Microsoft's Nathan Mercer told me this is a special build - the laptops are so new he had to create an image with fresh drivers, plus a full Tech.Ed user experience. This also includes New Zealand-flavoured wallpapers and other customisations.
The laptops also come with the latest Microsoft Office 2010 CTP.
If you are not getting these laptops but still would like to have the New Zealand-based theme, it looks like this will be released for download in October when Windows 7 becomes available for consumers.
Also if you didn't take the offer, you still have a chance to leave Tech.Ed NZ 2009 with one of those: Microsoft is running a competition lasting the three days of Tech.Ed. There seven laptops to be given away, and to be in the draw you have to fill a form with answers to seven puzzles. These answers will be around Tech.Ed NZ 2009 somewhere. Entry forms are available when you collect your badge.
I have just added a widget to the sidebar on this blog currently listing search results for the #tenz9tag on Twitter. Below is the same widget, if you want to bookmark this page to see updates:
You can also follow the official Tech.Ed Live Twitter account. Use the #tenz9tag in your Tweets, blog posts and Flickr pitcure uploads.
For updates on picture upload you can get our Flickr RSS feed for Unofficial Tech.Ed NZ 2009 or the Official Flickr Pool RSS feed for Tech.Ed NZ 2009. If you are attending the Tech.Ed and uploading to Flickr you can join the Flickr Tech.Ed New Zealand Group as well.
As a developer, navigating your way around the tons of infrastructure tracks can be difficult. I know Active Directory, Exchange, group policies, firewalls, DR, and desktop deployment are important, but let's face it: they are all deeply un-sexy.
If you're a developer like me, you'll probably be wandering the halls on Monday, looking at session titles and deciding what to attend. I've listed a few of my choices below, with my reasons for attending.
Love it or hate it, the Enterprise Library is Microsoft's gold-standard for code reuse and encapsulation. Wrapping up some of the hairiest pieces of plumbing so you don't have to deal with it yourself. 5.0 is the latest iteration, so if you're building n-tier apps regularly, you'll want to hear about it.
Do your clients keep pestering you about sexy user interfaces? Or do you just want to wow them with some highly usable, good looking interfaces?
Like clockwork, new versions of .NET roll off the Microsoft production line every couple of years. If you want to know about lambdas, optional parameters (remember those from VB6?!), Oslo and more, this is the session for you.
These time-clashes are starting to bother me. It's like Microsoft think that you're either a technical developer or a UI developer. Anyway: WUX308 is all about delivering data to your front-end applications via .NET RIA Services.
"Security is boring", I hear you say. Yes it might be, right up until those hackers use a flaw in your code to get at your client's user database. I bet you'll be wishing you attended this session when the reporters are at your door asking questions.
Don't be scared off by the 400-level talks. They generally delve deep into the workings of applications and frameworks. My dad always said "it's important to know how things work", and this talk will hopefully give you that information about Silverlight.
As a Microsoft developer, VS is your toolbox. Come along to this session to check out all the bells and whistles that Microsoft have added to 2010
The title doesn't offer us much, but Jim Webber is an interesting speaker. I'm guessing this might be a web services talk. Jim has another session on Tuesday titled "This is a REST talk".
I'm hoping this will be an egaging and informative session. Kirk Jackson is going to be defending a honeypot website in real-time as a couple of hackers attempt to break in. Good times!
Like the Enterprise Library, ASP.NET MVC is Microsoft's best-practise implementation of software patterns. Some prefer to roll their own, but it's always good to see how it's done.
We still have some places available if you want to register to attend. This is happening from 8pm Monday 14th September after the Tech.Ed welcome drinks.
Registrations are essential - we have only a small number of seats available. Dinner will be sponsored, and we will open a bar tab to start (you will pay for your drinks after the tab runs out!).
Register here for the Geekzone dinner at Tech.Ed New Zealand 2009.