RootsTech continued today with events and presentations similar to the first day. The day started with an informal keynote speech by Josh Coates, CEO of Instructure, an education-focused software company. Mr Coates also is the founder of Mozy. He also has a long list of impressive technological and entrepreneurial accomplishments, including Utah Entrepreneur of the Year, vSpring Capital Top 100 Venture Entrepreneur, and one of MIT Technology Review’s Top 100 Young Innovators. He spoke on "Exabyte Social Clouds and other Monstrosities."
Indeed, Josh Coates' presentation was very informal. And just how informal was it? I have attended dozens of conferences and have listened to many keynote speeches. However, this is the first keynote I have listened to where the speaker was barefoot! Take a look at this "blow-up" of part of the above picture:
Actually, being barefoot worked well for Josh Coates. As a young entrepreneur dressed casually, being barefoot seemed to fit the image he wished to portray. His talk was also "no frills." He talked a lot about the value of social networks and also about the huge drop in the price of disk storage. Today, for the first time in human history, every person can store every detail about his or her life, should he or she care to do so. This could be a bonanza for future genealogists! A video of Josh Coates' presentation is available at http://www.rootstech.org.
Prior to Josh Coates' presentation, Joe Godfrey, Director of Product and General Manager of Archives.com, spoke about the 1940 U.S. census records that will be released in about two months. Archives.com will host the 1940 U.S. census images starting on April 2. Hundreds of thousands of genealogists will be hitting the web site at 9 AM. In the past, when web sites have released major new collections of highly popular genealogy records, each site's servers have usually crashed within minutes due to the heavy load of hundreds of thousands of genealogists attempting to access the records, all at the same time.
Archives.com plans to handle the load on April 2 and in the first few weeks thereafter by using cloud computing with hundreds of virtual servers running in parallel. Indeed, any person with moderate technical skills can create hundreds of shared virtual servers within minutes to handle most any load. As the load is reduced in later weeks, the number of servers sharing that load can be reduced a few at a time. The company providing the service (Archives.com in this case) doesn't need to purchase hundreds of servers in advance and prepare them for a short-term workload of only a few days or weeks. Instead, using (rented) virtual servers in the cloud is much more cost-effective as the company only pays for the resources actually used, not for servers sitting by idly waiting for a future spike in workload.
Indeed, cloud computing serves many needs, not just the handling of workload spikes.
Volunteers can volunteer to perform indexing at http://the1940census.com.
Once the keynote session was over, the exhibits hall opened and then the presentations and unconference sessions began soon after in nearby rooms. The sessions ran all day. A sample of titles includes:
- Deep Linking and Deeper Linking: How I Get the Most out of Existing Search Applications
- Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software and Genealogy
- A User’s Perspective: Developing a Universal Metadata Structure for Genealogical Content Providers
- New Avenues in Genetic Genealogy
- Google Search 2012
- Building High-performance Web Services With SCALA
- A Robust Open-source GEDCOM Parser
- ...and much more.
A full list of today's presentations may be found at http://rootstech.org/schedule/sessions#day=1
I wandered the exhibits hall with my camera and would to share with you a few of the pictures I took. You can click on any image below to see a larger picture:
Here is a picture of Pierre Clouthier of Progeny Software wearing a nifty looking vest. I wrote aboutthis earlier at http://goo.gl/0xUxk. You can see what makes the vest so special in the following picture:
BillionGraves.com has an interesting display booth:
You can read my latest article about BillionGraves.com at http://goo.gl/Oetp1
ReadyMicro has an interesting book scanner in late development. It should be available for purchase in a few months:
Here is the prototype of the book scanner:
ReadyMicro also produces a nifty microfilm-to-digital scanner:
I'll be back at RootsTech in the morning to take some more photos of the third and final day.
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