Thursday, November 03, 2005

Day 1 at the Cincinnati ITEC Conference

First, the conference was actually held in Covington, Kentucky, with the Cincinnati skyline in view right across the Ohio river. The conference is a 2-day event (November 2nd and 3rd), but it's 85 miles away from me, so I just went for the 1st day.

I saw quite a few exhibits from companies I recognized, including Hummingbird, FujiFilm, Promise Technology, DeVry and the Better Business Bureau. I was positively delighted to see Fujitsu there with no less than four TabletPCs on display, in addition to other notebooks, such as a non-convertible brother to the P1500 and a rather beautiful media center machine. I was amused to see the Robert Half Company there; apparently they have a tech services division now. I put aside my irritation with their past treatment of me (when I was one of their office temps), because they were the only ones giving out those stretchy badge reels.

There were quite a few vendors who were unknown to me. I had to sidle up to the EqualLogic booth, though, because a couple of the reps had HP TC4200 Tablet PCs. I fairly drooled over the HP Designjet 130nr CannonIV brought and constantly used to print gorgeous, gigantic pictures.

The pass I had was only good for the exhibit floor, so I can't comment on the conference programs held upstairs. However, I did catch a couple of vendor strategy sessions and found them both informative and worth my while. The first session, "Phones, Laptops and PDAs, Oh My!" was presented by LAN Solutions and dealt with making data available to mobile users without sacrificing security (as a road warrior and workstation support technician, this is highly relevant information). The Cincinnati Network Professionals Association (CiNPA) had a really nice presentation on network security monitoring. Of course, I may have a bias toward this group, because a TabletPC (slate) was used during the presentation!

I love entering giveaways. Obviously, I'm not the only one, because several exhibitors were giving away things:
Excellence In Computing was giving away a computer.
Innovations Technology was giving away a copy of Windows 2003 Server.
Spot Coolers, Inc had a Spot Cooler as their prize.
An HP iPAQ Mobile Media Companion was up for grabs from Exact Software.
Someone was giving away a Nanopod, as well; I'm ashamed to say I can't recall who.
There were other prizes being given away; these are just the ones I found enticing.

All in all, I was glad I made the trip, but I had a couple of sour moments. Cisco had brought their truck to the last ITEC Conference I'd attended; I was disappointed to see that they didn't show this year. Another attendee told me that Microsoft was supposed to have an exhibit, but didn't make it. I expressed my disappointment in them, as well; I'd seen a Microsoft building on a trip to Cincinnati, so I think it wouldn't have been a big deal to get a few people to hop in an SUV (with some goodies) and cross the river.