Rupert Goodwins' San Francisco IDF Diary

Monday 25/02/2002The hotel room goes from dark to light. That'll be morning then.

Monday 25/02/2002

The hotel room goes from dark to light. That'll be morning then. I celebrate this by breakfasting on a bagel ($12) and coffee ($4), and wondering what's so special about this burg that a spot of brekky costs as much as a decent evening meal in my favourite North London cafe. Then I see the Hollywood-bright day outside, and forgive San Francisco everything.

So, it's off to the Moscone Center for the first blast of Intel Developer Forum Spring 2002. You can read all about the announcements from Intel in our copious news coverage: this is what went on otherwise. The Moscone Center is a huge, squat lump of concrete and glass dedicated to corporate conferences -- as IDF went on in our bit, another was hosting the 48th year of the Biophysics Conference. Silicon and carbon-based lifeforms within a delegate's throw of each other, and never the twain shall meet.

Security is tight on the entry to our bit of the Center. I have to walk though a metal detector, emptying pockets of gadgets and coins, and have my bag searched. The security guard looks dubiously at the mass of wires, boxes and plugs that spews forth: by the end of the week, the sheer impracticality of screening thousands of engineers carrying far worse is going to turn this business into a ritual with all the delicacy and pointlessness of ballet.

And then it's down to the press room, a large space with around fifty computers lined around the walls. As there are rarely fewer than two hundred journalists there at any one time, the business of nabbing a spare place to check one's emails becomes the pre-eminent game of the forum. The other one is trying to find a spare power point from which to charge one's laptop: clearly, Intel's mobile processor technology isn't quite there yet.

But all this lies ahead of me. I grab a cup, and rush out to the first keynote of the forum...

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