26 Oct. 2007
SETI League
PriUPS Project

The NEW Swag

Squeezebrain in its native habitat



So you think this is just the usual ordinary trade show squeezebrain, right?

Squeezebrain on the whiteboard.  Gooey!No!  It's a sticky, gooey squeezebrain!

I had more fun with this than with the motorcycle simulator, where I kept going off the track.  Apparently the "accelerator" is a real accelerator rather than a throttle, so it kept speeding up despite a constant throttle setting. 

The challenge with the squeezebrain was to throw it against the wall.  But it kept sticking to my hand and landing on the floor.  It took a while and a little trick you have to grab it between the lobes.

The Google Swizzle Stick


So you think this is just an ordinary crappy trade show swizzle stick, right?

The Google Swizzle Stick - BlueThe Google Swizzle Stick - PurpleThe Google Swizzle Stick - RedNo!  It's a battery powered, multi-colored, eternally flickering Google swizzle stick.  Its official purpose was to highlight the free beer that Google (and many other exhibitors) had at their stand.

There was a line for this one, but I importuned a booth denizen to get one for me.  She was dishing chocolate star-shaped candies into plastic bags at the other end of the stand from the beer and swizzle sticks and so wasn't mobbed.  (Except by me.  Of course I took advantage of the chocolate dishage as well.  If you don't believe it's possible to be mobbed by one person, try dishing out chocolate.)

Stampede LED PinStampede LED Pin lit up - BlueStampede LED Pin lit up - orangeWe're starting to get the point, right?  In this case, seven points with LEDs and seven without.  Very flashy!  And magnetic!  They stay on without making a hole in your T-shirt, and can be worn right next to the nerd pens in your collar.
Microsoft earphone and microphone headsetEven Microsoft was in the act, with the biggest area at the show.  In the "Microsoft Office" section they were giving away these little headsets in nice zippered pouches.  And in the "Who Are You" section, they had a stage, a camera, and were working the audience trying to get people up to sing and play the guitar.

Occasionally I heard applause from the Microsoft stage area, but never actually saw anyone perform.  Perhaps the drafted performers absquatulated after receiving their kudos.

What Show Was This?

It was the "Interop" trade show in Manhattan.  I don't go to a lot of shows and seem to have missed the swag transmogrification from the mundane to the electrified.  The blurb for the show was "find out what's next in business technology" but it turned out to be more a "find out how to secure your network from the bad guys and drink free beer 'til you drop." 

I did manage to talk to a few UPS vendors about using the Prius with their products.  Two were enthusiastic but one made a point I hadn't previously considered.  Their UPS units are in the very high power category, and their guy explained to me that there was no reason to have them work more than a few minutes.  If you have a power failure in a really large server room, you can't keep the equipment running unless the cooling systems are running as well.  If you do, the servers will melt.

The show wasn't especially well attended and the booth personnel seemed eager to talk to me.  More than a few asked me what I did; I need to rehearse the answer to that one as I was often stumped.  I'm embarrassed to say that, of the swaglets pictured above, I collected only one of each.  I could easily have gotten more for as many hypothetical "children" as I cared to claim.

NP:  "Enter the Young" - The Association

Richard Factor

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