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Adventures At CES: Walt Mossberg Ruined My Photo, And Other First-World Problems

What’s it like to go to a big-time press event before the official opening of CES? Fortunately, I can let you in on that. I went over to the Digital Experience event at Caesars Palace, and I took a few pictures to give you an idea of what happens there.

First, you walk all the way across the casino and down a hallway where you find another hallway, then stairs, then another hallway, then escalators that seem to go up forever, then a woman in a body suit and matching face paint points you to another long hallway, then more stairs, then a table where they check to make sure you are who you say you are, then you get a badge and go in past more body-suited women in face paint, and here you are:

My camera’s not great; it wasn’t quite that yellow. But, yes, it’s a room with a bunch of tables. Food and drink are at random spots around the room, and there’s something dangling from the ceiling too high up for anyone to notice it.

Now, let’s walk around and… hey, that guy looks familiar…

Why, it’s celebrated television personality Chris Hardwick, founder of this very site, demonstrating something for the G4 Television Network! Our very first celebrity sighting! Say hello to the world, Chris!

(In fairness, he wasn’t scowling at you. He was trying to get a good position so that what he was demonstrating — a little DLP projector — would project an image on his shirt. It did, but my camera sucks and you can’t see it. Chris says hi)

Remember how I wrote a piece a few days ago about Trojan being at the convention? They were indeed here:

I don’t think I could muster the kind of enthusiasm this representative did over what he’s holding, but the Trojan booth was both among the most crowded all night and had among the cheeriest people on both sides of the table. There’s a lot of good will in the contraceptive business.


Not that color, but WANT.

This was an odd exhibitor:

I guess all the chairs people bought from bankrupt dot-coms in the early 2000s are finally wearing out and it’s time to buy replacements.

Hey, it’s another celebrity!:

That’s a momentous occasion: Walt Mossberg, THE Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, encountering the highly-touted new Motorola tablet. When Walt Mossberg shows up at your booth, that’s a big deal. Other visitors watched as the Motorola guy held the tablet; Walt got to touch it himself. And… hey, watch it, bud!

My attempt at getting a clear angle to shoot the tablet failed, and it was because, as he left, Mossberg jostled me. He probably didn’t do it on purpose. Probably. I can’t read his mind. (Actually, he does not know I exist, but the fantasy of Walt Mossberg sabotaging me is fun for a few minutes)

But most of the hall is like this:

“See? We’re just like Google! We have a TV thing too! You remember us, right? Please?”

And then there was this:

Words fail.

The REAL CES starts in earnest tomorrow. Watch Chris’ coverage on TV for demonstrations of cool stuff, and check back here for my sour mutterings about the crowds and noise and state of the industry. Fun for all.

Images: Perry Simon

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