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Heading out to Austin

September 13th, 2008 · No Comments · Personal

Next week I’ll be in Austin, TX, attending the Austin Game Developers Conference on behalf of GDNet. It’s the first in a string of conferences that continue until ION in May, after which I enjoy a nice 4 months of not traveling before the conference season (mine, at least) kicks off again. This will be both my first time attending AGDC and my first time visiting Texas. Which, despite its size, is one of only like, 6 states in the entire US I haven’t been to before in my life. I’ll be working the conference from the 15th to the 17th – you can check out updates then at my GDNet journal Gaiiden’s Scroll. Also check the twitterfeed on the right for regular updates as well throughout the week.

One of the biggest troubles I have with traveling to conferences is that I have to leave my main machine behind. I do a rather good job of keeping my laptop in sync with my desktop, but I only really ever use it when I travel, so there are always little things I have to remember to update on it before I leave. Then there’s the email issue. I don’t want to stop checking my email while away, especially since this is a business trip, but the amount of spam mail I get through my GDNet account is so huge checking through the web interface can take an hour only to find out it was all junk anyways.

This time I’ve set a rule up in Outlook to forward any non-spam emails to an account on my Blade Edge server that I can check. If I need to respond I can log into my GDNet mail and send a message through that account. The only problem with that is if my computer’s internet connection happens to drop since I’m on wireless. In that case, I’ll have my computer unlocked so someone from my family can, after I call home, reset the connection and allow Outlook to resume checking/filtering my mail. We’ll see how that works.

Because I made a slight error in my travel arrangements, thinking the conference ran until the 18th, I’ll be spending an extra day to myself checking out the city as I don’t fly out until the 19th. Actually, I thought for a few minutes earlier tonight that I had vastly compounded the error by booking my flight into Dallas/Ft Worth – luckily that turned out not to be the case after I checked. Although it did prompt a rather hysterical call to my friend Raison, who lives in the Dallas area and who was driving down tomorrow, to ask him to pick me up first 😛

Anyways I’ve been looking into stuff to do on Thursday – Raison said he planned to stick around as well and he’ll have his car so that helps. In talking to my boss at the gym, who used to make frequent trips out to Austin, he gave me a few starters, including the bats that live under the Congress Ave bridge. Now that’s really cool. I like bats personally and although they live around here (and like to raid my house) you can usually only spot them darting around the sky at night, and even then they’re hard to pick out if a moon and clouds aren’t out to lighten the sky behind them. So seeing about a million of them altogether is going to be epic. Seems to be peak bat-watching season too!

I also plan to check out the music along 6th Street. There are several parties being held at bars along the street during the conference, so I’ll get a taste of the nightlife. Other attractions I found intersting were the Inner Space Cavern Tours and the kart rentals at Iron Rock Raceway. Both are at or under $20 (unless I decide to race more than once!) and satisfy my wonder of nature and need for speed. A bit out of my budget but still interesting were the Cypress Valley Canopy Tours. Then there’s the Barton Spring area which is a greenbelt that runs through the city and provides canoeing/kayaking and trail biking. My boss at the gym also recommended a BBQ place called the Salt Lick. Dinner perhaps?

If you’re at AGDC and spending an extra day on the 18th as well, let me know!

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