In mid-September, the Agricultural Electronics Foundation (AEF) once again hosted a fall ISOBUS Plugfest in Europe, this time in Antibes, France. Antibes is in the French Riviera along the Mediterranean coast – the views were spectacular, the food was great, and the hospitality was fantastic. The conference center facility was well-suited to host the Plugfest and even though it did not have an attached hotel, there was ample lodging within walking distance to meet the needs of the Plugfest attendees.
I am looking around at all the people entering the large ballroom at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln, NE. As I wait for the buzzer that will announce the first 35-minute rotation, signaling someone I have never met, from somewhere I have never been, to come to my station, I am nervous and excited and unsure what to expect. While I may sound like a desperate bachelor at a speed-dating event, I assure you that is not the case. I am a software engineer, new to the world of ISOBUS, attending a Plugfest event for the first time. Plugfest is an event held twice a year, where the best and brightest minds in the ISOBUS industry come from around the world to test their offerings, checking for compatibility with other ISOBUS equipment manufacturers.
The next ISOBUS Plugfest is just around the corner from May 07-09 in Lincoln, NE. If my quick mental count is correct, this Plugfest is lucky number 13 for me. I first attended in Austria in September 2012 and have been at each Plugfest since … except in 2016 when I had to miss the spring event due to a freak medical issue. In the seven years I have been attending, AEF has almost doubled in membership, hundreds of products have been AEF certified, and Plugfests have lengthened from two to three days each.
For the second year in a row, my year-in-review blog is being delivered well into the new year. That is getting dangerously close to a bad habit, so I will have to work on that for next year. On the plus side, this should get posted in February and thus I am technically only a month late of my goal of January for the target date. Normally I would not start at the end of the year, but this year is an exception because the single biggest piece of news is what happened at the very end of the year …
The most recent AEFISOBUS Plugfest was held just a little over a month ago, during September 2018. We returned to the Savoia Regency Hotel in Bologna, Italy, where Plugfest had previously been held in 2016.
Sometimes when I write a blog, I try to be a little clever. And if ever there was a good time for me to write a clever blog, this may be that time. For one, this Plugfest is celebrating the 10th anniversary of AEF as an organization. Secondly, I have an idea of how I could make my blog post clever by incorporating an Italian flavor to celebrate the Plugfest location.
Another ISOBUS Plugfest week is almost here. From May 14-18, the AEF will once again host engineers from around the world for ISOBUS testing and some related events in Lincoln, NE. I have previously explained the mechanics of a Plugfest, so go take a look at some of my old blog posts if you want more info on that. The initial schedule I saw for this year showed 66 different pieces of equipment that will be tested during the three days of the Plugfest. DISTek will be participating with our VIRTEC stack and with our VT Server application. In total, DISTek expects to have 5-7 people attending Plugfest.
Indeed I am a little tardy in my year-in-review blog entry. But, without further ado, here is my one-and-a-half-month-late DISTek Year-in-Review, coupled with a look toward the future to finish the DISTek: Past, Present (parts 1 & 2), and Future series of blog posts.