Going back to Vegas
Less than two months after Comdex, FiringSquad is in Vegas once again, but this time I'm on my own covering CES, the annual Consumer Electronics Show. We don't usually cover consumer electronics here at FiringSquad, but we decided this year's CES might feature enough PC related products to warrant a visit. The division between PC hardware and consumer electronics is definitely deteriorating.
Working here at FiringSquad, we sometimes forget that there's more to life than video cards, CPUs, and computer games. Our eighty-hour workweeks tend to eat into our leisure time, and most of us don't have the time to keep abreast of the consumer electronics industry anymore.
Brandon and Kenn decided they needed to stay at the office to work on our ever-increasing hardware product review backlog. Calbear offered to come along to help "survey the casinos" so I could concentrate on CES, but I had to decline his generous offer. (He does enough "gaming" at work as it is.)
What am I doing here?
I arrived in Vegas with one simple mission from Kenn, "Just walk around, and write about what you see." (Actually, I had a secondary objective, but I fouled up that mission when I accidentally left my Stanford Wong blackjack strategies book back in Berkeley.)
You would think that a computer hardware guy like myself would feel right at home at CES. Technology is technology, right? Well, not exactly. With the sheer number of exhibitors and products CES has to offer, the first few hours were a little overwhelming. HDTV was everywhere. I must have seen at least eight different HDTV displays before I even made it to the press registration room. On the exhibition floor, I had to resist the urge to ask one of the HDTV marketing guys if I could increase frame rates by lowering resolutions. Lame joke, yes, but it would have been embarrassing to have some poor guy attempt to respond with a serious answer.
Not quite ready to tackle the large home electronics displays, I sought refuge with a familiar name, Creative Labs. (It's all about baby steps.) I saw plenty of interesting items while exploring the Creative Labs booth. Just the day before, Creative Labs had announced the NOMAD II MG and the NOMAD Jukebox, and I managed to get the details on both of these products along with a couple of other goodies.