CES Day 0: Flying, Registration, Bill Gates Keynote

2006-01-08

After a night of watching the Orange Bowl and not sleeping, the apartment at Colony was suddenly full of everybody that would be going to CES. We loaded up, drove to the airport, checked in, got searched, and got on the plane. Simple enough, even without any sleep. Naturally, every person in our group was selected for extra screening meaning that the TSA guys were working overtime checking the bags of a bunch of geeks loaded up with gadgets.

Ironically, we were on flight 777 to Vegas. Needless to say, the flight was nothing unusual except for the fact that 90% of the people on the plane were also CES attendees. Eventually, we landed in Vegas and got off the plane. After some minor confusion as to where we were and where we were going, we got on a bus to the Excalibur so that we could check in to the hotel. On the way out of the airport we saw Adam Sessler from TechTV's XPlay.

After we checked in and dropped our bags, we went for some food at the Excalibur's buffet. It was very tasty. I left from there with a few of the other guys to go over to the Sands to get my badge and get all registered correctly. Following that, we took a shuttle over to the Hilton to get our keynote tickets. Once again, I saw Adam Sessler at the Hilton. This time I smiled at him; I think I scared him.

Having gotten all of my registration done, I had two hours before I had to be back at the Hilton to see Bill Gates' keynote. We took a bus back to the Excalibur that we thought would only take a few minutes. Seeing as how the bus driver was a complete asshole, it took us about 35 minutes. No time for a shower, I slipped on some new clothes and ran for the next bus. I made it back to the Hilton with time to spare. Glad I got those keynote tickets.

Bill Gates is an interesting person. He is the richest man in the world. Everybody knows he's the richest man in the world. Except him. Somehow, he manages to still exude that sense of being just another college kid that had a good idea. He stepped out on stage and started showing off some new Windows Vista builds and a short day-in-the-life segment that made use of way too much technology for any real person.

One of the demos really caught my attention; a table with a projector and a webcam that sensed a Windows Mobile phone and gave you a full desktop environment without any supporting peripherals. I can't really imagine that this sort of thing will be widespread, but I sure hope it is someday.

Gates also gave the center stage to some software enhancements coming in Vista, most of them being directly ripped off from Mac OSX. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and I'm kinda glad that Microsoft is finally learning the value of style.

Next post - CES Coverage