Tuesday, April 3, 2001

My alarm squealed into my ear at 8:00 in the morning, so I got up and began preparing for my day. My panel wasn’t until 10:15, so I had plenty of time.

I decided to order room service for breakfast, figuring that it would be one less thing for me to worry about. I ordered two eggs, hash browns, toast, and orange juice, which worked out to $11. Not bad. I ironed my pants and Be shirt, dressed, and left.

The shuttle service to COMDEX was a bit confused; the first bus was almost full, and there were probably seventy people waiting for it. A few frustrated Linux advocates (or so their shirts proclaimed) hopped into taxis, but I got a bus within fifteen minutes. Ten minutes later I was stepping into the McCormick Center.

This was big. The center was so massive that it was hosting other conventions at the same time. In fact, we had to be careful not to wander into the Waste Expo. Yes, it is what you think.

After spending some time trying to figure out where to sign in, I got my badge and headed off to the speakers’ lounge.

:sigh: They didn’t even get the company name right.I arrived at the lounge just in time to head over to our actual panel room, and chatted with Andy Gore of MacWorld on the way over. Very nice, straightforward guy.

I arrived, sat down on the podium, and pretty much just twiddled my thumbs. The room was not unlike a large classroom in a university, and a few people trickled in. I was asked the order in which I’d like to go; I opted for last (it would give me the opportunity to respond to the other panelists’ presentations). Finally it was time to begin.

The vast audience that we addressedWe only had about twenty people there, which was a bit of a shame because one of the Linux advocates just happened to be Larry Augustine (founder and CEO of VA Linux). Everyone gave their speeches (I’ll post more on that later), there were a few questions about .Net and the installed base of Mac users, and that was that.

I then wandered around COMDEX for awhile. It really is incredibly gaudy. Mercedes-Benz was there (?!), and they had a giant spinning Mercedes-Benz logo in the center of the main exhibition space…and it was hard to pick out. One vendor had a bubble machine, blowing bubbles everywhere. HP had built a little Formula-1 model and put a printer atop it. People were giving full-scale presentations to small audiences. It was really weird.

As I shouldered my way through the crowds, I stumbled across some IA’s, and couldn’t resist updating this page. So, I posted this:

Hey, I’m at COMDEX, writing this on a Compaq iPAQ in the National Semiconductor booth. My panel went well; I was sitting next to Andy Gore of MacWorld and Larry Augustine of VA Linux. Kinda hard to get used to that.

I’ll also have to scan my access badge, which is…most interesting.

But anyway, the big thing is that everything has gone extremely well, by God’s grace. And this keyboard kinda sucks (why rename “HOME” to “BEGIN”?).

Chicago from McCormick CenterI’d seen all I wanted to see by 1:00; I didn’t really want to stick around for the various panels. I grabbed a “What To See in Chicago” book, skimmed it, and decided to visit the Art Institute of Chicago Museum. So I went outside, grabbed a cab, had a lovely chat with the cabbie about faith and God and knowledge, and went into the Art Institute.

Turned out this was “Ford Free Tuesdays,” where the Ford Motor Company sponsors the museum for the entire day, and anyone can go in free of charge. The crowds were fairly thick, of course, but not bad at all (five or ten people per room). They had Seurat’s Un dimanche apr

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