Last week I've spent a lot of time on the train going to and from SAP's training centre in Feltham near Heathrow. I took my copy of Martin Krafft's "The Debian System" with me to have something to read and to show to two of the other students who turned out to be Linux users at home.
It's more than a year since I last read or looked at the book and it refers to Debian Woody/Sarge when currently Debian is at the Etch/Lenny transition. Even so I still found useful stuff in it - a really great book.
Day three didn't start well, the train was late and short, so I was forced to stand all the way to Clapham Junction, and I wasn't able to get the early connection to Feltham. The course got more interesting today though and I got home in sensible time.
Day four started better, the train was on time, I got a seat and made the earlier connection at Clapham. Today was technically the last day of real course work and with yesterday the only useful part of the course. I managed to leave early and got home a home hour early today!
The fifth and last day started well with good connections to Feltham. The morning was pretty much just a "teach back" followed by a small but very interesting piece about integration and stateful message flow. We broke early for lunch and then were free to go.
I'm glad it wasn't my money that was spent, SAP charge over £2 000 for a course like that and I don't think it was good value - it certainly wasn't 5 days of training.
First day was a late start and slow day. XI or as it's now called PI is just an XSLT engine on steroids. However it's mostly written in Java so it's pig slow, a serious resource pig, and very buggy. However it's "free" with SAP products and probably a good enough alternative to 3rd party middle-ware for us at work.
Day two started badly as my train is running 3 minutes earlier than I anticipated... but I still managed to squeeze through the door in time - lucky connection at Waterloo making up for my bad start.
It's interesting that others on the course have a such a negative view of Java, it's not just the Perl community who think Java is buggy, bloated and slow...!
I've discovered a few Linux "people", so I hope to exchange emails with them in the future - it's always good to meet like-minded people on courses to exchange ideas off.
Next week I'm off to Feltham for a week of SAP XI/PI training. It's going to be a week of getting up early, going up to Feltham by train, sitting in a class-room, coming back late and crashing out of exhaustion...!
As with 2006 we were working in Little Meadow except the pie was made after the work, so my colleagues didn't get to share in this year's first pie. Instead my father is visiting this weekend, so he got a share!