Saturday, May 1, 2004
So, we're back from CHI and Vienna.
It was an exhausting, exhilirating week in a truly remarkable city.
Everywhere you turn there's history, art, music, and more history. It
would take weeks of sightseeing to take in all that Vienna has to
offer, and I only had the two days before CHI started to sample it. So
we visited the Hofburg and Sch[^]nbrun, the palaces of the last emperors
of Austria, saw the crown jewels in the state treasury, saw paintings
by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt and other Secessionists, drove by the
Secession building, ate Sachertorte at Cafe Demel, ate wienerschnitzel
and tafelspitz and other delights. And drank coffee, lots of coffee.
The only television I watched was the "Vienna Waits for You"
promotional video featuring the Billy Joel song which played
continuously on the hotel's in-house channel.
We stayed at the Marriott, right on the Ringstrasse, which made getting
around easy--a tram stop is right in front of the hotel, and an
Underground station just around the corner. I bought one ticket good
for a week of travel for 12.50 Euros (about $15). This Marriott was
just installing broadband internet access--so new that the first few
days were free. The connection was intermittent, making it nearly
useless, and I would not have paid the exhorbitant fees they had
planned--as much as 20 Euros a day, or $25! But the hotel's service was
superb; we had breakfast and sometimes dinner in the executive lounge
at the end of our floor, with a wide range of food and beverage and
The CHI conference itself was
wonderful. There were 1,800 attendees, including a large number
of walk-ins who helped the conference's financials. There were sessions
on robots, on games, on web issues, usability, design case studies, and
so on. It was quite satisfying to be part of the conference committee,
as there was more than enough recognition--they even had dandy little
committee pins with a "Hero" tag for those of us who worked far too
hard. . .
The OK/Cancel guys were there, and have checked in with their impressions here.
Yes, the WiFi was problematic (well hey, this is the first CHI to have
WiFi. . .) due largely to a wonky DHCP server (the conference center's,
not ours) that was stingy with IP addresses. And yes, there were so
many people there that it was possible to never run into the friend you
knew was attending if you didn't go to the same sessions.
More later. . .
© Copyright 2002-2005 Fred Sampson.
Last update: 5/21/05; 10:20:43 PM.
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