TECHXNY / PC Expo with the Gadgeteers – Monday

Julie’s comments are in BLACK and Judie’s are
in BLUE and italicized

Last year, Julie and I thought about going to
TECHXNY / PC Expo, but we waited until the last minute then said, "
Nah.".
While the week long convention was happening and for some time after it was
over, Julie and I were moaning about how we had missed out.

So this year, we booked our plane tickets six months in advance! We weren’t
going to make the same mistake twice.

Speaking of which, you would think that by booking
my ticket six months in advance, I would have got a price break…but no!
My plane ticket from San Angelo to NYC was over $600! ACK! But I digress…

Of course, we had already been to
CES in January
and were going to
COMDEX in
November.  If we went to every show that we were interested in attending,
we would be broke!

The plan for 2003 was that we would attend TECHXNY /
PC Expo, and now – here we are! Julie and I are going to try something new.
Instead of writing a big long wrap-up after we return, we are going to post
pictures and comments at the end of each day. The plan is that we will attend
the convention Tuesday and Wednesday, and spend Thursday sightseeing.

Neither of us has ever spent any time in New York. Judie drove through the
city (in 1993!), but I’ve never set foot in
it.

So needless to say, we are both excited about taking
a nibble out of the big apple!

Monday

My day started with an 8:30 flight. I got to spend
much of the hour long commute to Dallas playing

Jumble
, which is the new PDA game by
Outlook Entertainment,
based on the daily word puzzle that comes in the newspaper.  This version
is much better though, because it’s portable without leaving newsprint stains on
my hands, and I don’t have to wait until the next day to check my answer. This
game has eye-candy graphics and is  an excellent time waster!

Once I got to DFW, I was pleased to find that right
next to my gate were these little internet kiosks where you could plug in your
laptop and surf. Since I had two and a half hours to kill, I parked there and
read an e-Book (The
Vanished Man
by Jeffery Deaver) while charging my CLÍE
for the upcoming flight. This was pretty convenient, plus it allowed me to be
anti-social – which is how I usually am in the morning. If you are ever on a
layover at DFW, look for one of these…

My flight to JFK was pretty smooth, which was
surprising considering Hurricane Isabella is supposed to be making her way up
the coast.

I was luckier than Judie, as I didn’t have to leave home for the airport till
12:30pm.  It was a quick uneventful 1hr drive and an equally quick
check-in. You really have to love the self serve kiosks that most airlines now
use.

After getting my gate info, I grabbed some nuggets and a coke from McDonald’s
and settled down to wait the hour till boarding time. Before I knew it, I was
herded into the plane and settled down for a short 1hr and 45min flight. During
the flight, I listened to a new CD that I had ripped of
AudioSlave, and read my current e-book
(A
Walk in the Woods
by Bill Bryson).

Once I arrived at LaGuardia, I grabbed my bag and headed for a taxi stand.

As I was on my way to the JFK taxi stand, this guy
in a black suit grabbed my bag and tried to get me to go with him to an awaiting
town car. "It’s the same price as the yellow one," he said as I asked him what
it would cost.

"Well how much is that?" I insisted.

"$60." He mumbled.

"Yellow Cab is $35!" I said as I grabbed my bag back
and went to get at the end of the queue. Not even in New York for 30 minutes,
and I had already been spotted as a newbie. puh-leeze!

Judie was supposed to arrive in NYC 1hr ahead of me, so when I called her
mobile phone, I was surprised to hear that she was also in a cab heading toward
the

Marriott Marquis
on Broadway.

I have to tell you all about this – because as it
happened, I was in a state of disbelief! While riding to the hotel with my cab
driver, whose name was prominently displayed on his posted license, I could hear
him on his mobile phone calling his credit card company to activate his new
Visa. He not only read his number out loud, he also said the last four digits of
his social security number and gave his home address. Never mind that he was
doing this over a mobile phone – I was sitting in the back seat writing things
down on my CLÍE. For all he knew, I could have been taking down his personal
information. I was stunned by his naiveté.

