SPlease welcome back ConFonz, the man who goes to technology trade conferences so Valleywag doesn't have to. The Conference Fonzerelli, a veteran of many OpenWorld conferences, thinks Oracle has pumped up its image this year. The show is much more huggy-touchy-feely-bloggery. Despite the fact that most Oracle employees of use are hiding under rocks. Quite a change from the days when Oracle at your door meant you were either out of a job, out of memory, or simply out of your mind. If anyone in the technology industry is wondering how to run a conference, this is the one to emulate. Oracle OpenWorld pulls 45,000 people, and twice as many service workers to support it. That's why Howard Street is closed and why you can't get a good picnic spot in Yerba Buena Park.For the most part, Oracle was playing nice this year. No acquisitions announced at the last minute. No wild claims about bullshit products. It was a much more subdued conference for the company. Not quite so for Sun Microsystems, a shrinking violet at this year's show. Sun's made quite a business out of selling Unix and Oracle systems together. While Sun's head of PR was in attendance, and no doubt countless underlings as well, there wasn't much there to tie the two companies together. Rather a shame for anyone who's been betting that Oracle would buy out Sun as a way of backing into the hardware market. Not that that would ever have happened anyway. Really, the reason Sun's not here is that it acquired its own database, MySQL earlier this year. Why play with the big boys when you can own something that's really not ownable? It should be noted that Larry Ellison is far too in love with his sail boat. (Photo via Oracle Apps Blog) And isn't there something that's just completely unagreeable about giving Oracle employees space in the press area? Even if they are paid-for bloggers. HP's woes don't tie to anything more than personal illness. As a bonus blind item, which HP'er showed up late, didn't have a badge, fainted, then vomited all over the registration desk? Anyway, all the drunken out of town soccer moms, PeopleSoft devs and DBAs are on Treasure Island tonight watching UB40 earworm its way into their subconsiousness. Normally, the ConFonz would be all over this shwanky free food and booze event. Too bad the Fonz can't stand to be within 5 miles of UB40. Auditorily-mandated restraining orders are a bitch.