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|By Mark Dodel © August 2002|
Warpstock 2002 will be in Austin Texas, on the weekend of October 5-6. It is shaping up as one of our best conferences, and the Warpstock Board has been trying to address all of the suggestions we were given at the last event.
Warpstock 2002 is not a blind purchase anymore. Instead of waiting until the last minute to post all of the speakers, we have posted them months earlier than we ever have before.
One of the nagging issues that has been a problem for Warpstocks past is paying for registration. Warpstock has made an effort to address the credit card issues many people had with PayPal and Billpoint last year or getting US denominated traveler checks. We have opened an eStore with Bank of America. This means that non-US visitors can use their Visa or MasterCard to purchase registrations or merchandise without a long registration period or additional fees. For those of you who don't want to use your cards on-line, we have a mail-in registration form for credit card purchases. We will be taking CC (Visa/MasterCard) at the event, too.
The presentation schedule is already pretty well filled out, though there may be a couple more surprises in store. Vendors supporting OS/2-eComStation will be there with sessions on Scitech SNAP Graphics, Connectix Virtual PC for OS/2, DFSee, Starfire Titan, F/X Communications, Golden Code Trace Suite and Serenity's eComStation. There will be general informational sessions on OS/2 Support for IBM Hardware , OS/2 Device Driver News , and Migrating your OS/2 environment as well as training type sessions on Speed & performance On OS/2 , Mozilla for OS/2, CID, LSMT, Rapid Deployment , Magic With Bootable CD's and OS/2 Printing. For programming we have sessions planned on Java and OS/2 , XML Processing on the OS/2 platform and OS/2 Hang & Trap.
So why Austin this year? The decision came down to three factors.
This year's event is being held at the Austin Renaissance Hotel which is in the Arboretum area of Austin, right near the IBM Austin campus. Its 20 minutes from the Austin Bergstrom Airport, which is served by most major carriers (Delta, American, United, Continental and Northwest) and several low cost carriers (America West, Frontier, Southwest and Vanguard). As I'm trying to find air transportation from NE PA to Austin, it appears that folks on the West Coast have more options then those of us on the other side. Boy you folks out West have a much better selection and from what I have seen better fares into Austin, then up here in the Northeast. :-) If you can drive, parking is complementary for hotel guests.
I've never been to Austin myself, but I'm told the area has lots of shopping and restaurants, and things to do, so beyond the event there is lots to do and see without traveling far. So keep in mind that it helps to have a location that has more then convention facilities. For those interested in the Arts, there is the Austin Museum of Art, the Salvage Vanguard Theater, the Zachary Scott Theatre Center and many others. For those into nature there is the Congress Avenue Bridge (billed as the "Bat Capital of America"), Mount Bonnell Park ("An expansive view overlooking both Lake Austin and the downtown skyline.") and the Ladybird Johnson National Wildflower Research Center.
Don't forget we encourage you to take a longer break, come with your family and stay awhile in Austin. The reduced rate for the hotel is available 3 days before the event and 3 days after. We had quite a number of people in Toronto arrange ad hoc visits to area attractions and out of the hotel events, so bring your S.O. and family and have a great time.
Hopefully I've given you something to consider in deciding to come to Warpstock in Austin. The early registration price of $70 for the two day conference is good through September 7th. The hotel rate of $129 per night single or double is guaranteed through September 13th.
I hope to meet you in Austin.
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