Writing demos can be a great deal of fun. It's an opportunity to be creative with the technology and simply let your imagination go wild. I also like be able to experiment and poke around with technologies that I wouldn't normally get a chance to.
The only part that I dread is the one that I have absolutely no control over. Even if I'm building the demo at midnight the night before I still have a semblance of control. I am still the master of my workspace. It always makes me uneasy when I show up the first time in the pavilion and walk up to the strange computer in the pod.
This year I was pleasantly surprised. My system was wired and ready. It was running Solaris 2.9 with Gnome just the same as my development set up at work. I really like Gnome and could go on and on about it. I'll just mention my favorite piece and the one that I use the most as a developer: the terminal support.
After a bit of poking around I was even more pleasantly surprised that they left it loaded with ssh and I could easily drop my application onto the JavaOne pod system. The construction crew was putting up the stage elements around me while I was setting up so I didn't escape without a bit of excitement. I ducked for cover when one of the sails swaying precariously over my head started falling and one of the crew guys yelled "Tighten the ropes!".
It wouldn't be a real JavaOne experience without a touch of excitement. You can check out the demo that I worked on at the JavaServer Faces pod in the Sun area under the giant purple sails (now tightly secured).