Copyright©2009 Antony Williams
I just returned from the ACS Meeting in Salt Lake City. As is usual with these events it was hectic, interesting, full of great conversations, demanding in terms of presentations and, overall, a great meeting. I got to share time with people I appreciate, I got to meet new people who I already think of as friends and I had some unique challenges.
I was supposed to give two talks on Wednesday (yesterday) at 2pm and 3:55pm in Rajarshi’s session. At 9am on Wednesday morning Alex Tropsha and I drove his kids to the Alta ski hill outside Salt Lake City to ski. By the time we turned around to drive back to the meeting it had snowed enough, and was still snowing hard enough that the road was closed. That was at 10am and we were told the road would not open until 2pm. So, we found a ski lodge with wireless and went to work…cell calls, twittering, emails and finally Rajarshi and I got to talk. Rajarshi called to suggest that maybe I could give the presentation remotely…he had downloaded my slides and was willing to click through them while I presented via Skype. Fortunately I had a webcam with me in my bag so 10 minutes before I was due to present I plugged it in while chatting with Rajarshi via Skype and BOOM…blue screen of death!!!
So, a full reboot and at 5 minutes to 2pm I was on Skype with rajarshi, people were sitting in the room and we did a quick test and away we went with a presentation. With kids running around in the background, and with skiers walking through the lodge, I presented to the people in room 251F at the conference center while I was at 8400 feet above sea level on a ski hill. Immediately afterwards we drove down the hill since the road was now open. I walked into the CINF room 10 minutes before my next presentation and gave that one live. What an adventure.
There are very few people who would take the risk and be as creative as Rajarshi was to enable me to give two presentations that way. This is just who Rajarshi is…fast-thinking, pushing technology and focused on providing a solution. Quite the guy!
I was fortunate enough to share dinner with Rajarshi, Christoph Steinbeck (ChEBI) and Martin Walker (who I work with on Wikipedia Chemistry). What a great, fun evening discussing Open Science, Chemistry Software and opening up the internet to more chemists.Stumble it!