15 or 20 minutes later, we met up in the lobby of the hotel, checked in and
were on our way up to our room; what seemed like a very small room for $200 a
night. After phone calls to our loved ones, we were ready to go exploring and
get something to eat!

We stopped by the security guards desk and asked
where he liked to eat in the area, and he suggested Carmines, which was just
down the alley from our hotel. Once we got there, however, the 45 minute wait
really put us off. Neither of us had eaten since noon, and our blood sugar
levels were tanked. Not even 20 feet up the sidewalk was a Chinese restaurant
named Ollie’s Noodle Shop and Grill. The people inside looked happy and the
prices looked reasonable. We stepped in…

First we started off with pan fried dumplings and dipping sauce. They were
wonderful!!!! Judie made me use the freaking chopsticks, which I then proceeded
to impale my dumpling with, rather than tweeze. We made short work of that
appetizer, and soon we were happy to see the main course.

I got the rice noodles with pork, and Julie got the
rice noodles with chicken. There were mushrooms, water chestnuts, scallions,
seaweed and various other vegetables stir fried into our dishes. (side note –
when we got back to the room and were working on this article, Julie saw me
write that there were mushrooms in the meals, and she freaked!! Since her
eyes are still not quite 100% after the operations, she had been sitting there
enjoying her meal, never realizing it was loaded with "slimy slug slices" – as
she likes to call them!) I am sitting here rocking with laughter as she keeps
hitting me and saying, "I did not eat mushrooms!" Yes Julie…you did!

Of course, we couldn’t eat it all (…and even less
would have been eaten had Julie known about the mushrooms…)
and it
really pained us that we could not take our leftovers with us back to the room.
We were pleasantly surprised by the price of the meal. It was $26, including
tip! Needless to say, we’ll probably be back before the trip is over.

After eating, we walked around the corner and were
amazed by all the flashing lights, lighted news item scripts, and moving
billboards that looked like gigantic plasma screens. It took us a moment to
realize that we were in Times Square! Since the only views either of us has ever
seen of this area were in movies or TV shows, it was almost surreal to realize
that we were actually standing there.



One of the shops that we passed, caught our attention with all of the
electronic gadgets and gizmos in the window display. We thought we might get
lucky and see a Sony CLÍE UX50, since both of ours were delivered to our
respective homes today while we were in transit. Unfortunately, the shop didn’t
have the UX50. It did however, have the Garmin iQue 3600 on the shelf. We asked
one of the many clerks if we could see it, and he handed us the box. When Judie
asked if we could open it to see the actual device, he said no. Gee thanks
buddy… Hopefully, we will be able to see one tomorrow in the Palm booth.

We trekked around for a little while longer, looking
at the various sites and people. Then we figured we ought to head back and put
something together for you all about our day. Tomorrow, we hope to see many
things that we won’t be able to live without…

Tuesday

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42 thoughts on “TECHXNY / PC Expo with the Gadgeteers – Monday”

  1. After reading about your experience in the NYC gadget shop, I have to say that it is typical of the shops down there. They cater to travellers who are wowed by the technology and don’t know any better than to pay the inflated prices for goods that may be of questionable origin. I almost bought two laptops down there…an Omnibook 300 and a Twinhead subnote. Different times, different shops. The vendors took out the boxes (of the supposedly new items) and showed me what they came with. The items were obviously used and missing some items. It was my opinion (which I kept to myself, as I wished to keep breathing) that the items were hot. They show you some wonderful things in the display window, but when you go inside the reality is often much different.

    PC Expo is always a good time…though this year they decided to hold it when I couldn’t go. They have always held it the middle to end of June (when school lets out) but this year they held it right at the beginning of the school year. I never take a sick day this time of year unless I am in imminent danger of death. I will have to live vicariously through your narrative!

  2. $600 air fare six months in advance? You’ve got to be kidding. Yikes, between that and your homeowners’ insurance premium you really should consider moving north. Of course you’ll have to factor in the snowblower cost and I don’t think the Harley truck will handle too well in the snow.

    Mike 😉

  3. I gotta say, as a native New Yorker (could you guess that from my username?) I am thrilled that you guys are experiencing NYC for the first time; you will have a blast. And Ollies is great for cheap good eats — I used to take weekend classes at Columbia and would stop there after class. Looking forward to your trip notes!

