WisCon so far

Flights were uneventful and more or less on time. In Minneapolis, we had to switch to a slightly smaller plane (Airbus 319 instead of Airbus 320), which led to a certain amount of reseating and overbooking, but it wasn't a big deal from my point of view. Then we spent half an hour sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off from Minneapolis, but being only half an hour late isn't so bad for Memorial Day Weekend travel in my experience.

On the flights, I did a little bit of editing and read a little bit of both Perdido Street Station and the Tiptree bio (the two books I brought in my carryon), but mostly slept.

Rowan and Jenizie turned out to be on my flight from MSP to MSN (as was Mike W, who I keep seeing across crowded airports and airplanes lately without ever getting close enough to say hi). On landing at MSN, I ran into Matt A and Janet L, and finally got to meet baby Alice, who's not so much of a baby any more. They pointed out that she's been to every WisCon since she was born (a year and some ago); we speculated about how old the oldest person is for whom that's true. Anyone happen to know?

Jeff H picked up R and J and me at the airport (thanks again, Jeff!) and dropped me at the Concourse. I checked in, chatted briefly with Cliff (who had flown via Chicago, which was a disaster, and had led to his taking the bus to Madison), took my stuff to my room. Stopped by the bar (which I don't think I've ever been to before) to get food; chatted briefly with Bear and briefly with Debbie N and a little longer with Leah B. Saw Shannon, who had run into Chicago/United-related difficulties similar to Cliff's. Note to all travelers: if you skip a leg of your flight, be very sure to talk to the airline about it; otherwise, they may cancel the rest of your flight. I found this out the hard way last year.

Thanks again to Heather W for the advice to travel via MSP. If the return trip goes well, I'll be doing that every year from now on.

Spent the rest of the evening hanging out with assorted cool folks. Yay! Great to see everyone again. I would name you all, but I'd be up all night, and I would be sure to miss someone anyway.

(Speaking of names, my most embarrassing moment so far (but the con is yet young) came while I was standing outside the Concourse waiting for a cab. Charlie A (the British one) came walking along the sidewalk, so I smiled at her and waved, and she smiled and waved back and said "Do I know you?" And I knew there was something odd about how she'd said that but I said "It's Jed" (it was kind of dark outside the hotel) and she said "You look kind of familiar" and I said "Are you Charlie?" and she said "No." And I realized that it wasn't Charlie at all (didn't even really look all that much like her close up) and she didn't even have a British accent and I said "Oh, sorry, you look like someone I know" and she said "You look like someone I know too, weird" and we went our separate ways, me being mildly mortified and her probably being mildly puzzled. Oh, well, as identity confusion goes it could have been much worse.)

I have nothing scheduled for the whole weekend except my panel Friday night and the SH tea party Sunday afternoon. I imagine there'll be a lot of hanging out and a certain amount of panel-attending.

Which reminds me: I've seen con reports from non-sf conventions that involved people taking notes during panels using collaborative networked writing tools. I always thought it might be fun to try that. A couple of times I've halfheartedly suggested using SubEthaEdit for this purpose, but that's Mac-only and requires everyone to download and install an application.

But a couple weeks ago it occurred to me that there's now a better option for this kind of thing: Google Docs and Spreadsheets, which lets multiple people edit a document (using basically WYSIWYG editing tools) at the same time, all using web browsers.


  • It doesn't work with Safari; on the Mac, you need to use Camino or Firefox. (Do y'all Mac people know about the Mac-optimized Aqua-widgets unofficial version of Firefox, aka BonEcho? I just started using it at work; I like it.)
  • Anyone who wants to participate in the collaborative editing needs to have a Google account. (Which is free, but not everyone wants to have one.)
  • I think I can't just link to a document and have it freely editable; I think the owner has to specifically invite people to collaborate before they can edit the document. Which may make this unworkable.
  • I haven't seen anyone but Liz regularly show up to WisCon panels with laptops anyway.

Still, it's a thought. Maybe some day I'll be organized enough to set up something like this before the con rather than trying to do it during.

Okay, it's past time I went to sleep. G'night!

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3 Responses to “WisCon so far”

  1. Cheryl

    Glad to hear you avoided the O’Hare nightmare this year!

    I used to take a laptop to panels, but I got fed up of being yelled at for making too much noise, or being yelled at because people didn’t want what they said being reported. But I do hope that some people report on Wiscon. I’ve read the schedule and there are panels I wish I could be at.

  2. Jim Moskowitz

    re Bon Echo: Are you aware that there are nightly Mac optimizations for BonEcho based on the latest open-source additions to both the Firefox 2 _and_ Firefox 3 projects? (The 3 is of course stranger, more powerful, and more likely to have trouble; I stick with the 2, which is for the most part just like only faster)
    Get them here: http://firefoxmac.furbism.com/

  3. charlieallery

    I made notes in the Small Markets panel at WisCon on my laptop, but I had it muted so it didn’t make noise and I was far enough away from the panel that it probably wasn’t obvious.

    And the important thing, Jed, is that you did recognise me at The Gathering, and I recognised you (of course). As I said, I’ve had people living in the same house convinced that they saw me on the other side of the country and that I ignored them. My uncle was convinced that there is a standard face shape for curly redheads to which I conform, which may account for it to some extent. Glad to see you again in any case. *g*


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