Joel and I were chatting about gadgets and he mentioned that he had a Slingbox at home so I asked if he tried watching his home TV stations in the hotel on his computer. He then invited me up to his room and we were able to watch Office on his laptop 3 hours before it came on here in Seattle. This was my first time watching this show and it was quite funny.
We then went down to the 2 hour kickoff where there was some food and drinks and lots of people. It was nice to see old friends like Julie, Lisa, Eric, Paul, Arne, Jason, Howard, and more and also to meet new friends like Clinton, Brandon, Shane, Michael, Mike, and Derek. I helped Julie get in touch with someone who she bought a Treo 650 from and she gave me some cool Treo cufflinks (I’ll upload a photo soon). It looks like I was the only one with the Nokia N90 and I snapped a few photos in the dark room and when we were outside fishing. John Starkweather, Microsoft dude, welcomed everyone and said if we caught anything with the pole we would get a Bluetooth keyboard or headset. I tried for about 15 minutes without any luck and guess the fish in Puget Sound didn’t want any prime rib scraps.
It was nice to chat with people and get to know them a bit more, as well as just chat about geek stuff since no one I know personally is as into it as I am. Jeff McKeen, a Microsoft guy and friend from PSHUG, also had his Xbox 360 in the room and Brandon and I tried racing each other and both had a very tough time driving.
On the way out the door, we were handed a new i-mate SP5m (aka HTC Tornada) Smartphone device. This baby sports WiFi, Bluetooth, QVGA display and has media buttons on it as well as running Windows Mobile 5.0. This is the Smartphone I was actually thinking about picking up and now I’ll have to give it a try and post a review on Geek.com. Microsoft also loaded it up with all the attendee contact info, including mobile number, website, photo, and short note. The itinerary for the two day event was loaded as well with topics ranging from Portable Media Center, Windows Mobile 5.0, Automotive division, Jupiter Research, Xbox, Sling Media, Motorola, and more. In Internet Explorer we even found links to every site in the Favorites section. Very cool and geeky thing to do and I do appreciate the gift.
I’ll be posting an official writeup with Joel over on Geek.com on Thursday, but like I said before I’ll post more immediate thoughts here.