Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2005 Article Day 3

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Julie’s comments are in Black, Judie’s are
in Blue and italicized

Read Part 1
and Part 2 here.


Julie and I overslept! I could swear that the alarm
clock was set correctly, but it’s possible that neither of us even heard it when
it went off. In any case, by around 9:30 we were dressed and ready to grab
something quick  for breakfast.

It’s not like we HAD to be anywhere at any specific time, so we weren’t
stressing over it.

This had to be one of the coldest and most nastiest
days either of us have ever experienced in Las Vegas, as we soon found when we
were about to walk out to the bus queue. Since we knew we would have to wait
outside for up to 30 minutes for the next shuttle, we decided instead to take a
cab. I am not sure if you can really tell by this picture – but this was the
Luxor’s cab queue. The outdoor portion anyway! Inside, the line was a good 40
yards long! It took about 45 minutes for us to get in the cab – but at least we
were somewhat warm and definitely dry.

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It was pouring down rain and probably 40 degrees. Judie was shivering like
crazy. I wasn’t really all that cold, as we Hoosiers are used to a little chill
in the air ;o)

Once we got to the Convention Center, Julie indulged
me and agreed to check out the vehicles on display in the North Hall. I love
shiny cars with loud stereos – and there were plenty of those to be seen. Check
out this crazy modified Magnum with the Lamborghini doors. You can just see the
DVD screen in its dash…

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I’m really not a car person as evidenced by the fact that I drive a 1991 GMC
Sonoma pickup that is starting to look a little ratty. I am hoping to get
something new or new to me this spring. Definitely not a Magnum though.

Julie and I were laughing at this little vehicle –
it is either a poor man’s HUMMER or it is an urban assault golf cart!

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Some of the restored classic cars displayed were to
die for – this one in particular…

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Ok, now this is MY type of car!

I didn’t quite know what to make of this
Pepto-Bismol pink HUMMER H2 with the fake Louis Vuitton pink Murakami Cherry
Blossom fabric and suede trim. It was pretty atrocious…I like the screen in
the sun-visor, though. Who needs a mirror when you can watch a DVD instead?

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Ok, I want to know who the heck really watches DVDs in a vehicle besides
children in the backseat? These vehicles had displays everywhere one could
possibly be installed. It was nutty. I guess it was just a matter of we can,
so therefore we shall

This rear view mirror has a screen built into its
left side. I believe that it is for a rear camera for these crazily raised
trucks – so you can make sure you don’t back up over a normal sized vehicle!
I’ll bet there are those who are running a DVD feed through them, though.

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Okay, you know it is time to quit watching DVDs so
much when you have screens installed in your ski boat!


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Ooooh, here is my dream car. What does it have to do
with gadgets you ask?

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Look – it has an iPod Velcro’d to the dash -Ha!
Doesn’t that seem a bit sacrilege, though?
Ummm, yeah ;o)

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Same with this bright yellow Ferrari…

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You would think they could at least install a cradle
to hold that yellow skinned iPod! ;0)

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Here are a couple more tricked out classics that
caught Julie’s and my eye…

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The good ol’days gone high tech!

I need this crazy Harley truck for the ranch – I
like how it has the matching 4-wheeler. ;0)

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I’ll take the 4 wheeler, you can have the truck. I could do some damage with
it on the trails in my woods.

This gorgeous classic truck was made into a
roadster. The engine was beautiful, but what really made the truck "something
else" was the crocodile horn back trim on the seats – that can’t be very

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Who cares about comfort when you have a car that looks like that!

Obviously this truck was never meant to be actually
driven anywhere, but it really caught our eye on the showroom floor.

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Back to gadgets! Yay, bout time!

headrest DVD player was very cool because it is totally self contained. The DVD
pops into the top and then the watcher can plug headphones into the front jack.
Now if you have two kids who ride in the back of your car that can’t ever agree
on what to watch, they can each watch their own thing. Kids today are just
spoiled rotten, huh?! ;0)

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Why when I was a kid all we could do on trips was to play "I spy with my
little eye" and we LIKED it!

Pioneer had a booth set up with their sponsored
driver Danica Patrick’s
Indy Car.

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In case you wanted to see an example of how crowded
the floor was in this area…we were packed like sardines in a can!

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To say that this show was crowded would be an understatement. There’s nothing
quite as joyous as walking around with thousands of other people as they jostle,
bump, stop, and sometimes even fart as you are trying to make your way to the
next vendor. We must really love our gadgets to do this every year ;o)

Soon, we grew tired of looking at cars, and so we
moved to the home audio and video section. Never had I seen so many plasma and
HD screens in one place. Not that I own one or anything (yet!), but they almost
seemed passé when there were so many together in one place.

We walked by these unusual speakers. Though they
would not go with either Julie’s or my home decor, they definitely had a fun
"pod" look which I liked.

