TECHXNY / PC Expo with the Gadgeteers – Tuesday

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


Since the TECHXNY exhibits weren’t going to open till 10am, we weren’t going
to break our necks getting up at an insane hour on our 2nd day in New York (not
to mention the fact that we were up past 2am the night before writing the first
installment of this trip report).  So around 9:30, we headed downstairs for
Judie’s standard Starbuck’s latte and to catch the shuttle bus to Javits
Convention Center. A short 10 minute ride later, and we found ourselves walking
into the building ready to traipse up and down aisles of gadgety goodness.

We got our first clue about what was awaiting us at
the Javits Center when we boarded the shuttle bus and there was only one
other person on it…

Like most conventions though, our first task upon arrival was to check in at
the upstairs press registration area to get our badges and check out the
computer area. It was here that we received our second clue that TECHXNY might
not be "all that"… As we were waiting for our badges to be printed, we noticed
through a gap in the sectioned off press area, that there wasn’t ANYONE in

Well, there were maybe 10 guys in dark suits, which
is not what you usually see in a happening event. We are used to having
to fight over vacant computer terminals, passing on the slim pickings of the
vast wasteland of obligatory press kibble, and perusing aisle after aisle of
press releases before hitting the event’s floor. Let’s just say that none of
that applied in this instance. We were starting to make jokes about how PC Expo
might be as lame as the wireless event we had attended in San Jose while Sharp
Event in 2001. But we didn’t really believe that. We just thought maybe
everyone was already on the floor. So we took the escalators down and figured
out our plan if attack.

We began in the far left section of the exhibit floor, which seemed like the
logical place to start. We figured we would work our way to the main exhibit
area from there.

This section appeared to be mainly foreign business exhibit booths, many of
which basically catered to companies wanting to outsource their services. There
was a conference in progress in the back of the room that was being put on by
IBM. Since we saw their large logo hanging from the ceiling in that area, we
thought we would see some actual hardware products. Instead, we found ourselves
in the midst of a seminar on how to outsource your company  being put on by
IBM. We toughed it out, wandering through a bunch of booths that were not
interesting to us in the least. Of course, this was the first section that we
came to, so we weren’t that concerned… yet…

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As we left this section, entering the next, we saw a
booth with actual product! At this point, I will admit that it could have been a
less than exciting item and we might have been just as overjoyed to see it. But
in fact, the Case Closed Bags
display was pretty darn cool. They were displaying a selection of cleverly
stylish laptop bags that cater to women that don’t want a boring black bag. Some
of the bags had colorful graphics on their exterior, and some were more
conservative – but all had colorful interiors and contemporary lines. We hope to
be able to get some samples in the near future so we can see if they perform as
well as they look.

While Judie had noticed the laptop bags, I instantly noticed the colorful
iPod cases.

We continued walking past various booths, and noticed a cappuccino and coffee
line being sponsored by AMD. Judie didn’t even attempt to get in the line
because it was so long. In fact, it was the longest line of people we had seen
waiting for anything at the show so far.

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

The next interesting booth that we came upon was from a company named
Neovo, which had beautiful flat screen
monitors on display. They had the best image quality that either of us had seen
before. The company representative explained that their monitors were different
than standard offerings, due to the very strong glass used in their screens
which have a surface hardness of 6. While this number probably doesn’t mean
anything to most people, it will surprise you to learn that steel has a surface
hardness of 6.5.  Wow!  We will be sending out sample request emails

 We continued to walk the floor…and all of a
sudden we found ourselves back in the main open foyer. Julie and I figured that
we had seen everything on that floor – time to head to the meat of the show!
After all, we had read that Palm and Microsoft were exhibiting and we were
hoping to catch a glimpse of something new and different. We walked down the
steps in to the ground floor, but not seeing anyone else milling about, we
became suspicious that we had missed something on the floor we had just vacated.
We climbed up the stairs again, and looked at the show before us. Julie and I
bantered for a moment about whether we had really exited from the section on the
right, or if we had missed it somehow. Figuring anything was possible, we walked
up closer…and then we saw a booth that we had definitely already visited. We
asked a security guard that was checking badges if there was something else that
we had missed. She said, "Nope – that’s it." At which point Julie and I felt our
hearts sink. We decided to give the floor one more go round and as we were
walking in, a gentleman heard us commenting on the pathetic offerings of the
trade show.

He introduced himself as Neal Weiner from Akira Technologies. He lamented
with us and mentioned that four years ago, the trade show had taken up all three
floors of the Javits Center and had even needed a outside pavilion. Then last
year he said that the show had at least used one entire floor. We had to laugh,
when he make the comment, that the biggest line at the show was for coffee. He
followed us back into the show area as we decided to make one more round through
the exhibits to see what we had missed. We were sure we had to have overlooked
something interesting. As we walked along the back edge of the booths, we
peeked behind the draping and saw the vast empty area of unused show floor. It
was a very sad sight.

We did a leisurely walk-through which only confirmed
our earlier findings. As we were walking down an aisle, we heard "Judie, Julie!"
We turned around to see Joel Evans of

Joel agreed with us that this was the poorest excuse
for a trade show ever, but he said that we had missed one product that
would be worth mentioning. It just so happened that it was in the booth we were
standing in front of with him. The product was a teeny-tiny little USB card
scanner; it was so cute it looked like a toy! But the
WorldCard by
Pen Power is actually a very powerful
scanning tool that will read your business cards and enter their information
directly into Outlook. This device was so portable that road-warriors that need
this type of device should not even feel the added weight when they add it to
their gear bags.


After viewing the card reader in this booth, we were done. Totally done. All
the way done. There wasn’t any more. It was done.

