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Old 2011.01.24, 10:16 PM   #1
mdowney
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Microsoft MIX 2011 - Mini-Z racing

Hi everyone -

As some of you have read about in this forum, I work at Microsoft and I'm coordinating a Mini-Z racing event at our upcoming web developer conference in Las Vegas, NV on April 10-14 (Microsoft MIX). If you're a web developer/designer or enthusiast and would like to take part in five days of Mini-Z racing send me an email and I'll try to get you a discount code to attend.

Background:
I'm an avid RC hobbyist and was asked to chair the pre-conference workshops for this year's conference. During one of our planning sessions our events director asked if anyone had ideas for fun activities for the attendees. I saw a golden opportunity to finally dive into Mini-Z (something I had been wanting to do for a while). Knowing that we would have to Microsoft-ize such an activity by geeking out the track and the cars as much as possible, I started the planning back in November so we'd have plenty of time to get everything prepared.

Our plan is to have plenty of vehicles for attendees take turns racing with. Kyosho America has enthusiastically agreed to help us out and even be on-site to help maintain the cars and oversee the racing. We will have at least a dozen MR-03 US Spec kits in the rotation, all slowed down and trimmed up as well as possible to make them easier to drive. We opted for the higher-end models because we had a secondary goal of using the equipment to kick off an employee Mini-Z racing club and figured we may as well get the good stuff.

Mini-Z Racer/TinyRC, PN Racing, and RCP (Kittrich) have all offered us their support in getting all of the equipment that we need and answering all of our (my) questions.

I have to say this has been one of the most enjoyable business AND hobby experiences I have ever had. The Mini-Z community is OUTSTANDING in how helpful and friendly they are. I've raced all scales of off-road, on-road, and rock crawling for years and no community comes close to this one. I spent a week in San Jose recently getting as much track time as I could at Fast Pace Racing and Inside Line Racing and had more fun than I've had in a really long time. I think I'll be hooked on Mini-Z for a long time. Now I just have to turn down the volume on that little entrepreneurial voice in my head that keeps telling me how much opportunity there is in this space...

In any case, I will try to keep posting info on this thread as the event develops. If you want to participate or learn more about what we're doing feel free to PM me or email me at work: miked --at-- microsoft --dot-- com.
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Last edited by mdowney; 2011.01.24 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 2011.01.25, 07:29 AM   #2
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thank you for sharing your experiences and joining our community it's now 10 years young, 9 of which i've been a part of, and i look forward to keeping it going for a very long time.
i'm not so much a web developer as a site(s) administrator but i really enjoy the tie in concept your going for and really look forward to seeing and reading more about the event as it unfolds.

don't hesitate to contact me if you need any assistance with the site or have suggestions for improvements. if you ever in the area for a conference, etc. look me up. we have several local racing clubs in the area.
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Old 2011.01.27, 05:38 PM   #3
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Hey Mike,

I was talking to Ryan about this event, we may take you up on the offer of going down there. I'll shoot you an email to discuss.

Thanks,
Peter
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Old 2011.01.27, 06:24 PM   #4
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I had the oppurtunity to meet Mike this week at FPR. Great guy, he has a ton of passion for mini-z and rc racing in general. Even brought out his mom and dad to come check us out. Looking foward to attending this Microsoft MIX event!
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Old 2011.01.27, 07:45 PM   #5
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Awesome - hope to have you guys there. It's going to be a great event. I'm working out the details and I'll shoot you guys an email next week. I had so much fun racing all week at FPR. Great, friendly people!

I'm glad the parents were able to stop by. My dad really needs a hobby (and my Mom wants to get him out of the house!). I'm not sure if he has the patience for Mini-Z racing though. I'll loan him one of my cars and we'll see what happens.

Now if I could just get my wife to be as interested in my hobby as my parents seem to be.
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Last edited by mdowney; 2011.01.27 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 2011.01.30, 10:05 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdowney View Post
Mini-Z Racer/TinyRC, PN Racing, and RCP (Kittrich) have all offered us their support in getting all of the equipment that we need and answering all of our (my) questions.
And, I plan on attending - looking forward to meeting Mike and the FPR guys in person, and hope to see other community members there too!
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Old 2011.02.16, 12:24 AM   #7
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Old 2011.03.11, 09:07 AM   #8
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ok philip and i will be attending this event it looks like it will be fun ! see you all there!
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Old 2011.03.11, 09:50 AM   #9
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Mike, I travel to Vegas on business a couple of times a year. Are the dates for your event 4/10-14, or 4/12-14 as the site you linked to in your first post states?

Also, any info on size of layout and race schedule? Will the track be available the entire time over the 3 or 5 day period?

Thanks!
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Old 2011.03.12, 01:54 AM   #10
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Setup is on 4/10, light racing on 4/11 during pre-conference workshops, then structured racing for attendees on 4/12-14. Prizes on 4/14 for paid attendees. We'll have some sort of multi-round system to earn your way to the finals and the chance at the prizes.

Prizes will include some Mini-Z kits, larger scale RTRs courtesy of Kyosho, some third party parts, and some Xbox stuff.
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Old 2011.03.12, 06:50 AM   #11
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Wish I could make it the 11th is my birthday couldn't think of a better way to spend the day.

Maybe my wife will buy me a ticket for my birthday. Pobably not but it would be super cool.

Sounds like you guys are going to have a blast!, Hopefully you will gain some interest from attendees.

Everyone that isn't racing Mini-z's should! Or at least give it a try anyway .

Are you guys going to have a demo track or demo cars for people to try? They did this at the Necokon it was fun watch totally new people get into racin!
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Old 2011.03.12, 10:57 AM   #12
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Yeah we'll have a fleet of cars optimized for noob drivers. We'll also put on a few exhibition races with the fast guys so attendees can see how fast these cars can go. Should be a blast!
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Old 2011.03.18, 11:22 AM   #13
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Man... I used to do the Lab Info Tech Summit every year and usually am in town overlapping with that.

Now my con merged with another and now it travels, so I'm not going to be in town. Vegas races would be sweet.

::sadface::
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Old 2011.03.19, 08:28 PM   #14
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Do you have a more detailed itinerary. Im really trying to make this but I would have to fly in the day racing starts and out the day it ends. Just a bad time to request weekdays off work.
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Old 2011.03.19, 09:35 PM   #15
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Mike is at RCX this weekend. I will mention your post to him tomorrow, in case he isn't online tonight.

thanks,
John
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