Computex 2010 CoverageClayMeow - July 5, 2010
Category: Trade Shows/Conventions
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It may surprise you to learn that many of your favorite technology companies are headquartered in Taiwan. Though these companies may not come close to big name companies based out of the United States or Japan in terms of revenue, the impact these companies have on the global IT market is tremendous. If you're a frequent visitor to OverclockersClub, you've probably heard of several of them - companies like A-DATA, Acer, AOpen, ASUS, BenQ, Biostar, D-Link, ECS, Foxconn, G.Skill, Gigabyte, IOGear, JMicron, Kingmax, Leadtek, Lian Li, MSI, QNAP, Realtek, Shuttle, SiS, SilverStone, Thermaltake, TITAN Technology, Transcend, VIA Technologies, and many, many more. Odds are there is at least one part in your current PC that was manufactured by one of these companies.
It's no wonder then, that Taiwan is the perfect spot for a computer expo. COMPUTEX TAIPEI, also known as the Taipei International Information Technology Show, is the second biggest computer expo in the world, trailing only CeBIT, and had nearly 120,000 visitors in 2009. Further stats from the 2009 show can be found here.
The last time OverclockersClub got to attend Computex was 2008. I, Andrew "ClayMeow" Resnick, am honored to be representing OCC at Computex this year and will do my best to provide you with a wealth of information. I have attended CES the past two years, so I do have experience with trade shows, but this is going to be an entirely different experience. I'm here on my own - no large group like we have at CES each year. It will certainly be a challenge, but one that I am very ready to conquer.
For anyone residing in North or South America, the worst part about any trip to Asia is getting there. My trip started at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York, with a scheduled departure of 7:00 PM ET on Saturday, May 29th, heading to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It was the one leg of my trip that I did not have a pre-assigned seat, and thus, of course, I was stuck with a middle seat - one of only two remaining at the time. Though I did the self check-in, there was an attendant standing by helping me, and he asked me if I'd rather have the other seat, as it was an exit row and thus had more leg room - I declined. Why am I mentioning this? Because one should never underestimate even the most minute decisions we make in our life. By some stroke of good fortune, it so happened that there was a couple split up, the guy having the window seat by me, while the girl had an aisle seat a few rows back. The girl asked if I would be willing to switch. Sure, it was further back in the plane, but giving up a middle seat for an aisle? No brainer!
So the trip started out rather good, but quickly turned frustrating. The flight was completely booked, and while a flight attendant was playing musical chairs, we were informed that a connecting flight from Kiev was first arriving, and thus we had to wait for roughly ten people. Thankfully, as you're probably aware, the airlines seem to account for delays, so we still arrived at LAX on time, at 10:50 PM PT.
At that point, I now had to exit the terminal I arrived in to head to Tom Bradley International Terminal. This involved me actually having to exit completely, and walk up a sidewalk to an entirely new building, which of course meant going through security all over again. My next flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 1:15 AM PT, however, so I had plenty of time. After getting through security, I made my way to Gate 123A, which was literally the very last gate on the right.
After standing around for a little while, someone from China Airlines made an announcement that our gate was changed to 101. Yes, you guessed it - the farthest possible gate from where we were. So I, along with a hundred other people, made our way past gate after gate to the other side of the terminal. Me being a New Yorker, I quickly emerged as the leader of the pack, and by the time we were just halfway there, was well ahead of everyone else.
While walking the long trek from the northern end of the terminal to the southern end, I hear an announcement - our gate was now changed to 104. I arrive at Gate 104, well ahead of anyone else, and ask woman at the desk if this is the flight to Taipei - she says yes, asks for my boarding pass, and issues me a new one. Unfortunately, because of the gate change, our departure time was pushed back to 2:15 AM PT. Remember, I'm from New York, so to me, it felt like 5:15 AM, and I had to fight really hard not to fall asleep in the gate - really, really hard.
By the time I was in my seat (again, an aisle seat), I was ready to pass out - indeed, that's what I did. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that we would be served dinner - I thought it was just a breakfast flight. So an hour into the flight, I'm woken up for dinner, which essentially means I had a power nap. The whole plan, going into the flight, was that I'd sleep through it so that I would be wide awake for my arrival in Taipei, early Monday morning. However, after the power nap, it was rather difficult to sleep. I took a combination of pills that are supposed to cause drowsiness, but it didn't entirely help. Still, I fought the urge to just watch a movie and instead kept my eyes closed throughout most of the flight - until breakfast.
Again, despite the hour delay on leaving LAX, my flight arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) at the scheduled time of 6:15 AM local time on Monday, May 31st, which is a full twelve hours ahead of New York. After clearing customs and acquiring my one checked suitcase, I made my way to the exit where there was a driver waiting to take me to my hotel. Not only is English taught in schools, but it's mandatory, so I was rather surprised when my driver didn't speak English. Thankfully, he was already aware of my destination, so the language barrier wasn't much of an issue.
After a roughly 20-minute drive, I arrived at my hotel, the Golden Palace Hotel. Despite it being just after 7 AM, I had no problem checking in and receiving my room key. Because it was early, I was also able to attend the continental breakfast, which in my opinion is a hell of a lot nicer than the ones in the U.S. Typically speaking, continental breakfasts in the U.S. are cheap, consisting of some breads, cereals and drinks (coffee and juice). Here, we had all that, along with salad, eggs, fish, soup, and a variety of other local delicacies. As for the room itself, I must say it's quite nice. Not only is it very spacious and eloquently designed, but being a business hotel, it offers free wireless and wired broadband connections - perfect for doing Computex coverage over the next several days!