New York is an interesting city with plenty of things to look at, do, and, frankly, smell. While part of me will always wonder what it would be like to live in this throbbing metropolis, I don't quite understand some things about this place, such as the unbelievable number of Lincoln Town Cars and the yellow taxi cabs that whip around like gnats. It's cool, basically.
One interesting exchange with a taxi driver:
"St. Moritz" (that's the hotel we were staying at)
"No, St. Moritz"
"Yes, they're all the same"
"No, St. Moritz"
"The cabs are all the same"
"Sorry, I am new"
Wow, a newbie taxi driver.
Our entourage of Big Tent and Wugnet personnel left the show Wednesday after it closed again and waded through the 175,000 PC Expo attendees that had spilled out onto the streets around the Javitz Center. We ate dinner after a long walk (it was pointless trying to find a cab). Adam, Joel, Joe, and I headed to Times Square again and caught a movie (no, not that kind of movie: we saw "Scream"). After we got back to the room, I stayed up until 4 a.m. working on our upcoming WebBoard install.
Needless to say, 8 a.m. came hard, but a miracle happened today: we made it to a keynote address. No, really. Ironically, it was really bad. Kim Polese of Marimba gave a hesitant address to a half-full room of semi- conscious attendees. I wish I could tell you what it was about, but I slipped into a coma about three minutes into her PowerPoint slide demo. One interesting note, though: Polese, to her, credit, doesn't believe that "dumb" diskless terminals make any sense. As she pointed out, hard drives and RAM are inexpensive and valuable: why would users want to do without them?
After the keynote, Joe and I headed up to the press room to meet with Keith Furman, Wugnet's Webmaster. Keith has some great ideas about adding Microsoft Personalization Server to our Web server and I expect that we'll be collaborating on some projects in the future. The rest of the day was taken up by meetings and some show presentations, particularly Apple's plans for the future. Apple has some nice technology in the works and it will be interesting to see what they do with it.
We planned to leave New York in the middle of the afternoon but things didn't go according to plan as usual. After eating, Joel, Joe, and I headed up to our room to get our bags and leave. The door was jammed and eventually a hotel employee had to literally break through the door to let us get our bags and get out of there. Adam was staying in New York for another night and was obviously excited about the gaping hole in his door. Joel, Joe, and I then did our own version of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" as we tried to figure out a way to get back to Pennsylvania (Joel lives there and Joe and I are going to fly home from Allentown on Sunday). I won't bore you with the details, but we finally got on a train that was only delayed an hour and made it out of town.
All in all, the show was a big success. While there were no big product announcements per se, we came away with the strong sense that the industry is moving in the right direction. I didn't get to meet everyone I'd hoped to--it was just too busy--but there's always Fall Comdex to look forward to. We'll publish our show photos on the Internet Nexus early next week