  4. isobutane,

    So true. I warned Judie about those electronic stores. They sell remanufactured, reconditioned, used, hot, or just plain broken items and also pull the bait and switch on you.

    By the time the unsuspecting tourist realizes he’s been had, he’s back home in Podunk, USA and it’s too late.

    Most of them also have an unwritten No Return Policy.

    Buyer Beware…

  5. Wow, Ollie’s? Hahaha, that’s too funny. I’m a Columbia (undergrad) student so I know alllll about Ollie’s. NYC is a blast. Don’t let the annoying drivers at JFK or LaGuardia get you down. This is the BEST CITY IN THE WORLD!!!!

    P.S., if you feel like having a slice of pizza the size of a yield sign for $2.50, head over across the street from Ollie’s on 113th and B-Way and grab a slice from Koronet’s. Best deal in the city, I swear. Watch for clogging arteries though 😎

    Enjoy your stay!

  6. Oh, and an insider’s tip? If you’re willing to venture way underground into NYC (it’s really not that bad), don’t bother with cabs in the city. They’re almost always slower and *always* more expensive than the good ol’ subway. The subway runs 24/7/365, which is a lot better than the situation back home in Boston. :p Avoid buses when possible, as they’re tiresomely SLOW.

  7. Agreed totally with maxintosh. Most NYers don’t commute via taxis, they take the subway. It’s really the only way to get around. 😉

    Oh, and be prepared to walk around a LOT for Javits. It’s in the middle of nowhere.

    Maybe I’ll see you two tomorrow, I’ll be there. 🙂

    –janak

  8. Ollies will do the trick, but you really should check out chinatown while you’re here. In particular, there’s a place I like called “Excellent Dumpling House” where they have great shau lon pau among other dishes. The place looks like nothing (the interior is green tile like a Krispy Kreme) and it’s cash only, but yumm…
    It’s on Lafayette St. just south of Canal St.

    You should also try Lombardi’s Pizza on Spring St. between Mott and Mulberry for the best pie in Manhattan. It’s also cash only.

    If you like sushi, Tomoe is the best on earth (and reasonably priced). The lines can be long, especially on a weekend, but if you go early-ish on a weeknight, you shouldn’t wait more than 30 minutes tops, and it’s definitely worth that. It’s on Thompson St. between Bleeker and Houston, and they only take cash and amex.

    NYC is full of great restaurants, but those are three of my practical favorites – great (even world-class) food and low prices with no pretention.

    -nuxi, a new yorker and gadgeteer reader since 1997.

  9. I know your TechXNY trip reports are like a travelogue, but do you think that you could keep the meal descriptions down to a minimum, please?

    I am aware that your first day was not actually at the convention, but I am reading these articles to get some idea of the gadgets coming out soon.

    Overall, I really like your trip reports. Keep up the good work.

  10. I was extremely disappointed at the poor showing of vendors at TechXNY/PC Expo. It was using less than half of the main show floor, and no major PDA or gadgets were introduced there, like they had done last year.

    There is a great dumpling house called “Joe’s Shanghai” on Pell St, just off of Bowery. Be sure to order their awesome dumplings with crab meat. They are succulent dumplings with soup wrapped up inside of them!

    If you guys want to try out more Chinese food in the Chinatown area, feel free to drop me a line! I’d be glad to meet up with you sometime during the week!

    You can email me at “khom at tmail dot com”

    Enjoy your stay in NY!

    ps – beware of pickpockets, always be on the alert and you’ll be fine

  11. Too bad about the poor Tech show, but being that I lived in NY for most of my life, I would recommend the following tour activity:

    Take the Circle line boat tour. If I remember correctly, their pickup spot is right near the USS Intrepid on the West Side Drive. I would recommend the half-circle tour around the Southern half of Manhattan. Lots of incredible views that you can’t get from a bus and a good bit of history from the tour guide.

