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In an Undisclosed Location, Attendees Get Deeply Technical

By Kate Pavao

"You've reached the secret location," says Mogens Nørgaard, answering his cell phone at the kickoff for first-ever secret conference.

Nørgaard, the owner of Miracle A/S, a Ballerup, Denmark-based Oracle partner providing expert consultants and services, is not kidding. To find his conference, attendees had to be personally invited, either through a text message from Nørgaard or through an announcement at a private dinner held last night for members of the Oak Table, itself an exclusive club for technical experts founded by Nørgaard in 2002.

Once arriving, attendees also have to know the password at the door. (Hint: It's something to do with the number of people invited, and also with the answer to life, the universe, and everything, as noted in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.)

And what will attendees find once they're finally allowed inside? A highly technical presentation, lunch, and plenty of time for leading developers to network and problem solve in what would sound like a foreign language to many conference attendees.

But getting technical is what this group is all about. The idea for the underground conference came about because, according to Miracle's Morten Tangens- Andersen, some Oracle OpenWorld attendees found that "most of the presentations were not technical enough."

And indeed, the tech talk takes it to a new level. On opening day, the attendees buzzed about AMD HyperTransport, DDR-3 controllers, iSCSI, and quad data rates. Don't know what IOMMU stands for? Then don't even bother trying to get in.

Presenters include Red Hat's Jeff Needham, who spoke on Monday about running NFS over Oracle, cost based optimizer expert Jonathan Lewis on Tuesday, and Oracle developer Uri Shaft on Thursday. Shaft's presentation is called "How to Count," but it won't be a basic math review.

Nørgaard believes his conference has been worthwhile, because during Monday's presentation, he said he "could see some of the best people in the business, some of the deep, deep knowledge guys" having light-bulb moments. He says, "That is success."

Want to bust in? Sessions are being held Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, 661 Howard Street. Now all you need is the secret password.

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