Hot Chip in a Hot City
Running to the airport
So there we were, sitting in the Firingsquad office at 8PM on Monday. We knew that day that NVIDIA was going to unveil its GeForce 256 at the Intel Developers Forum in Palm Springs California, but it only occurred to us at the last moment that we should send someone over to cover it. James was all traveled out from a recent trip to Siggraph and an upcoming one across the continent, while Kenn needed to stay behind and flesh out the other GeForce 256 article
we had already started on. That left me running home to grab a change of clothes while trying to catch the last plane out to Southern California - we had barely over half an hour!
Well I made the plane, just barely, but Palm Springs is still 60 miles away from Ontario airport. This is the greater LA area we're talking about (public transportation? what's that?) so that meant a rental car, which wouldn't be cheap because I'm not 25 yet. Much to my horror, the first 4 rental counters I approached were all out of cars! Thankfully I found one that did have some cars to rent, but let's just say I'm used to cars with more oomph than the one they gave me.
A 92 horsepower golf cart
The drive to Palm Springs was largely uneventful, save for the exit from the I-10 on to the 111. The 111 "highway" is basically a single two lane road through pitch darkness. At 11PM, there were no cars for miles ahead of me and none for miles behind me. Basically it was the perfect setting for one of those campfire ghost stories or movies like "In the Mouth of Madness," so I hit the high beams and punched the Mirage up to its limits (wooo 90 MPH) to get through the freaky part as quickly as possible.
The Desert Oasis
Palm Springs is a strange town - I hadn't been there since I was a small child so I didn't remember much of it. From what I can tell, the entire city is just one long boulevard flanked by trendy restaurants, boutiques, and shops. Those of you from Southern California - imagine Old Town Pasadena stretched for 10 miles and you have the basic idea. Presumably the rest of Palm Springs is golf courses. Well, I wasn't going to get much sightseeing done at this late hour so I decided to call it a night and rest up for the big day.
Where I stayed
Where the press conference was