As trade shows go, Demo is pure vendor sports. Billed
as a 'launchpad for emerging technology,' this year it featured 67
new products and services, both on stage and on a show floor that
consisted of small kiosks, all the same size, arranged six across
and twelve deep. On stage, companies were given no more than five
minutes to make their presentations; some had only one minute for
their presentations, complete with a stopwatch on screen. This
discipline effected results that were highly creative, scripted or
simply brief. In every case, they also definitely were rehearsed.
The worst were live infomercials; the best ranged from entertaining
"As it turned out, the one mind-blowing demonstration was a
couple hours away. Total Immersion, a virtual reality company from
France, had everybody spellbound while the demonstrator flew
virtual helicopters over the audiences heads and directed tanks and
cars around a virtual village--all controlled by the gestures of a
luminous baton that looked like a light sabre from Star Wars. I
didn't find out if Linux was involved. The Web site is served by
BSD, which may not mean anything.
"What really blew my mind was what nobody could see and nobody
was showing off--Linux seemed to run under almost everything
downstairs in the demo pavilion..."