Back in July I attended the RubyFringe conference in Toronto. It was a great conference, and most attendees agree that the highlight was Giles Bowkett's presentation on Archaopteryx, his lambda-licious MIDI environment. The software is pretty cool (it reminded me of what I used to get up to with Max back in the day, but his is much more sophisticated) - but the presentation was excellent.
He managed to squeeze 400-odd slides into a half-hour presentation, and even dared to do a live demo of in-progress software. He also went fifteen minutes or so into the scheduled lunch time, and - possibly a first for any tech conference anywhere - <em>not a single person left early to go eat</em>. In fact, he was given a huge standing ovation at the end. The talk really energized what was already a great conference, and pushed it to a 'best conference ever' level. The presentation is now available on line at InfoQ - it took them a while to get this up, since they had to stitch in the 400+ slides. <a href="http://www.infoq.com/presentations/archaeopteryx-bowkett" target="new">http://www.infoq.com/presentations/archaeopteryx-bowkett</a>. I strongly recommend watching this in full-screen mode. Note there is foul language, some (brief) disturbing images, and some change-your-life ideas. Update: Pete Forde has <a href="http://rethink.unspace.ca/2008/10/2/have-you-watched-giles-bowkett-yet" target="new">a great post about this on the Unspace Rethink site</a>.