We arrived about 45 minutes before the Debate started. The set up went without a hitch and I even had time to balance out the XL1 and set up the shots. Doug took Doc's mini-DV to take some digital stills as well as record the audio on the MD Recorder. I even got some digital stills with the Nikon.
More on the actual Great Debate later. I can't blog, comment and shoot at the same time. However Aaron was crowned as the youngest speaker at Comdex ever, beating Bill Gates by 6 months. Honestly Aaron was a better speaker than Bill at his age.
The shoot went very well and I'll put those pictures up with the blog on the Debate later.
After the conference we found out Aaron's flight wasn't until late in the evening. Since the show was closed after the Debate concluded-- he didn't have anywhere planned to go.
So Doug, Doc and I took Aaron with us to Showstoppers at the Hilton for a closer look at the new products. Thanks Steve and Dan.
Picture left: Aaron, Doc, Dr. Doug and me. (A first as I'm never in front of a camera.)
There were several new products at Showstopper's worth mentioning, and I'll review them more this weekend.
Noteworthy: JASC's is introducing the new PaintShop Pro 7 .(Gosh has it been 10 years, Bob?) Excellent product. If you don't want to learn or buy Photoshop-- but you need to work on your pictures without needing a master's degree in graphic arts-- Paint Shop Pro is for you. Very easy to use, but also very technically creative. Doug and I have been testing and using PSP since it was in its first beta on CompuServe. JASC's offering a freebie 30 day try before you buy here. I will review the new Version 7, when I get my review copy.
I believe a good time was had by all in our posse. Doc was even able to stay on his diet. After a couple hours of schmoozing with some wonderful vendors and seeing friends it was time to go.
Since this was Aaron's only day in Las Vegas, we decided after a quick trip to CompUSA before closing. Then Doc decided it was time to give Aaron his Official Tour of the Las Vegas Strip. Doc and Doug did the Official Tour Guide routine, while I played Driver and tried to avoid all of us becoming Roadkill.
(Editorial Note: Due to problems with networking I was unable to post while at COMDEX FALL 2002. The following postings are catchups. Enjoy! MLW)
Doug and I landed in Las Vegas late Sunday evening packed to the hilt with the XL1 and enough recording equiptment to be a full mobile production facility. Our mission for Monday was to get the entire Great Debate at Comdex with Doc and Aaron on tape.
On Monday morning at 9 AM we sailed through Comdex Media Registration. Total time: 10 minutes. A new world record. We picked up our Comdex list of press events, check out the press releases we've all ready seen online.
It's now nearly 11 AM and decide to cruise back across the street to Pat Meier's wonderful media only event Lunch@Pierro's. This is the first of several face to face meeting where we're able to see the newest products and see what will be next rising star in the technology world. Here's a couple hot picks:
Laplink is celebrating over 20 years in the industry. The one thing about the wonderful folks at Laplink build products that made your time MORE productive. Laplink introduced several new variations on their excellent products.
LapLink Everywhere is the best product I saw at COMDEX. LapLink Everywhere is the keystone which allows you to access your Outlook or Outlook Express e-mail, contacts and calendar – even access the drives on your PC and transfer files – from anywhere usingany device. The program allows you to leave your laptop at home and access your PC from the Web browser on your Web phone, PDA, Internet café, airport kiosk – everywhere you have access to a Web browser. I will review this product shortly. So stay tuned.
Interact-TV is the answer to John Robb's request to be able to consolidate everything in one place. Interact-TV, which runs on Linux, specializes in software products that make it possible to centralize your entertainment and information needs in a common location. Their products blend digital media, broadband, and home networking, and present them to the end-user through an easy to use television interface, creating a more relaxed and accessible environment for anyone interested in movies, TV, music, photography or home videos. Interact-TV's vision of the future is aligned with the increasing availability of broadband access to the home, and a pervasive demand for higher-value digital entertainment. Interesting concept.
Global Caché, creates products that enable technology in homes. They showed their new GC-100 Home Network Adapter, which provides the means for PC-based software to access, control, and deliver services to diverse and previously unconnected devices and appliances. Global Caché is leading the way with the industry's first hardware solution aimed at connecting a network to the most common household devices. Utilizing Global Caché's Home Network Adaptor, devices used for Audio Video, temperature control, irrigation, security, and more can be IP-enabled, allowing them to be managed and accessed via PC-based software. Global Cachés unique modular mix-and-match design allows integrators, installers, and OEMs to simply and cost effectively connect diverse systems to any PC and the Internet. This appears to be a rising star in connecting all those "devices" to a network controlled home environment.
Next Up: The Logistics of Getting 35 lbs of Video Equiptment Into the Convention Center Without a Cart.
Something to note: Comdex does not allow carts on the show floor unless you happen to have NBC, CNN, ABC or major network tattooed on your forehead or around your neck. So planning on getting all your camera equiptment into the Las Vegas Convention Center to tape an event takes on the the logistical planning of a 5 day Outward Bound trek.
For weeks I'd figured exactly what I needed to get our professional video camera, MD Recorder, still camera, cables and tripods into the show. Parking at the LVCC is alway iffy proposition especially if you have Mercedes Benz doing a test track (left) in the front 50% of the major parking lot across the street from the Convention Center. When we came over to the convention center I couldn't park in the normal convention center lot. So instead I got permission to park at Piero's Resturant , thanks to Fred Gusman, the real Mr. Piero. It turned out to be a blessing.
I ended up loading the camera into a protective wrapping and into my wheeled backpack. The rest of the equiptment was put into the backpack pockets and in Doug's beltpack. I gave up carrying a purse and loaded my cell phone and other necessary stuff into the backpack. We wheeled into and through the LVCC without a hitch. In fact we even had time to stop and talk to several vendor-buddies from ATTO about their new SCSI controllers and make a pit stop.
It turned out that the technology decline had also thinned the herd of companies at COMDEX. This made the convention floor easier to navigate, but also gave the Great Debate Theater the dubious honor of being held in a far back corner of the main convention center. For some reason I was thanking God, for the lack of people and that I'd put the XL1 in the wheeled backpack. The idea of lugging 30 lbs of camera through the show floor didn't thrill me. (More on the Taping of the Great Debate...)