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We saw quite a few gorgeous wooden speakers that I would love to have in my
basement living room.

The THX booth had
a home theater set up which I would be quite happy owning – those speakers and
subwoofer managed to rumble the floor in a very satisfying manner.

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These huge
Earthquake speakers
seemed to combine the best of wood speakers with the plastic pod design of the
speakers pictures above.

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Hidden amongst all of the sound products was a mini
DVD player. This seems to be the antithesis of the new digital media players
that are out. Note the itty bitty screen and the bulky plastic body? Yuck. Plus
you have to buy the specialized DVDs. Granted this device seems to be mainly
aimed at kids, and it probably has a low price point, but I would be happier
teaching my kid how to rip their own DVDs that they already own, then showing
them how to transfer them to a memory card to play on a Pocket PC or other
portable media device…but then, that’s just me. :0P

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I don’t recall what the price point was for the unit or the discs. I agree
that this is another one of those products that will probably never see the
light of day at your local Wal-Mart or Target stores. The thing is that the
entire unit looked almost big enough to play full sized DVDs… So go figure.

The next booth had yet another little media player thingy that of course we
don’t recall the name of. Are you getting the impression that everything was
starting to go in one eye and out the other by this point?

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This was a really neat idea – biometric door locks!
I already have a touchpad lock on my back door, but this beast is pretty enough
to install on the front of the house. It looks like it will either accept a
fingerprint or a button code – pretty cool!

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I wonder how well it works when your hands are freezing cold or even wet? I
don’t have much experience (can you say NONE) when it comes to products such as
these. I would like to know if they run on batteries or if they are electric. If
electric, what happens in the event of a storm and power loss?
Ours takes batteries but has a key for when the batteries

For some reason, these pastel laptop speakers
tickled me…probably because even they weren’t enough to soften the harsh
black of that laptop. Maybe it needs some of the
Wrist Rugs that Julie
and I picked up at last year’s CES! ;0)

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By this time, Julie and I were completely "over"
fighting the crowds and we were just about walked out. The foul weather outside
and the fact that it had actually snowed that afternoon – even though briefly –
made us ready to head back to the hotel a bit earlier than usual.

At least we lucked out and didn’t have wait for the shuttle for longer than
5mins or so. Our bus driver was a little… shall I say… different.
Judie and I sat right behind her and kept looking at each other when she would
say something wacko. At one point she asked the passengers if we wanted to go
for a drink somewhere. She wanted us all to go see the
Chippendale’s dancers with her…as if! :0P

As you can see in these pictures, the weather
outside was nasty. What you can’t feel is how cold it was! Thankfully, we
were able to quickly catch a shuttle bus back.

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As we were leaving, we passed the new TRAM station
across the street from the convention center. Right now there are only a couple
of hotels that are actually hooked to it – but hopefully in a couple more years
it will actually reach the hotels on the strip.

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Actually, I believe the tram stopped at Mandalay Bay which if I’m not
completely insane, is next to the Luxor. So we could have given it a spin…
Maybe next time. Oooh, I missed that. If that’s the
case, then we should have tried it. :0)

After we had arrived back at the Luxor, we got a
call from Dan Parsons, one of our guest reviewers who also happens to own the
company that hosts our site. He was in town
for the show and wanted to meet. Since we had
already made plans to eat at the Cheesecake Factory at Caesar’s, he agreed to
meet us there.

While we were waiting for them to arrive, Judie and I remembered that we had
not yet completed one of our traditional CES rituals… gambling $20! So off we
went to find a lonely slot machine in dire need of our money. I have to say that
I think we each lost our money in record time this year. I don’t think it took
more than 20mins max. We did have slightly better luck when I bet $10 on black
at the roulette wheel for my friend Ryan. We won that spin, but then lost the
next $10 on a duplicate spin. Oh well…

Once Dan and his girlfriend Kara had arrived, we watched the
animated Atlantis show as we waited for our seats…pure cheese!

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The pictures don’t do the show justice as there were shooting flames and
plumes of water. Whee!

After a delicious meal punctuated with lots of
laughter and freely given information from one of the smartest
computer-guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, we all headed back to the
Luxor so that Dan could take a look at the elusive Sony PSP, which Julie had
forgotten to bring along to dinner. I didn’t think that Dan was going to want to give it
up – but I told him that he would have to fight me for it. ;0)

He mastered the Ridge Racer game quite quickly, although it took a few
minutes to figure out how to get past the dorky pre game as none of us speak

Julie and I were surprised when we realized that it
was almost 11:00 and we both had time-sucking flights ahead of us the next
morning. So, it was lights out and good night!

This year’s CES was similar to those of previous years in that it is always
fun to look forward to, but then only too soon becomes a blur of lights, sounds,
huddled masses, taxi lines, tired shoulders and feet. We came, we saw, we
survived. Until next year…

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