In November I traveled to Malta to join Director of Market Development, Jonathan Knowles, to represent Autodesk at the Hewlett-Packard Large Format Print Academy. HP has a strong interest in DWF. For example, the Autodesk DWF Viewer supports the HP Instant Printing capability available on many printer models. Some photos from the trip are available in the photo gallery.
For our first night in Malta, we had a buffet by the hotel pool. As luck would have it, Bertrand Piccard, who was listed in the conference program only as the motivational speaker, sat next to me. Recognizing his name, I asked him what his topic would be. He told me it was a secret, but it would be uplifting. Bertrand was from Switzerland, so I couldn't make any references to Chris Farley's Matt Foley character from Saturday Night Live (also a motivational speaker) and ask him if he "lived in a van down by the river." Bertrand also gives his speeches in other countries. This got us onto the topic of languages. I was apologetic that as an American I only knew one language. Bertrand shared a joke:
Two Americans are on a street corner in Los Angeles. A foreigner drives up in a rental car, stops, and asks them in French, if they can help him find his way. The two Americans look at each other and say they don't understand. So the foreigner asks again in Italian. He gets the same response. He then proceeds to ask in German, Spanish, and Dutch, is unsuccessful, and drives off. The first American looks at the second and says "Maybe we should learn another language?" The second American replies "Learning languages is a waste of time. That guy knew five languages but still doesn't know where he is going."
It turns out that Bertrand was copilot of the first solar-powered hot air balloon to circle the earth. He overcame several technical and mental challenges to complete his journey. He had inspirational stories.
Working the Autodesk booth was an experience. Many attendees who were sellers of HP equipment were also authorized Autodesk resellers. Autodesk continues to work with its partners like HP, Océ, KIP, and PLP to ensure that DWF gets to paper optimally.