Maybe it was the margaritas, but I could have sworn the television monitors were displaying swirling images of circuit boards and modems as a crowd of systems engineers and desktop-support managers moshed drunkenly a floor below me. I was at The Beach, but hundreds of miles away from the ocean, alas -- landlocked and gridlocked for a week in Las Vegas for Comdex.
Comdex has a few redeeming qualities, like getting to hear Bill Gates wax eloquent about programming on a Tandy personal computer over 20 years ago. When Microsoft struck a deal with the Tandy-owned Radio Shack chain, he was surprised to find some of the same people he'd dealt with back in the day. "Once you get to Tandy, you never leave," he observed to a gaggle of journos at a post-keynote shindig. Oh, but that was off the record, so you didn't hear it from me. MORE >>