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January 11, 2012

Geek Central

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

It’s called the Consumer Electronics Show or CES. It’s in Las Vegas. It’s big. I would love to be there. I’m glad I’m not.

Sure, there are lots of new gadgets and gizmos coming out. I generally watch CNBC during the day, and they have regular updates from CES, showing off gizmos that force me to stop whatever I’m doing, look at the TV screen, and drool.

I could go on and on about how much I love gadgets, how the CES is where I should go every year to spawn, and how jealous I am of others who make the trip. But I won’t. Instead, I’m going to bitch about why I loathe Las Vegas during big conventions.

The last time I was in Las Vegas for a big convention was one of the last COMDEX shows, back in the 1990s. That was just when COMDEX was waning, and I was in-and-out for a quick video interview. Earlier I would attend all five days of COMDEX. But, jeez, Vegas can suck when there are 200,000 people there for one show.

None of them gamble.

Few of them drink.

Fun? Well, fun at COMDEX in the 1990s was getting your laptop’s dial-up modem to work with the hotel’s phone system.

Face it: When I go to Vegas, I want to experience Vegas! I want to gamble. I want to drink. I want to swim in the pool and see a show. (But not at the same time.)

I remember gambling back in the early 1990s during COMDEX and my friends and I were the only people playing craps. We had a great time, but we were alone in the casino. That’s weird because:

Getting anywhere during COMDEX week was hell. Lines for a taxi were 200 or 300 people long. It would take 90 minutes before you would get inside a cab.

Often I would walk, which is hell in Vegas. Not only is everything so out-of-proportion that it throws your sense of distance, but you’re in the desert. I’ve walked miles and miles during COMDEX, not just on the show floor, but between the venues and hotels. My feet would swell like a Python programmer’s ego.

So, no, I would be eager to visit CES for those anti-Vegas reasons.

I’ve already heard from my editor about the lines and the walking. Sure, you see some cool gizmos and meet some great people. But the experience outside of the show is a bummer.

Yeah, I’m much more content to watch the show on TV and read about it on the Internets.

1 Comment

  1. As a Brit who has visited the States many times, I can say this you Walked ???, When I told an American collegue that the K-mart was only five mins from where I was staying his reply was ‘Oh I didn’t mean to make you walk’ as for the size of Vegas it is out of proportion on most maps the strip is very long and all the other stuff that appears to be very close is miles away! Worth a visit though!

    Comment by glennp — January 11, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

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