Comdex: Few Frills, Plenty of Memories

Goodbye, booth babes; hello, bomb-sniffing dogs," mumbled the Mouser. "This isn't your father's Fall Comdex."

Goodbye, booth babes; hello, bomb-sniffing dogs," mumbled the Mouser. "This isnt your fathers Fall Comdex."

Alas, attendance for Comdex in Las Vegas was way down. Thus the hellish cab lines were gone. But the Kitty noticed that an ample fleet of cabs was present. According to the disgruntled cabbies the Furball rode with, no one had given them a heads-up that attendance would be drastically lower than usual.

Meanwhile, the gossipy Grimalkin heard grumblings from attendees who rented cars to shuttle back and forth to the convention center. Seems Mercedes had taken over the central parking lot, most commonly used by attendees, to test-run wireless-equipped cars. Attendees could screech the cars around a makeshift track, which was kinda cool. But those who actually drove to the convention had to park farther away from the hall than ever before.

The Katt noticed the lack of glitzy booths and scantily clad dancers. Instead, the Cingular booth attempted to attract attendees by digitally timing an artist who could paint a huge picture of Marilyn Monroe in 10 minutes. "Goodbye, Norma Jean" was all Spencer could say as he sauntered away.

Bill Gates keynote loudly trumpeted that more than 7 million copies of Windows XP had been sold in the two weeks since its Oct. 25 global launch. Gates said the sales were to computer makers for use on new PCs, upgrades and packaged retail sales worldwide. But the Furball hears claims that the 7 million figure may actually include all presales to OEM partners since Sept. 24.

Spencer wonders what the term "global launch" means, anyway. XP was just launched in China earlier this month and wont be released in Japan until next month. "Maybe Redmond has embraced the Think globally, act locally philosophy," cackled the Kitty.

The HP-Compaq deal is evidently forging ahead. A transition team is meeting in a "clean room" facility in Arizona, midway between the Houston and Palo Alto, Calif., campuses, to figure out the merger logistics. A Katt crony claims that the execs involved are being carefully isolated to avoid regulatory issues.

Some Palm pals of the Puss have hinted that Todd Bradley, former Gateway vice president and now chief operating officer at Palm, may replace departed CEO Carl Yankowski. The Furball also heard that as soon as Palm employees got the memo that Yankowski was resigning after two years on the job, cheers rang out throughout the company.

The Furballs final fond Comdex memory was when his fellow tech journalists wondered aloud what time zone Oracle boss Larry Ellison was in when he arrived 30 minutes late for a 60-minute prekeynote press conference. "Does he use the same watch to do his performance benchmarks?" barked a fellow news hound.

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Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt

Spencer F. Katt, the Whiskered Wonder, has been the mascot and tipster extraordinaire for eWEEK and its predecessor print publication PC Week since 1984. The Gadabout Gatto makes the rounds of...