Tuesday (Sept. 22, 2009) I made a trip to ESC Boston for a speaking engagement--out and back on the same day. I gave a presentation titled "Creating Dynamic User Interfaces with Adobe Flash." The basic topic was explaining how you can create a solid embedded system with Flash despite being originally designed for the web environment.
Given the economic climate, the show floor was pretty well populated. I took a tour around the booths, talking to interesting companies and meeting with partners. Nobody I recognized. Not like I know everyone in the industry, but seeing nobody I recognized was a little unusual. It were more auto-focused, I'm sure I would have seen some familar faces.
Around two dozen people attended my talk, which is pretty good for this type of venue. A lot of questions and feedback afterwards--people coming up to ask post-talk questions are always a good sign. I think that in general it kept the audience's interest, except for one poor guy who was audibly snoring during one part. Hey buddy, I don't blame you, since I got up at 4:30am to catch my plane--catch some winks while you can ;-)
Most of the questions were certainly focused around people grasping two concepts. Using Adobe Flash in embedded, and using an RTOS for Adobe instead of Windows. Many people didn't realize that Flash could be used in an embedded environment, so this was an interesting development for them. Certainly expands the choices in HMI (Human Machine Interface) creation. Those that were already using Flash pretty much thought Microsoft was the only deployment option. One in particular was asking about Silverlight (Microsoft's direct Flash competitior) and whether or not Microsoft's would continue support of Adobe, to which I could only reply "that's certainly a decision left to Microsoft." That person was very interested in the possibility of picking up a more stable OS environment for their Flash-based application, and clearly was concerned about the long-term support that Microsoft would be offering.
I can never be absolutely never certain when I give a talk whether or not anyone is listening or not. Thankfully this time, I'm pretty sure they were. It made the whole trip worthwhile. (And if you read my last blog entry, you'll be happy to know that I got my demo up with hours to spare for show-time! Thanks goes to Ben VandenBelt for his support.)