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Comdex 2001 Wrapup

Sat Nov 17, 2001 - 3:54 PM EST - By James Hromadka

Fall Comdex 2001 is finally over, and for me it has been somewhat of a letdown. The events of September 11 brought a decrease in attendance and in vendor participation, and waking up Monday morning to a plane crash in New York did not help ease anyone's tensions either. My only prior Comdex experience was in 2000, and this event was less flashy and more subdued -- somewhat like this year's Emmy Awards. There were fewer "booth babes" (not that I was looking), no really loud music, and very little glitter. I thought we were at PC Expo.

Fall Comdex 2001 was not a total loss however. There was plenty of excitement in the air over Handspring's new Treo, and it was a treat to finally get to see it and have it in hand for a few minutes. I can't wait to review it. Bill Gates had it wrong; this year was not ComdeXP; it was Treodex. Everywhere I walked I saw attendees carrying bags with the Treo emplazended upon them. We played "spot the Handspring employee," as it seemed as though every one of them had a Treo. Unfortunately, I came away empty-handed. Hey Handspring, my birthday is in March; you know what I want!

As for other handheld computers, Palm's booth seemed smaller than Handspring's this year, and Pocket PCs were almost an afterthought in Microsoft's booth. I did, however, see more Pocket PCs this year; Palm and company need to address the Microsoft threat and stop ignoring it. Still no word on Palm Desktop for OS X; looks like I will be able to synchronize my Journada before my Visor. How sad.

As for the Las Vegas eXPerience (get it? I'm so clever), aside from metal detectors everywhere, I had a good time in Vegas, although we didn't do as many touristy things this year. Kenneth and I did check out The Amazing Jonathan, and he was just as hillarious as I've seen on television. We stayed at the Aladdin Hotel this year because it had high-speed Internet access, and it was nice, but there weren't any attractions at the hotel for us. After checkout, we walked around on our last day and looked at the Luxor and a few other places. Hopefully next year we'll plan things better to get the best non-gambling Vegas experience there is.

The plane is about to land, so It's time to close my PowerBook and say "see you next year!"

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