"Live" from the Press Room at Comdex 11-97

Who Sand "Now I'm a Believer?" "Live" from the Press Room at Comdex in Las Vegas, NV, as the end of another incredible conference nears an end, the learning, networking, and enjoying blend together in a montage of marvelous memories. Were you able to guess who sang the above title song? I saw them perform live here.

But first, come with me as I take you on a 5-day techie trip full of electronic entertainment for your today and your tomorrow. I'll share with you presentation highlights, new products to give you a competitive advantage and make your life easier, and take you backstage with us at some parties and shows.

First off, some highlights of the keynote speeches: Sunday night, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates alluded to his recent struggles with the Dept. of Justice and Ralph Nader but kept it light with an "I Love My PC" theme. Highlight: basketball great Kareem Abdul Jabbar demonstrating his newly designed web page while struggling to get that cursor where he wanted it!

Monday morning, Compaq Computer CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer, predicted there will be an explosion of PC use by small businesses, letting them compete with companies of any size. Tuesday morning, Cisco's CEO, John Chambers blunt message was that "CEOs now realize that the Internet will be their chief productivity tool over the next ten years, and may determine their businesses' survivability."

Wednesday morning, Novell's CEO, Dr. Eric Schmidt, said "the new face of the network is human -- the network will know you, what you want to do and what you need." There's no doubt -- the Internet is everywhere. In my next e-memo, I'll write a preview of some of the great products I saw demoed here. In the meantime, let me tell you a little about some of them.

IBM's ViaVoice is a speech recognition technology that lets you talk to the computer at speeds up to 140 wpm for only $99. IBM's WorkPad, a 6 oz pocket PC companion is a powerful mobile productivity tool that keeps you organized with address book, date book, to-do lists, E-mail, and Internet connection. Hewlett-Packard's next generation laser printer, the HP LaserJet 4000 joins their already great ink-jet color printer lineup. Another cool product is their HP Colorado 5 GB external tape backup drive for data protection.

Ulead Systems has some really innovative multimedia solutions. Their MediaStudio Pro 5.0 and PhotoImpact 4.0 will, as they say, "kick your creativity into overdrive." Watching a demo of these two products convinced me their superior design tools are the best and easiest to use for desktop video editing and photo enhancement. Intel's Pentium Processor with MMX technology is excitingly raising the speed limits for home and business applications. The Intel processor van was great fun.

Philips has entered the market of digital camera systems for consumer and business use. Their Digital Camera ESP2 has some amazing business and entertainment features. GoldMine's exciting software, used by a variety of professionals, is an ideal package for any sales force. With its Internet and Web links GoldMine 3.2 also links with popular handheld devices, making its potential virtually limitless. ViaGrafix has an incredible catalog listing of new training videos and CD-ROM's guaranteed to cut your learning curve in half.

Play Inc's all new version of Snappy 3.0 enables you to easily grab thousands of pictures and graphics from any video source. E-Tech for Kids has a great new beginners computer that both children and older adults will find easy and fun to use and learn with. Cynet Inc. lets you eliminate long distance charges by using their digital fax network. And Corel Corp. has a great new upgrade version to Corel Draw.

Just so you think it was all work and no play, we saw three great shows, including Jubilee -- a highly entertaining musical review -- the Lance Burton Magic Show, and Penn & Teller -- another fascinating magic show. As a sign of changing times, each year old Casinos are imploded, and new ones -- such as Monte Carlo and New York New York -- are erected in their place. We also went to a number of Press Parties, including ones sponsored by IBM, SONY, Philips Electronics, and Claris.

And it was at the new Harley-Davidson Cafe that we heard that great song, "I saw your face...now I'm a believer!" sung -- live -- by the Monkees! No event of this magnitude could be a success without the friendliness, camaraderie, and expertise of so many people.

Now we prepare to head back to snowy Central NYS to shovel out and enjoy Thanksgiving with the family, and deliver another flag to my Rotary club. Although a couple of bandaids cover blisters on the feet, and the backs are weary from navigating the throngs of Comdex attendees, I wouldn't miss it for the world. "I'm a believer, I'm a believer, I'm a believer..."

Copyright 1997 by Marlene B. Brown, Speaker/Consultant/Author/Writer Author of "TechnoTouch II: High Tech + High Touch = High Return©" Visit our web site at http://www.technotouch.com/

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