tabs ↹ over ␣ ␣ ␣ spaces

by Jiří {x2} Činčura

Glorious day as a trainer and conference speaker

26 May 2020 5 mins Life

Today was a crazy – rollercoaster like – day. Let me tell you all about it even though it’s about 7 o’clock in the evening now and I’m very tired. I feel like this clown on my daughter’s desk.

Clown

I woke up to a seemingly ordinary day with a simple plan – continue teaching (online) Azure course and for 60 minutes between 14:00 and 15:00 deliver my first presentation at Cloud Developer Days conference (also online). Little did I know what was waiting for me.

At around 7:45 electricity went out. Bummer. At 8 I was supposed to start day 2 of the teaching. I waited a little to see whether it’s just a temporary thing or not (it happens few times, like 3 times, a year here in my village and often it’s resolved in under 5 minutes). It wasn’t. It was time to tell the people we’ll start sometime later. The course is held via Teams, but I’m not the organizer of the meeting, I just have a link to a meeting in the company’s Teams. That means I can’t just jump in and leave a message in chat. I have to wait for somebody to let me in (oh, my) and then I can use the chat. I told participants we’ll see at noon how are things looking. It’s a five days course, so even loosing one day is fine-ish, remaining days would have to be longer (not great for participants, but could be worse, right?).

The bigger problem was my session at 14:00 at Cloud Developer Days. As a responsible speaker, I informed organizers about the situation, to check what options we can work with. Surprisingly, very much, they told me to wait and that they believe the blackout wouldn’t be long and my session would be just fine. OK, I suppose I have time to chill, I thought.

As I was “chilling”, I was thinking about my options. Cracking under the self-imposed pressure. My first thought was to check whether I can quickly rent a generator. Probably too much hassle and money. Then I realized I can probably just get an inverter and use my car as a generator. Quick online search around local hardware stores and I found 300W inverted. I know my PC does not go over 150W in full load (I don’t have beefy graphics card (I’m fine with the integrated one) and I don’t have any spinning drives). I also needed to power my main router and wireless point from/to my ISP. All MikroTik devices and I guessed it would be impossible for these to go over 50W in total. That meant I should be more than fine for the inverter. The extra halogen lights I’m often using to light up my office would be out of question, but I was in the survival mode. Next, I checked with my ISP that they have enough juice, so not only I’m online, but also the other side of my connection. That would be silly, right? They told me they have UPSes for about 8 hours, but also that on the side of village where I’m connecting to, the electricity is fine. Even better. Final hurdle was getting the shed, where my office is, and the house where main router is, connected together and both energized. Hurried check of my box with extension cords and box with network cables and everything was looking promising. Order placed, time to get inverter. Rain started. Dammit. I don’t want to run extensions cord, ethernet cables, inverter, etc. outside during the rain. But you gotta do, what you gotta do. I never missed my conference session and I’m not going to surrender today.

Finally, back home from the store, checking the inverter, checking the cables because 300W over 12V is 25A and I don’t want my cables to melt in the middle of the session. Oh, and on my way back I also filled my car’s tank to the brim, not taking any chances.

Inverter

If this is starting to look little bit extreme and ridiculous, I repeat, I never missed my conference session. Although writing this right now, I get your point.

Suddenly, click, electricity is back on. Right at the moment when I was ready to unleash my ultimate online conference presentation survival mode. Waited five minutes to be sure everything is really back and stable. It was, so back to normal-ish.

All this craziness could have been easily avoided just by doing nothing and waiting. But I cracked. At least I feel great about how I was ready to not give up and push through no matter what. And I have 300W inverter to play with.

Few minutes before 14:00 I was ready and my session went without any major disasters (it’s always extra fun to demo something in the cloud, where you can’t fully control all the bits and pieces).

Right before session

Let’s hope tomorrow will be more ordinary day and the second session will go as smooth as today’s one.

Profile Picture Jiří Činčura is an independent developer focusing on data and business layers, language constructs, parallelism and databases. Specifically Entity Framework, asynchronous and parallel programming, cloud and Azure. He's Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and you can read his articles, guides, tips and tricks at www.tabsoverspaces.com.