The Vista Coach Tour Bus, that is. I learned about it only last night, so I was extremely lucky not to have missed it. I watched that tracking map all day, despairing when I saw it staying in Nashville for hours, then heading in the opposite direction. At the end of the work day, I checked the map again and discovered it was on the way, and all thoughts of grabbing my second meal of the day were discarded (I can always eat, you know, and I don't exactly look like I've missed any meals). Finally, the blog revealed that they were heading to my city's largest mall.
Did I ever mention that I hate malls? To be honest, I do most of my shopping on eBay. Still, there was no question. Call to my inner geek, and I will be there.
The updates to the map seemed a little irregular (I later learned why), so while it seemed the bus might still be a couple of hours away, I decided to head to the mall. Big mistake; Godiva got a nice portion of my last paycheck, after I drove around the mall to make sure my victims hadn't arrived already. I peeked out the doors, saw nothing, and went in search of food.
Food in hand, I headed outside again to look for my target; the cold temperatures making my eyes tear. Back Indoors, near the front of one of the mall entrances, I fired up Pocket IE on my Pocket PC phone to see if the tour blog had been updated. Nope, it still said they were headed here. I tried remoting into my PC at home to check the bus' location, but I couldn't read the map most of the time; everything was black.
Just as I'd gotten an EVDO connection on My Asus R2H (via tethering to my PPC-6700) and fired up IE, I looked up to see a blue-green blur though the mall doors, and the unmistakable white lettering: Windows Vista.
I didn't put anything away. There wasn't time. I barrelled out of the doors with UPMC, PocketPC, UMPC case, backpack, hot chocolate, untouched sandwich, and chocolate-covered fruit precariously balanced in my arms. I proceeded to chase this bus through the parking lot. I'm pretty sure it made a complete circle, heading first away from where my car was parked, then ending up a few rows away from it. When the bus finally stopped, and I caught up to it, I put everything down and started taking pictures. Since it was full dark, and since I'm too cheap to buy a nice camera, the picture is...uh, to put it most eloquently...crap.
I enjoyed my journey. Since I had been a beta-tester and was no stranger to the new OS, we talked about things I'd missed or hadn't yet seen (like the new Vista launcher for the UMPC). They had tablets, as well as um, those Acer Ferrari laptops, and there was a Samsung Q1 Ultra-Mobile PC. I couldn't resist whipping out my R2H, ever if I don't have Vista on it, yet. No slight intended toward the guys, who were terrific, but it was definitely a bonus meeting Terri Stratton; we'd spoken to each other a few times at the TPC Expert Zone chats Microsoft used to hold (and really should have again).
Of course, I was hoping to leave with more than just knowledge.
The first item is a 300+ page Windows Vista Product Guide.
The sandwich? I ate the soggy thing after I got home. It went great with the pricey truffles.