    Some other fun stuff to do while there (not in any particular order):

    1) Walking tour of central park with lunch at Tavern on the Green
    2) Central Manhattan museums
    3) Bronx Zoo
    4) Broadway show
    5) Sports/Music event at Madison Square Garden
    6) Lunch/Dinner atop the Mariott Marquise rotating restaurant
    7) Electronics shopping along 47th st. and Canal st. followed by Lunch/Dinner in Little Italy or Chinatown.
    8) Shopping / browsing along 5th Ave
    9) Empire State building (doesn’t take long)
    10) Statue of Liberty
    11) Coney Island or Long Island Beaches

    Enjoy,
    L.B.

  12. Shame that there wern’t more exibitors. More a shame that you didn’t see Joel from geek.com a day earlier, seems a lot of the gadgets you would have been interested in were at the pre-show the day before, his pre-show report over at geek.com is pretty good.

  13. So in the picture of you two w/ the guy from Geek.com – did I detect you were both wearing Scott eVests??

    Would be interested to hear any snippets about the gadgets you brought with you on this trip and how they performed. Similarly, any gadgets out there that would have come in handy. Obviously, any game / ebook that would help pass the extra time you had on your hands notwithstanding.

  14. Looks as though some of you are out of luck.

    It seems as though the TechXNY/PC Expo was merely a sham to get some much needed funds into the coffers of NYC.

    Atleast the PC Expo is in a city where there is plenty to do with a lot of newfound free time.

  15. Originally posted by huze24
    Atleast the PC Expo is in a city where there is plenty to do with a lot of newfound free time.

    Agreed. Judie & Julie, enjoy New York — the weather was highly cooperative today, and it’s an awesome city. I know, I work in it. 🙂

    This year’s PC Expo, on the other hand, was a terrible shame. I do remember the good old days… and wrote up a rant on the subject on Pocket PC Thoughts about it. 😡 Hopefully next year, but I’m not holding my breath. CeBIT was quite a bit better in comparison, but even it was small.

    –janak

  16. Originally posted by The Reader
    [B]This looks more like a trip report…

    Hand bag, food, buildings? WTF? [/B]

    Like making lemonade out of lemons.

  17. I realize this may have been too much of a coincidence, but I’ve been traipsing around Manhattan for the last few days and I could have SWORN I saw someone who looked like Julie! Of course, I dismissed the thought at the time.

    Anyway, I’ve just arrived back home in Manila and after reading your trip report I recommend you also drop by the wonderful Apple Store in SoHo. You can start off by taking the N subway from Bryant Park behind the NY Public Library (a free, open wireless hotspot, btw) to Prince Street and then walking two blocks west to Greene St. Once you’re there, do check out the newly introduced 20 and 40 GB iPods, and more importantly, the new 15″ Aluminum PowerBook that was announced only yesterday. You can also kill an hour by surfing on one of the new PowerMac G5s, and the whole store is a hotspot as well. There’s also a whole shelf of iPod accessories and cases to pore through.

    Lastly, here are some of my own photos from my recent Manhattan walkabout: Click
    here and here.

    Have fun, guys, and enjoy what I think is the greatest city in the world!

  18. Vic,

    We just looked through your photos – and we saw the Naked Cowboy! Since we were on Times Square and took a picture of him while he was doing his “thing,” it is very possible that you did see Julie. If you saw Julie, then I wasn’t very far away. Too bad we didn’t get to say “hi”!

    Judie :0)

  19. I was just fine though. I had just finished a venti latte, after all!

    What is the hidden meaning of this phrase ?

    What do you mean with “twenty milk”?

  20. Originally posted by Judie
    [B]A Starbucks Venti Latte is a 20oz. (or “large”) size.

    The hidden meaning is that after having one, I didn’t need caffeine bad enough to stand in a long line. 😉

    Judie :0) [/B]

    Ah, Caffé latte, 0.6 litres, I see…

    But, if Starbucks uses Italian words, why they do not use metric measurement units?

  21. Originally posted by smiley1081
    But, if Starbucks uses Italian words, why they do not use metric measurement units?

