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Comdex 2001
Monday morning lines were a killer for the public

Day minus One - Sunday Evening November 11th
Sunday is really day one for us. Digital Focus is the main event for those people looking to see the latest innovations in digital imaging. This is an eagerly awaited for event and we forego the Bill Gates keynote speech to attend. The exhibitors pay approximately $8,000 for an 8 foot folding table and a chance to talk to the press. When you think about the editorial coverage they get for a fraction of the cost of an ad, it's really a bargain. The food is to kill for, as is all the food at these Comdex press events.
Sidebar - I've been adding some creative Comdex pictures to the top of my CoolPix Gallery
Some cool stuff we did see:
I got to spend some quality time with the new Nikon CoolPix 5000. It is smaller than the CoolPix 990/995 but with a higher resolution image. Due to an agreement with Mike Rubin of Nikon we can't show pictures taken with the camera until it's actually available for review at the end of November. (Hey come on, you can wait two more weeks.) It will be interesting to do a side by side comparison between the CoolPix 5000 and my CoolPix 990 with both cameras on a tripod. I did get to play with the 19mm wide angle lens and it appeared to be as close to distortion free as they could make it. There is going to be a lens hood and an LCD focusing hood available. I got to see the lens hood, which is also the adapter for the new wide angle lens. The focusing hood isn't available yet. Mike wasn't sure if it would be a magnifying hood or not. If not, I'll keep using my Xtend-a-View if the LCD can close with the Velcro. The LCD does swivel (just like the LCD screens on the Sony camcorders) and after getting used to won't disappoint those of you who like the CoolPix 990's swivel body design.

The Nikon Team
The Nikon Team (left to right)
"Nikon Mike" Rubin, Larry. Joe Carfora, Chris, Jerry Grossman
Missing is Bill Giordano

Kensington had this small travel mouse with a retracting USB cable. Kensington was giving away their new Kensington Lock and this tiny USB keyboard light, which I'm using to type this in the middle of the night.
Epson Photo 785-EPX Printer One of the new Epson Photo Stylus printers. The 785-EPX uses the EXIF data from your digital camera to make direct prints without a computer. The card reader slots are on the bottom and take the Compact Flash, Smart Media, and Sony's Memory Stick. This is a six color printer.
The new Epson Perfection 2450 Photo Scanner has a 4x9 inch transparency area and can scan at 2400x4800. Comes with a dual 35mm film strip adapter along with the standard film size adapters. We're almost at the point of being able to scan a contact sheet. Epson, are you listening? We can also use a 6x17 carrier for scanning panoramic film. Epson Perfection 2450 Scanner
The Olympus E 20. It's a 5 megapixel digital camera with the FL-40 dedicated off camera flash, Chris demonstrates the camera at the Olympus booth.
The Olympus E-20N and FL-40 Flash

 

John Knaur explained that it uses a preflash for the flash to know when to cut off the light. It also has a standard PC socket.

Chris with the Sony DSC-F707

Sony gave Chris a DSC-F707 to play with for a day and extended it to after Thanksgiving. It's a 5 megapixel camera with infrared capabilities. Shutterbug Magazine is extending his deadline for the article on Digital Infrared to add the information about the Sony. Too bad they only gave him a 32 megabyte Memory Stick during the show so he had to return to the hotel room every seven pictures to clear off the memory to keep shooting. But they did make up for it by giving him a handful of 16 meg sticks.

Digital Infrared by by Chris Maher

Photodex gave us their new version of CompuPic Pro 6.0 to test. It's an image viewing program similar to ACDSee. They also asked us to be beta testers for them.
Day One - Monday November 12th - Comdex officially opens

Security at Comdex
Metal detectors and explosive sniffing dogs  at the public entrances

Security was tough. Large mirrors were used to look under the busses that transported us from the strip. The press had it's own section but still had to go through metal detectors. At least we could bring our shoulder bags in, unlike the general public who had to check their bags across the street. On a humorous note, some of the press people were patted down on Sunday at the press center when we had to check in, to the embarrassment of the president of the security company.

Profile

It's always a pleasure to meet a CEO whose understanding of the Internet results in truly useful product. Michael Kovnick, CEO of Cyberspace HQ, harks back to the early days of computer communications. In 1997 he saw the need for a more efficient way for small businesses to submit their web pages to the growing family of search engines on the net. The result was AddWeb Website Promoter. This is promotion software done right. We'll be doing a full review shortly, so stay tuned.

Michael Kovnick
Michael Kovnick

SnagIt

Camtasia

SnagIt and Camtasia are two cool programs that were demonstrated for us by TechSmith. SnagIt is a screen capture program that can also mine a web site of images and Camtasia is a screen capture type program that records mouse movements as movies for creating tutorials and training videos.


Showstoppers

Showstoppers was the Monday evening high tech party. The land of BIG SHRIMP and Sushi

 

Big shrimp
Jasc We spoke to Jasc last night at Digital Focus but had a chance to shoot their product boxes at Showstoppers. Virtual Painter is a simple, but effective painter type plug in for PSP or Photoshop. Namo Web Editor is a basic web design program that has the capability of generating complex java script.
Day Two - Tuesday November 13th
We started off the day with the InfoTrends ImageScape breakfast. This year there were fewer exhibitors than in the past. Here are a few highlights.

The Digital Album and Travel Jack

Leave your docking station at home. The Digital Album now has an optional accessory Travel Jack. It replaces the bulky docking station for traveling.
Chris was not only impressed with this 350,000 piece clip art collection from Herema, but with it's award winning search engine used to find anything on the CD. Something other clip art collections are lacking. Clip art collection with a great search engine

Digital Roc from Applied Science Fiction

Applied Science Fiction. They are famous for their scanning filters bundled with the Nikon scanners. Now they are on the verge of creating Photoshop plug ins. This example is a faded 1950's picture brought back to life with Digital Roc.
Back to the show at the convention center

Jack Berlin
Jack Berlin

Profile

Jack Berlin is a man who can speak with a passion about the proper way to resize, rotate, edit and compress a file that is starting out as a JPEG. His involvement in the JPEG world goes back to the original Joint Photographic Experts Group. His company, Pegasus Imaging, is widely regarded within the industry as being the premier compression technology leader. Check out his JPEG Wizard and see what it's regional compression can do to remove the artifacts from your existing JPEG images.

Diskeeper 7.0 - A defragmenter for your Windows computer. Much more thorough than Windows Defrag and can run in the background as not to loose productivity time. Takes minutes to do what Windows Defrag takes hours. What they don't tell you is to run Windows ScanDisk first. Another product they have worth looking at is Undelete 2.0 which can restore deleted files. Diskeeper 7.0

Dubai
At Comdex we discovered that the Arab country of Dubai
is one of the safest destinations in the world...

Day three - Wednesday November 14th
There were a few more things we saw of interest today but we're not going to post about them until we can arrange demonstrations. Also, we've made arrangements to leave a day early so today is the last day here for us.
Conclusion
Comdex for us was very cool this year. Once past the extra security we had excellent access to the people we wanted to speak with. Imagine walking into a booth and talking to the President or CEO of a company. Even the companies that only had press agents here, like Epson and Sandisk. They were all too eager to make appointments at our convenience.

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