Storage Field Day 9.
Travel and Accommodation
My flights to and from San Francisco, CA (on Qantas) were paid for by Pure Storage. My accommodation in San Francisco itself for the first two nights was also paid for by Pure Storage, and Pure also paid for a car to take me from SFO airport to the hotel.
Tech Field Day paid for a car to take us all from the Pure Storage event on Tuesday afternoon down to Santa Clara for SFD9, which was the same huge limo that’s usually used for Tech Field Day events in the Valley. Ramon, our usual driver (and owner of the company, I believe), is awesome.
As an aside, a limousine is a ridiculous way to travel, as they’re not very comfortable. But, it does fit almost the entire group in one car, including luggage, so it’s logistically simpler than a small fleet of town cars.
Food and Drink
My belt is now too tight, thanks to excellent noms.
- Airline food on the planes to SFO.
- Lunch on Sunday was Clam Chowder and a couple of beers with some other Tech Field Day peeps down at one of the Piers at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. We paid for this ourselves. The place had a nice view of Alcatraz when there wasn’t too much mist. I now know what it’s like to get rained on with a shaved head, which is actually a lot nicer than it might sound.
- Dinner Sunday was a turkey sandwich and a local beer at the hotel, courtesy of Vaughn Stewart (@vStewed), as I caught up with him and Nick Howell (@datacenterdude) for dinner.
- Breakfast on Monday was your standard buffet thing, put on by Pure Storage at a blogger briefing at AT&T stadium in some corporate function rooms they have on the side. I had a pastry, some scrambled eggs, and several coffees because timezones.
- Lunch on Monday was food trucks at the Pure //Accelerate conference venue at Pier 48. This was a good arrangement compared to the usual function catered lunch box/bain-marie thing. I had a pretty delicious burrito and a diet coke.
- Dinner on Monday was courtesy of Pure, at a restaurant called Marlowe, which was better than the venue surroundings might suggest. I tried one of the fancy cocktails, which has an excellent name that I unfortunately didn’t note down and can’t remember. It was the kind of lethally tasty drink that you’d easily have four of them without noticing the booze and then your legs wouldn’t work when you decided to go to the restroom. I wisely stopped at one.
There were some sort of flash-fried peels Brussels sprouts as an appetiser, which were surprisingly good given that I don’t really like Brussels sprouts. There were also some crumbed oysters, which is a waste of a perfectly good oyster, in my opinion. For main I had a steak, which was delicious, paired with a quite decent pinot noir, which is not my preferred choice for steak (I’m Australian, so I like a hearty shiraz/syrah or cabernet sauvignon) but it was still better than most of the Australian pinot I’ve tried. New Zealand make much better ones, IMHO. I also had dessert, which was a decadent chocolate mousse, which I totally didn’t need, but it was amazing and I regret nothing.
- A few of us had a nightcap (a single malt scotch for me) and a chat at the bar back at the hotel, which was paid for by Tech Field Day.
- Tuesday breakfast was a coffee and snacks at the //Accelerate venue before I walked back to the hotel to pick up a package that was helpfully* delivered twelve minutes after I’d left. However, it was a gorgeous day in San Francisco, and I had a good chat with Matt Lieb (@MBLeib) on the way.
- Tuesday lunch was at Pure //Accelerate, but a different food truck this time. I decided to try chicken and waffles after hearing about it from various of my American friends. It was… tasty, but an unusual combination of savoury and sweet. I’d eat it again, but it was hyped up waaaay too much and couldn’t live up to the inflated expectations. B-.
- Tuesday dinner was courtesy of Tech Field Day, at Cucina Venti. We had various shared appetisers, and I had a roast chicken main that was quite tasty. I drank Chianti.
- Wednesday breakfast was hotel buffet and SFD9 delegate meeting. I had the usual coffee and eggs.
- Wednesday lunch was at NetApp, in their cafeteria, but with a special catered selection for us. I had roast beef, chicken breast and some steamed vegetables, and a NetApp+Solidfire branded chocolate cookie that was not overly sweet. And a diet coke.
- Wednesday dinner was at Mezcal as a serve-yourself buffet. I had some chicken and salmon, and some vegetables, rice and beans, plus some corn chips and salsa. To drink I had a few margaritas, which were reasonable but not the best I’ve had.