Judie and I probably repeated to each other at least 20 times that we
couldn’t believe that this was it! I don’t think we spent a total two hours at
the show, if that – and we even went through twice! As we walked out to catch
the shuttle back to the hotel, we realized that the one day that we had set
aside to see the sights of NYC, had just increased to 2.5 days. We were asking
each other what we wanted to do to fill the time. With only one day to sight
see, we knew we would just hit the high lights such as the Empire State
Building, Ground Zero and if we had time, the Statue of Liberty. Now we had 2.5
days to fill! So we decided to do what had worked for us on our trip to
Edinburgh, Scotland. We would take a bus tour around the city to get our
bearings and a general lay of land. Then we could pick the things we wanted to
investigate further. 

Disclaimer: from here on out, this article is no longer the TECHXNY / PC Expo
trip report article… it is now the how to see New
York City in 2.5 days article. Hey, we can roll with things as they come.

As we were riding back to the hotel and formulating
this plan of action, we were surprised and slightly impressed to see a large
Navy Destroyer docked in the harbor. We didn’t see a sign, but we surmised that
we were looking at the Intrepid Sea-Air
Space Museum
. On the deck of the ship, we saw several Tom Cat fighter jets
and a black plane that I at first thought was a Stealth Bomber because it
looked…well, stealthy! Looking at the website, we now know that it is an
A-12 Blackbird
which when
first flown in 1962 was the
fastest and highest flying manned aircraft in the world. Evidently, it still is
– even after 30 years!

We looked at some of the visitor information in our hotel room, and decided
to take a city tour with the Gray Line
company. We had seen their red double decker, open top buses tooling around the
streets, and knew that such a bus would offer better picture taking
opportunities. We booked our Classic New York tour at the Port Authority Bus

Our ticket enabled us to take the downtown, uptown, Brooklyn, and night tour
loops during a 48hr period. We also received a ticket to ride the ferry to Ellis
Island to see the Statue of Liberty. Soon, we were seated in the open air
section on the top floor of the bus, with Reggie as our tour guide.

Reggie was a blast as he explained all the sights as we wound our way through
the downtown loop.

Behind Reggie is the Empire State Bldg.


Julie and I behaved like typical tourists and
snapped pictures of everything we saw that looked remotely interesting. Here is
a sampling of some of the sights and buildings that caught our eye…


From left to right: The Courthouse, the two outer buildings in
the middle picture are both owned by insurance companies – and you wonder why
our premiums are so high, & the Flatiron Bldg.


Trump’s new World Tower Bldg. According to Reggie, Bill Gates
bought two multi-million dollar apartments and made them into one gigantic
living space

After three hours on the bus, Julie and I decided to
get off at the Rockefeller Center stop. The courtyard was an explosion of
Japanese pop art, because Takashi Murakami has an exhibit there.
From the Mr. Onion Head statue to the colorful toadstools you could sit on,
Julie and I decided that his
artwork was a cross of Hello Kitty meets the Teletubbies on

Frankly, I think that he is laughing at the people
who like his art, or maybe it is those that
don’t like his art – case in
point: the two giant black balloons that he placed in the courtyard in front of
the Rockefeller building. I am not going to say anything else about it, I will
just leave you with this picture…

Otherwise, the Rockefeller Building was beautiful
and the gold statue in the sunken lower level was stunning.

As we turned the corner, we saw the familiar marquee of Radio City Music
Hall. We didn’t see any Rockettes, though…

Less than 10mins later, we were back in Times Square…looking
at some idiot who calls himself the "Naked Cowboy"..

The back of his tighty-whiteys said his stage name…

By this time, we were starving. Luckily for us, we were able to get into
Carmine’s, the restaurant that had been too busy the night before. We decided to
order an appetizer of Calamari to start. As we ordered it, our waitress warned
us that the food there was served family style, which meant very large
portions. We were advised to order one entree and split it between us. The
Calamari arrived before we placed our dinner order. This was a good thing, due
to the fact that the appetizer could have fed a family of 5 easily! It didn’t
take Judie and I long to decide that we were not going to have any room left for
the main course. We couldn’t even finish the appetizer.

Carmines was an awesome place, with a casual
atmosphere. Even though we didn’t order an entree for ourselves, that didn’t
stop us from salivating as we saw the mutant sizes portions the waitstaff were
delivering to their patrons. Case in point, this was our calamari before we tore
into it:

…this was what was left after Julie and I were
full. Yes, the portion was that huge!

May I add that this was easily the best calamari I
have ever had. Those of you that have read all of Julie’s and my trip reports
know how much we love the stuff, and how we usually get it at least once on
every trip – so this is high praise, indeed.

After eating, we headed back to the hotel so that we
wouldn’t miss our new favorite drama, The O.C.
Once again, we are up until all hours writing this report – so we may have to
sleep in again in the morning.

Tomorrow our plans are to finish our bus tour, see Ground Zero, ride the
ferry to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty, and whatever else might
strike our fancy. Hope you are all enjoying the report (even though it is
severely lacking in gadgets) so far!

Wednesday & Thursday

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

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. 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!

  3. $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 😉

  4. 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!

  5. 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…

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 🙂


  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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


  13. Shame that there wern’t more exibitors. More a shame that you didn’t see Joel from 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 is pretty good.

  14. So in the picture of you two w/ the guy from – 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.


  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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)

  20. 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”?

  21. 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?

  22. 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)

  23. 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.


    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:

    Larry B. [/B]


  24. 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…


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

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

  26. 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!!

  27. 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)

  28. 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?!)

  29. 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.

  30. 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…:)


  31. 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… 😉

  32. 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)

  33. 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:


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