    Probably because they are an American based company that likes to throw around foreign sounding words to help them justify charging $4 for a 20oz latte. :p

    Judie :0)

  22. Larry…you are absolutely right. You have to check out Churrascaria Plataforma! I did! My wife used to live in NY and she said that if I wanted meat (and lots!) I should go to Plataforma. I went there on Tuesday night after walking around Broadway for hours. PC Expo (or TECHXNY) was a bust, unfortunately. The service was great. The meat was great. The ambience was also superb. Anybody that likes to eat well and lots, should check this place out.

    -Jin

    Originally posted by bitbank
    [B]If you want to have a truly unique dining experience in New York, then you must try eating at the Churrascaria Plataforma. It is a brazilian steak house and buffet (all you can eat of everything). If you like bar-b-que’d meat, you will love this place:

    http://www.in-newyorkmag.com/frame/set.htm?site=http://www.churrascariaplataforma.com

    Larry B. [/B]

    :wow:

  23. I can’t wait to go back – 2.5 days just wasn’t enough. I think you could live in New York your entire life and still not see all of the sights. For those of you that have never been, there are a couple of stereotypes that New York did and didn’t live up to, at least in my eyes.

    😀 I’m glad you loved New York. The big challenge here, given the restaurants and everything, is not getting fat and emptying your wallet at the same time. There’s a reason New Yorkers are so arrogant as to call New York “The City”. 😉 But yes, we are truly nice people, as long as you don’t bump into us while we’re in a rush. :p

    Oh, and by no means have I seen everything, and I’ve lived in the NY metro area all my life. There is no way. A month of non-stop touring might get you around to 30% of the sights and sounds. The museums alone could take you a week or two…

    –janak

  24. Originally posted by BigDaddyJ
    [B]The museums alone could take you a week or two…
    [/B]

    We knew better than to even try to go to any museums…that will be another trip! 😉

  25. Did you really see the lady with baby lamb with diapers on a leash???

    Let me guess, were you in the vacinity of B’way and 54th?
    That was a skit for the David Letterman show!!! You missed your big chance to be on TV!!

  26. Actually, we saw the leashed lamb (wearing a diaper) at the side door of the Shubert Theater (225 West 44th Street) where Gypsy was showing.

    At the time, we thought it was either an incredibly odd pet for a city dweller to own or it had a part in the play.

    Perhaps it was the same lamb that was on Letterman, who knows. I mean, how many diaper wearing lambs on a leash could there possibly be at any given moment in New York? 😉

    Judie :0)

  27. Pardon me but what is the link to the TECHXNY?

    Coz this reads like a “Julie and Judie go to New York” article :confused:

    (PS: I once was registered using the same handle but couldn’t log in, so I had to recreate it. Was there a user database crash?!)

  28. If you would read the article, you would see that TechXPO was a huge flop, so we made the best of the situation and turned it into what you see posted.

    Yes, there was a database crash last week… Although I thought my account was the only one that was obliterated. Sorry.

  29. Julie,

    I was a little ironic as you probably guessed 😮

    But I was in a hurry and at the same time eager to read something interesting, technologically at least.

    Upon a second fly thru, all I could retain was LCD screens with hard glass covering/protection and a tiny business card reader 🙁

    To tell you the truth, here in Geneva, the ITU Telecom World 2003 exhibition an every-four-years international event that runs just now is 25% smaller than the 1999 one.

    Hey I should go there next week, so I could report here about my findings…:)

    Jean-Louis

  30. Went today, quite interesting, lots to see, took many pix, didn’t see all, feet hurting, will go back tomorrow, Saturday out of town, will have to wait till Sunday or Monday 4 report, too tired to write more, will do much better then… 😉

  31. Originally posted by Julie
    That sounded like a cross between Capt. Kirk and Tonto. 😉

    I know who’s Capt. Kirk, but Tonto?!

    (Hey I was too tired to think a lot and write nice & long sentences)

  32. Originally posted by Judie
    Tonto was the Lone Ranger’s American-Indian side-kick. 🙂

    Lone Ranger?! was he in a movie, TV series?!

    While I work on my ITU Telecom World report project (got lots to sort and write) you can go there to find 4 pages filled with very nice pix of various phones and PDA phones:
    http://www.androg.ch/itu2003/index.html

    Jean-Louis

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