Day one of the Access 2006 conference is winding down. Two groups of hackers (by trade or in spirit) gathered earlier today at Hackfest and Ad Hockfest, determined to work on a select few of the excellent project suggestions. The experience was entirely new to me, but not uncomfortably so. I was in a group (with pbinkley, ksclarke, tholbroo, and BigD) that worked on a Scriptaculous- and Cocoon-powered METS editor, a project similar to one I may be working on at Princeton. The most rewarding aspect, though, was meeting fellow library technologists and hearing about the interesting, and sometimes interestingly uninteresting :), projects they’re working on.

Despite that, today was a bit of a bummer for me. My wife’s and my recent move from Seattle to New Jersey was exhausting, and I was not looking forward to spending a potential day of rest, between relocation and starting my new job, sitting on a bus for twelve hours. I woke up with a painful headache that wouldn’t go away, which rendered me basically useless until Hackfest was over and I took some pills back in my hotel room. My laptop was behaving badly when the day began, and I spent an hour or two trying to figure out why we Windows users couldn’t connect to the wireless network. My single-minded persistence paid off when I finally got it working, but in retrospect I probably could have spent that time more wisely (and just jacked in to the ethernet). Anyhoo, enough belly-aching for now.

I wound up skipping the opening reception tonight because of how crappy I felt, and instead found a cool Irish pub – the Aulde Dubliner Pour House – a couple blocks away from my hotel. It was exactly how I would have pictured an Irish pub in Canada. Hockey was on every television; the Tragically Hip was playing loudly; and folks were quick to offer a friendly “Cheers!” It was quite relaxing, thanks in some part to the Kilkenny Cream Ale.

All in all, a good beginning to the conference in spite of my malaise. I’m looking forward to reading other folks’ accounts of their Access 2006 experiences over at Planet Access.