Wednesday, June 22, 2005

HITEC Update

HITEC is going well. We attracted a ton of visitors to our booth yesterday, although today was slower. Since we had fewer visitors I had more of a chance to wander the show floor, talk to other exhibitors, and pick up some schwag. The most useful freebie I got was a Tripplite 3-prong outlet ground tester. I had one of these when I was still in the field, but since I turned in my toolkit when I transferred downtown, I haven't gotten around to buying a replacement. Now, I don't need to.

One problem we've run into is that the wifi hotspot I setup keeps going up and down. The problem is interference from the other 40 or so vendors' hotspots, and basically there's nothing I can do about it. There's a finite number of channels we can use and nobody is coordinating who's using what, so all the WAPs are contending for the same frequencies. Most visitors to our booth are more interested in our video-on-demand product, so it's not a big deal. I did recommend, however, that at future shows we run a CAT5e drop to the laptop "hotspots" to avoid wireless issues entirely.

I got a chance this morning to check out a relatively new commercial-grade powerline Ethernet solution, which could potentially replace our Ethernet-over-coax in some deployments. We're going to arrange for a demo unit, so I'll get a chance to kick the tires on it.

The one thing that's annoying the hell out of me this trip is that the Sheraton Downtown LA does not have high speed access in all the rooms, despite what we were told. They have wifi in about 20% of the rooms and the lobby. The remainder of the rooms only have dialup; my room is in the 80% without wifi. To an Internet addict like myself that's like depriving a junkie of his fix.

The show wraps up tomorrow. I'm flying home tomorrow night on the redeye, and Friday is Judith's and my wedding anniversary, so I doubt I'll be able to post any updates for a couple of days.

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