My Sunday started in lousy fashion. Apparently I defaulted to my work-week behavior, hitting 'Dismiss' rather than 'Snooze' on my Nexus 7's alarm, resulting in my oversleeping. Due to this, I did not arrive to the Convention Center until it was nearing noon - which filled me with regret, because this meant I've missed sessions from Mark Murphy, Paul Scherf, Adobe, XDA, and (most painful for me) Russell Holly. I spent the early portion of this day in kind of a grumpy daze. After all the excitement of the previous day, it seemed like nothing could put today back on that level. Chagrined, I chose to get some lunch and came back later, to try to make the most of it.
I started by attending Tha PHLASH's session, while my developer friends were over listening to Adam Outler on the subjects of vulnerabilities, exploits, and closed source. Tha PHLASH revealed his history, how he evolved from a street artist painting entire buildings, into the icon master with the massive pointy head-helmet we know and love today. (Before I get another rash of people asking, no, I did not see under the mask - in fact, nobody did. Not even the guy checking ID's at the bar!) It was a very informative presentation, and I felt a little better afterwards. Shortly after it ended, I heard some buzz surrounding the Samsung Developers Q&A, so I motored over to the Main Hall to get a seat.
I'll be honest, a lot of what was said was over my head - but it culminated in the good news that Samsung is working to make the Exynos 4 series of processors code available, which was received with what seemed a lukewarm reception. HTC was still giving away devices, other things were going on, and that general malaise that was affecting me seemed to be going around. Still, it was the start of good news, which continued the upward trend of the afternoon.
To close out the speaker sessions, the CyanogenMOD team took the stage of the Main Hall for a Q&A - with an impressive live display of their new installs as they occur up on the projector screens, they answered quite a lot of questions in the short amount of time they were allotted - even getting an applause break by responding, 'People who don't read.' to a question asking what frustrated them most. When their time was up, we left the Main Hall, and were told not unkindly to get the heck out of the building so they could prepare for the main event. The gap between this paragraph and the next covers those two boring hours.
The Big Android BBQ itself! We lined up for an epic feast in the massive Main Hall, which featured dining chairs set up on one side, the vendor booths along the other side's wall, and a stage in the center. The food was fantastic and plentiful. BBQ chicken, briscuit, various salads, desserts, rolls, beans... everything a Texas BBQ deserves, and more. I went up for 2 extra helpings, and waddled happily the rest of the evening. There was beer on tap, free; something I elected to take full advantage of, having had to keep relatively sober the previous two nights due to driving around.
On the stage, madness ensued. There were raffle tickets for sale, with the proceeds to go to diabetes research - they sold out very, very quickly. They read off hundreds of numbers, giving away just a ton of prizes - I got nothing in the raffle, but hey, I won a phone the day prior, no hard feelings... so many devices, Wi-Drives, plushies, keychains, stickers, cases, a Google TV, a Metawatch... Aaron Kasten was up there for over an hour, reciting numbers - he was up there for so long he ultimately had to pass the mic to someone else to keep it going. They couldn't give things away fast enough! (Note: my Galaxy Nexus battery died horribly, thus the lack of photos)
There was a dance-off to win a Transformer Infinity from RootzWiki... the CyanogenMOD Team and Andy's Threads gave away a rare CM Hoodie, signed by the entire core CM team, in an epic game of Andy (Simon) Says... Deth Becomes You announced the winner of his grotesque giant Android... Russell Holly had us hit a beach ball around with our devices, last person to hit it to get a prize, and also hid Wi-Drives around the Convention Center and had us go get them to give poor Aaron a break... there were so many giveaways, I don't think I could have remembered them all sober. The entire time this was going on, the drink was flowing; beer on tap in the corners, and a strange tequila concoction from the Sony Xperia booth, which came with a glow stick stirrer.
As the event wound down, I joined a group heading next door to the Bronco, where we ended up closing it again... fan and developer, sponsors and speakers, we all became one happy and relatively sloshed family, talking excitedly amongst ourselves well into the small hours of the night for the 3rd night in a row... and then said our goodbyes.
Lessons learned on the final day of the Big Android BBQ:
- Android folks may not be the best at doing Gangnam Style, but they are definitely willing to try.
- Alcohol, not usually something I indulge in, is a great deal better on a full stomach. (Whee!)
- REALLY need to bring an independent camera next time.
- People I'd just met two days prior I would soon be parting with as friends.
- Ray's BBQ Sauce rocks.
I apologize for the lack of quality photos in my posts, particularly in this last one, as I didn't take very many - but a great deal of fantastic photos and stories can be found when you search for the Big Android BBQ on Google+, where I spent a wistful couple of hours yesterday afternoon. Thanks for reading this blog-esque series of articles; I hope they inspire you to attend next year!