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 gave three presentations at the meeting and they are online at SlideShare (1,2,3). Two of these were especially fun…

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!

4 Responses to “Skype, Ski Hills and My Appreciation for Rajarshi Guha”

  1. Martin Walker says:

    As someone who was in the room for the presentation, I’d like to “second” your appreciation. As moderator, Rajarshi handled the whole thing very coolly, and he didn’t seem worried at all. After a brief explanation, he clicked through your slides as if this sort of thing was routine. Because of that, we were able just to sit back and appreciate your slides and their content – very interesting. Thanks to both of you for making it happen!

  2. Rajarshi Guha says:

    Thanks! It was a cool experiment and it worked out great :)

  3. Back from the Mountains and the Desert at So much to do, so little time says:

    [...] for CINF. With the exception of a few glitches, I think it went well – especially our first talk given via Skype! Met up with lots of people, old friends and new, and got lots of input for future programming – [...]

  4. M.Karthikeyan says:

    I could feel the adventure. Antony Bravo .. Best wishes.

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