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Emerald Casino Hotel and Safari Resort, VD Bijlpark

Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre, Benoni


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SATUG 2008 Conference and Trade Show

Emerald Casino Resort, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, Tuesday 19 th to Thursday 21 st February 2008

SATUG held its 8th annual conference and trade show from Tuesday 19 th to Thursday 21 st February 2008 at the Emerald Casino Resort, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa. The event, which had a Chinese Year of the RAT theme, actually commenced with the SATUG Executive Dinner for the trade show exhibitors and user executives on the Monday evening at which 87 guests (a record number) attended. The Dinner was proceeded by game drive in the Emerald Casino’s animal world on which 36 guests took part. The quote below is from Richard Buckle’s blog

This year, the dinner was held safari-style in a tent following a safari tour through the adjacent wildlife sanctuary. While there are no carnivores roaming the park, there were a couple of rhinos.
To everyone’s surprise as we filed into the tent, the two rhinos, right on cue, lined up to follow us – coming to about 20 feet from the door. Apparently we weren’t their type! Either that or they had forgotten their invitations. After giving us the once-over, they sauntered back into the bush.    

The event proper commenced early on the Tuesday morning with presentations from Anton Lessing, ITUG Board member, followed by Randy Meyer, HP NED Product Director. 23 Vendor presentations then continued for the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday including a very strong presentation from Richard Buckle of GoldenGate on Mission Critical Driven Innovation.

The Tuesday evening provided a very stimulating opportunity for networking between users and vendors by way of a drumming session for about an hour, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed, and which was followed by the vendor’s reception in the aquadome, which included beer tasting, wine tasting, whisky tasting, biltong tasting and a sumptuous Chinese dinner at which each delegate chose their own fresh ingredients and watched the chefs prepare their meal in front of them. Following dinner, SATUG presented a birthday cake to the representatives of Xypro who celebrated their 25 anniversary that evening.

Again a record number, 115, delegates attended the conference and the vendors included (again a record number):

ACI Worldwide
Bowden Systems
Canam Software
Gravic Inc.
Hewlett Packard
Insider Technologies
Integrated Research
Network Technologies Inc.
NonStop System Services
Tributary Systems Inc.

44 NonStop Certification exams were written during the Tuesday and Wednesday and, as usual, prizes were given for the highest scores, and most exams taken on each day. Those prizes were donated by the NED ITUG Liaison Office and the HP Certified Professional Program.

The Wednesday presentations ended with the SATUG AGM, and the conference was closed with a Riverboat cruise and dinner, with a small jazz band for entertainment, on the Vaal river.

Thursday 21 st was the free of charge training day this year sponsored by SATUG, Gravic Inc. and HP, and which featured 2 simultaneous full day training sessions attended by a total of 47 people (another record), and were given by Steve Rooke of HP South Africa on NonStop Integrity OS migration, and by Bill Highleyman of the Availability Digest on Active/Active computing.

The overall consensus was that SATUG 2008 had been the best SATUG event so far.