The first hour David Callahan gave us an Overview and Architecture talk on the subject of concurrent computing and parallelism.
It was quite a good hour and I remembered some stuff from my school days, even though it has become more complicated since then. The talk was a little bit on the theory side of the subject and I just sat waiting for some real examples, but they never appeared.
The main idea was that we can not rely on Moore's Law to have faster applications in the future, instead we must take advantage of more cores and more processors that will appear in our computers. Today most laptop has a dual core processor and within a couple of years who knows how many cores there will be - 4,8, 64 ...?
The next hour Stephen Toub brought me all examples that I missed during the first hour. But the subject was narrowed down to Mechanisms for Asynchrony. He did a very good job on explaining the history of thread within .NET over the years and how it has evolved from v1 to today.
But as I actually had done some job with threads before, both within .NET as well as earlier with Win32, it wasn't that much new stuff. But it's most of the time nice to have some recap from time to time, and it's also nice to see that there's no big areas on this subject that I've missed during my years with simple ASP.NET applications and .NET based CMS systems - which not had been that much thread intensive...
So, when I've got back the feeling of being in control of the subject again it was time for Joe Duffy to talk about Topics in Synchronization. Stephen warned us about "brain melting details" and we got plenty of "brain melting details",not in a bad way though, but in a way that made me want to learn more. Actually I went to buy Joe Duffy's book Concurrent Programming on Windows during the break. We'll see when I'll got the time to read it, perhaps it just going to sit on shelf for a while and be acting as a reference, I mean it has over 1000 pages - it's not exactly what Ill bring with me nor on my commute neither to bed before sleeping.
Back to the pre-con it was time for Stephen Toub again, this time on Synchronization Best Practices. And again he delivered some good examples i VS.
For closing Joe Duffy talked about Design and Algorithms and Stephen returned with support for concurrency and parallelism in .NET Framework 4.0
Over all it was a good day of pre conference, not that much new but it made me eager to learn more on this topic. David Callahan wasn't that great of a presenter, but both Stephen Toub and Joe Duffy was excellent.