iCan Blog Archive

Recently I attended the IBM Power Systems Technical Symposium in Melbourne Australia, followed by a similar conference the next week in Auckland New Zealand. This was my first trip to the southern hemisphere and what a great trip it was! In addition to speaking at the conferences and talking with IBM i clients, I took some vacation and was a tourist for a few days.

This being my first trip to the down-under, I arranged to travel a few days early and spent the weekend prior to the conferences in Sydney. Of course I had to do touristy things – I walked across the Harbor Bridge (no, I didn’t do the bridge climb), wandered around outside the Sydney Opera House and visited the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Opera House is an amazing architectural work and I could write several paragraphs about it. I snapped this picture while on the Harbor Bridge:

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Having lived most of my life as a land-locked Midwesterner, I had to venture to the coast. tripadvisor told me that the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk was the #3 attraction in Sydney and the beach locations worked well with my limited time in Sydney. Along the walk, I saw surfboarders braving what looked like rather small waves. I pulled out my zoom lens and caught a few shots; when I looked at the pictures on my computer I realized those waves really weren’t that small. I bet that water was far too cold for me!

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The time in Sydney was too short and then it was on to Melbourne. They are very different cities. On my first free day in Melbourne I went to the National Gallery of Victoria where the Italian Masterpieces exhibit was on display. It was very impressive, but unfortunately I was not able to appreciate it … I didn’t know it at the time but I was coming down with what I think was the flu and was not feeling well at all. Whatever bug found me made me ill for two days, which was very disappointing since, of course, I got ill on a free day! I recovered quickly enough that I only had to cancel one presentation. I did have one additional free day in Melbourne after the conference where I explored the city. The Royal Botanical Gardens was my destination and, along the way, I visited the Shrine of Remembrance. I took this panoramic photograph of Melbourne from the top of the shrine.

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Then it was on to Auckland. I only had one free day in Auckland and I spent the entire day walking around the city – the highlight was Mount Eden. This was discovered entirely by accident, but it was a very pleasant surprise. The 360-degree view of the area was beautiful. Since it is winter there, there were not many fellow tourists. I took the following shot looking across the cone:

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Finally, a bit about the conferences (after all, that is why I was on this trip!). Both were rather small conferences with a few hundred people; the one in Melbourne was the larger of the two. Both were Power Systems conferences and had plenty of sessions on POWER, Storage, IBM i, AIX and Linux. I was very pleased by the number of IBM i clients who attended my presentations along with the post-presentation discussions. The IBM Enterprise Conference this fall will be similar, but on a much larger scale.

This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.