- Thursday breakfast was at Violin Memory. It was a kind of Mexican buffet, which I think was intended as a “make your own breakfast taco” type thing. I had a kind of open taco attempt at migas which was not a complete failure, though to call it a success. I also tried a hazelnut flavoured Keurig coffee machine thing, which smelled nicer than it tasted, but was sweetened so it was less bad than normal drip coffee. Honestly, what is it with America and drip coffee?
- Thursday lunch was at Intel, a catered buffet thing. I had some roast beef, chicken, and some grilled asparagas that was really quite good. The espresso coffee machine made a decent cup, too.
- Thursday dinner was at The Farmer’s Union in San Jose, courtesy of Tech Field Day. We had some shared appetisers, and I highly recommend the mushroom cigars. For main I had the pan roasted duck, which was very yummy. To drink I had a couple of Mai Tais.
- Back at the hotel a few of us stayed up for a nightcap, which was polishing off Mark May’s (@cincystorage) delegate gift of a bottle of scotch. There may have been some sporadic plotting of world domination.
- Friday breakfast was at VMware, a buffet thing and the best drip style coffee I’ve yet had. I believe the coffee was selected by Christos Karamanolis (@XtosK), so kudos. Also the pain au chocolat was delicious.
- Friday lunch was Chinese food, San Jose style, and a wind-down from Tech Field Day after all the presentations. We ate family style, so I had a try of a bit of everything. The Mapo Tofu, one of my favourite dishes, was pretty decent, and the jasmine tea was just right.
- Friday dinner was at Mexicali with Stephen Foskett, Matt Lieb, Dave Henry (@DaveMHenry), Enrico Signoretti (@ESignoretti), and Vipin V.K. (@VipinVK111). I ate waaay too much guacamole and chips but it was so fresh and tasty and you can’t get chips like that in Australia. Also the mole with the enchiladas was outstanding. I’m still full.
- Airline food offerings on the way home, which I mostly skipped due to having gained 2kgs in a week or something.
- Sunday morning: the first proper coffee in a week, thanks to Qantas club Sydney and Craig Waters (@cswaters1) getting me into the lounge because I am still just a lowly Silver status frequent flyer.
Vendor Branded Schwag
In order of reception, I was given the following gifts by vendors.
- A set of Pure Storage cuff-links, which I wore to do a video thing at the //Accelerate event. I now have two sets.
- A pair of Rayban Wayfarer imitation plastic sunglasses, co-branded with Datalink.
- An Outdoor Tech rugged wireless speaker. It’s a bluetooth speaker that’s weather resistant for strapping to the handlebars of your bike.
- A couple of SolidFire stickers.
- A SolidFire branded 4GB USB thumbdrive which glows red when you plug it in.
- A NetApp branded bluetooth speaker, but it’s red, so SolidFire are being cheeky.
- A pair of SolidFire Socks v3.0.
- A NetApp branded Lumo Lift posture coach thing. I guess it’s supposed to vibrate when you slouch or something, and has an app because of course it does.
- A copy of Hybrid Cloud & Data Fabric for Dummies (NetApp Special Edition).
- A branded 32GB (!) USB thumb drive with a bunch of marketing materials and the SFD9 presentation deck pre-loaded onto it.
- A branded notepad, about A6 size, which is small enough to be useful.
- A branded 16GB USB thumb drive, pre-loaded with marketing materials.
- A vmem.com branded bottle opener.
- Nothing I can recall.
- A Cohesity logo sticker.
- A six month subscription to Lootcrate, which means apparently they’ll send me a t-shirt and some other nerd stuff each month.
- A branded tiki mug.
- A branded notepad, about A5 size.
- A branded pen.
- A couple of “I am Captain VSAN” stickers.
- An LED flashlight (torch) with “VMware Virtual SAN All Flash” written on it. Get it? It’s surprisingly bright, and takes AAA batteries, so this might actually be useful, however, the best torch is one that has a winding recharge mechanism. We have a few around the house, in cars, etc. They’re great because you don’t have to remember to charge the batteries for your torch, because you always find out they’re flat when you need to use the torch, and who needs more maintenance routines in their life?
If I’ve missed anything out, do let me know.