Gnomedex – Mike Arrington on stage

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch is on stage right now, and leading a lively discussion. Basically talking about the future of little “Web 2.0” companies like Digg, etc., and whether or not more of them are going to hit it big and be successful. Some quick notes:

  • Digg gets 9 million unique visitors a month, and is “kicking the crap” out of the New York Times in terms of audience and attention.
  • (from the audience) “Geeks should not name things. Net Neutrality should be called Net Discrimination, to get a “FUD” word in there, and draw attention.”

I’m sitting front and center, and across the aisle from me is Scott Beale of LaughingSquid, geek conference photographer at large, snapping away with his big, nice Canon 5D (I think) digital SLR.

Speaking of cameras, I’ve uploaded a bunch more photos to my Flickr stream – check them out. (EDIT: Nevermind. I switched to EVDO via Bluetooth on my Sprint phone, and I’m having trouble getting uploads to Flickr to work. I’ll keep trying, but more photos to come later.)
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Gnomedex 6 Badge and AMD Lanyard

Gnomedex 6 Badge and AMD Lanyard, originally uploaded by JoshB.

Waiting in the conference room for things to get underway. I’m in the front row again, in the center, about 10 feet away from the podium. Sweet. πŸ™‚

There are already bandwidth issues. People are complaining about how slow it is, if they can even get on. Chris says the Bell Harbor folks are working on it, but we’ll see. I’m on EVDO, as are many people around me. It’s amazing how popular this technology has become – no one had it last year, and a year later, it’s pretty much the de facto way to get online for mobile geeks.

Here’s the obligatory shot of my Gnomedex badge and the lovely AMD lanyard that it came with (d’oh!). I feel kind of weird, being an Intel guy walking around with AMD logos around my neck, but them’s the breaks.

Maybe next year Intel will be able to be a sponsor Gnomedex 7, and perhaps have a nice little blue logo on the lanyard in stead. πŸ˜‰


Gnomedex Night 0

The opening reception tonight was a blast. I saw all sorts of geek friends, and met lots of new and interesting people. It’s funny how many Portland folks are here – Johnny Hartman, Alex Williams, Paul Colligan, Greg Hughes, etc. We all laughed about how we all live in the same town, and yet only see each other at conferences like Gnomedex. We’re going to start a monthly Portland Geek Dinner or something, just to get away from the computer and hang out more often.

I’m headed to bed – the schedule starts bright and early tomorrow. I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures to my Flickr stream, all under the “gnomedex” tag, so don’t miss those. Even better, you could subscribe to the RSS feed for my Flickr photos, and get them automatically. I’m really in love with my new camera, the Canon SD700. Still getting a feel for how to best use the features (high ISO and Image Stabilization) to take fewer blurry shots, but the ones I’ve take so far are wonderful, to me. I’ve taken some video, too, which is pretty good. The audio is only recorded at 8KHz sample rate, and the built-in mic isn’t the greatest, but it’s workable. I might try to shoot all the video I do this weekend on the SD700, instead of my Sony camcorder.

More blogging and geekery to come tomorrow. Good night! πŸ™‚


Gnomedex – The deep breath before the plunge

I’m checked into my hotel room now (at the Mariott, across the street from Bell Harbor Conference Center)., and waiting until it’s time to head over to the opening night reception for Gnomedex. I’ve been looking forward to this for so long (especially because last year’s Gnomedex was the greatest geek expereience of my life), it’s like trying to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. πŸ™‚

No free WiFi in my hotel (boo!), but I came prepared. I’m hooked up to my Sprint A920 EVDO phone, and online just fine.

Expect a LOT of blog updates in the coming days. Practically everyone liveblogs Gnomedex. Check out the schedule to see who the session leaders are going to be – a very impressive list, for sure. I’ll also be taking lots of pictures with my new camera, so keep an eye on my Flickr photostream, too.

Also, those of you who subscribe to my feed know that I have started using again, and I have Feedburner inserting a post once a day into my feed with the things I’ve bookmarked on I haven’t got that showing up on the site yet, so if you read TinyScreenfuls in a browser, you might consider subscribing to the feed.


Gnomedex Day 0

I’m on the train to Seattle for Gnomedex. It starts with a reception tonight, and sessions kick off tomorrow morning.

The train (Amtrak Cascades) is a great way to go from Portland to Seattle. Doesn’t take much longer than driving, the ride is comfortable and soothing, and the view is spectacular.

