I skipped lunch and bopped over to "SIMO TCI Feria Internacional de Informatica, Multimedia y Comunicaciones" this afternoon. This is a big ass technology fair that comes to Madrid every year. It's held at a monstrous (and I mean MONSTROUS) convention center out near the airport.
I only spent an hour or so there, bopping through as there wasn't much super-interesting to see, but I did take some snapshots while I was there (to blog, of course!). You can check out all the photos on my new Notebook Photos section... (Sorry some aren't the most clear, I was trying to use the flash as little as possible because I forgot to change the battery before I left the house this morning. Doh!)
I would have liked to spend more time, but I wanted to make at least one pass during the week when it wasn't really crowded and probably Ana and I will go again this weekend with the babe. From my quick pass through I was able to check out some cool new Apple computers that I hadn't seen in person (the 17" iMac) and fondle the new Microsoft Tablet PCs and see a few new mobile phones I wanted to see.
This year there didn't seem to be as many software demos as last year (but a HELL of a lot more booth bait. Jesus, put some clothes on!), though Macromedia did have a couple "classrooms" that I wanted to check out, but I didn't have time. I think it's also a real shame that the device vendors think that displaying their goods in cabinets or under glass domes is good enough. I don't want to see some mobile phone mockup behind plexiglass, I want to PLAY WITH IT! Duh! Nokia seemed to have the most clue with this, they had 4 or 5 stations where they were demoing the phones live and you could see them in action. They had the flip-out-keyboard model on display (behind glass, ugh) but not the new game phone. Dammit!
The Tablet PCs were amazing. I mean AMAZING. I only had it in my hands for like 30 seconds, but it was enough to fall totally in love. It was pretty light (lighter than my hardcover UML book by my side right now) and was almost magical. I turned it over twice because my mind kept on asking "Where's the computer!??". Screw the whole writing test, I could care less. I was thinking of it solely as a way to browse the web and read eBooks and online docs and it'll be amazing for that. Seriously seriously cool. I expect these to get popular REAL fast. Microsoft, however has a real problem on their hand for some of their other offerings, though. Check out this lonely woman in the .Net Enterprise Servers section. Compare that to the people crowding around the Linux booth. What was really cool was Extremadura had a whole section dedicated to their LinEx OS... Very cool.
HP was trying to prove something, renting an entire hall for itself (Invent). But honestly, it didn't seem to be a cohesive display at all. HP reminds me of Mitsubishi now - they make EVERYTHING. All HP needs to do now is launch a car and it'll have everything. IBM, in comparision, had a much smaller display, which despite its photo was VERY boring. Just filled with business partners showing stuff like industrial requisition software or whatever... I mean, why bother? The people there want to see stuff like Vodafone's F1 Race Cars.
Finally, if anyone has read this blog for a while, you'll know that I came up with the idea like Boingo/Sputnik/Joltage a year or so ago independently of them which is where the Manywhere name came from. Another more recent thought was to just try to set up an account with one of these guys and offer the services here in Madrid... It looks like WifiSpain is already doing just that. Too bad for my master plan, but very cool.