On my way back from the cafΓ© car, I ran into Russel Shaw of, on his way to Gnomedex, too. he was fiddling with the EVDO on his laptop (I’m posting this via EVDO on my Windows Mobile phone). So many bloggers in one spot overwhelmed the bandwidth at the Bell Harbor Conference Center last year, so we were encouraged to bring our own connectivity (like EVDO) if possible. I’ve got this phone and my Sprint Ambassador A920, both of which can connect over USB or Bluetooth, so I should be set.

Drop me an email or text message (503-810-5365) if you’re going to Gnomedex, and want to say hi. I’d love to meet up with you. πŸ™‚


Picked up the Canon Powershot SD700 IS today

I finally caved and picked up the digital camera I’ve had my eye on ever since my Nikon 5600 died. I went down to Fry’s this morning and picked up the Canon Powershot SD700 IS. Fry’s had it for $474, about $25 off of the full retail price. I snapped some unboxing pics with my wife’s Nikon 3200 that I’ve been carrying as a backup, and I’ll get those posted soon. I made the decision to go ahead and spend the money for this camera last week, when there was a deal from Dell to pick it up for $367. Unfortunately, I missed out, and the coupon was used up by the time I pulled the trigger. I really didn’t want to pay full retail, but I also wanted to get a good replacement camera before Gnomedex later this week.

I haven’t really used it much yet – Rachel and I are having a “vacation at home” for a couple of days this week. Emma is at Grandma’s house, and today, we went to Fry’s, saw a matinee of “Cars” (awesome movie! I loved it!), picked up some things at the mall (including the little official Canon leather case for their ultracompact cameras), went to Home Depot, and basically did anything we could to stay out in the air conditioned car rather than go home and sit in the oppressive heat.

Thankfully, the weather has cooled dramatically. By about 7:00 pm, it started to get cooler, and it’s quite nice outside right now (almost 11:00 pm). A very welcome change. I’ll play around with the camera some more tomorrow (maybe take some pictures of me installing our window air conditioner unit). So far, I’m extremely impressed. The speed of the camera is awesome. The 4x optical zoom is great, and the image stabilization works wonderfully – a lot of shots I used to take with my Nikon came out blurry because they were taken in sub-optimal light conditions. That’s one of the main reason I was willing to pay more for the SD700 IS and it’s image stabilization, compared to one of the other Canon or Nikon ultracompact cameras out there.

Stay tuned for updates! πŸ™‚


Weather from Hell

We were out of town for the weekend – down in Eugene, OR for a family reunion, and surprise 75th birthday party for my father in law (it was a blast). I’m taking a couple of days off this week before Gnomedex 6 for a “vacation at home”, to get some stuff done around the house.

I don’t know how my wife’s family always manages to plan the annual reunion on the hottest weekend of the year, but they’ve managed to do so for 5 years running. πŸ™‚ We’re having record hot weather in Oregon this week.

Yesterday, Rachel and I spent the day driving up the Oregon coast (from Eugene to Florence, then north to Cannon Beach and home to Portland). The weather on the coast was beautiful – sunny and in the 70s. As soon as we got over the mountains to come home, though (we stopped for dinner at Camp 18 on highway 26), the heat has been miserable.

Our house is evidently not very well insulated, and when we got home, it was a furnace. The upstairs bedrooms were especially bad. Our computer was running its fans full blast, and the office felt like it was 150 degrees. My little alarm clock next to my bed has a thermometer built into it, and it read 93 degrees when we went to bed. Yuck.

It’s a little cooler now outside – 73 degrees F at 3:00 AM – and much cooler in the office, where I’m writing this. “What are you doing writing a blog post at 3:00 AM?” you ask? Way too hot to sleep, even with two fans pointed at me. It’s slightly cooler in the office than in my bedroom, so here I am.

It’s supposed to get slightly cooler the next few days. I hope so. If not, we might be headed back to the Coast, where the temperature is tolerable. πŸ™‚


Wish I was at BloggerCon

There are just too many darn geek conferences in June, and I end up having to be choosy about which ones I go to. I’m headed for Gnomedex 6.0 next weekend, but this weekend, all the geekerati are getting together in San Francisco for BloggerCon IV. Wish I was there with them…

There are ways to participate virtually, though. There’s a live audio stream, an IRC channel (irc://, and people are blogging and Flickring like crazy. They’re even getting MP3 recordings of the sessions up in record time.

Oh well. Maybe next year I’ll be independently wealthy and have time and money to travel to all of the cool geek conferences, and hang out with my geek buddies. πŸ™‚