April 27, 2014

2014 Intel Solutions Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada

2014 Intel Solutions Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 27, 2014

It was time for another airplane ride this week as I flew into sunny Las Vegas, Nevada for a couple of nights of learning the future of technology and just a little bit of debauchery.  

Miss Sheri and I went to see a a show at Aria last year, but this was my first time staying there.  I was very excited to see my room after I saw what a nice sign they had.

I've learned when checking in hotels to politely ask for a nice view and they usually take care of you.  This time they did as I went to my room on the 28th floor and found a huge Britney Spears billboard on Planet Hollywood in clear view.  I couldn't ask for a much better room than that! 

The reason for my trip was to attend the 2014 Intel Solutions Summit.  This is the show where Intel shows it's partners it's plans for the year and what technologies we need to adopt to ride the wave with them.  This year some of the coolest things I saw were 4k gaming machines, a new 3d camera that may revolutionize 3d scanning, and a whole host of small form factor PCs which will come in handy for many different embedded applications.  I also had my first experience with the Oculus Rift and I am very excited for our virtual reality future!  It's every bit as cool as advertised!

We attended three days of speakers and break-out sessions learning about all sorts of new programs, products, and opportunities.  Popular buzz words this year were Big Data, Internet of Things,  Enthusiast PCs, and Tablets, Tablets, Tablets!  The world of technology is changing, but it seems like there's more opportunities to pursue than there's been in years!  Good times are coming!

I had the opportunity to spend some time with Intel Vice President, Lisa Graff.  She's in charge of desktop computing products and is fascinating to listen to when it comes to the subject of where are the opportunities in client computers, small form factor PCs, and other areas that I spend a lot of time focusing on in my work.  The message we continue to hear is that the desktop PC isn't dead and we're excited to continue to innovate and bring new products to market based on Intel technologies.  Life is just better that way.

At night, I had the opportunity to do some of my favorite things.  Like hang out with Dr. David Bollig and Gamble.  Not necessarily in that order.

We also got to spend time with other old friends and industry peers to share computer war stories.  Those sound a lot more exciting than they actually are.

We got to spend time with our old pal, Ratika, which is always a good time.  When we walked into the party with the groovy beads on the door, we were expecting something psychedelic in store.

We weren't disappointed.  The surprise musical guest was a Beatles cover band called The Fab.  They were great and sang many old Beatles favorites.  Unfortunately, this crowd didn't seem like a good fit for this music and there wasn't a lot of excitement in the air.  We kind of felt bad for the band because I'm sure they're a huge draw at a club open to the public, but I think the computer crowd was looking more for music they could dance to.  I thought these guys were great as can be seen in this video:

Since we really wanted to dance, we decided to leave the party and go to one of Aria's hot night clubs called HAZE.  We'd heard a rumor that some of the Intel crew headed over there and so we thought we should check it out.

When we arrived at the Club, there was a huge line so we went up to the bouncer and said we were there with Intel and he let us in right away.  His name was Gabriel and he was a very nice guy.  I gotta remember that line "We're here with Intel" and see if that works anyplace else.  Probably not, but it was fun to be treated like a VIP on this particular night!

When some people see a crowd like this, I don't think they like to engage.  Not me.  All I can think about is "How do I get in the middle of that?"

I handed Dr. Bollig my camera and ran down into the middle of the crowd and started showing them my moves.  Based on the admiring glances I was receiving from those around me, I could tell I was really dazzling them.

A moment later, Ratika and Dr. Bollig joined me on the dance floor and we danced hard!  At least until the heat and sweat of a 1000 bodies made us have no more desire to dance down there.

Before we left, I had to stop and pay respects to Steve Dallman who is the long time Intel Channel Chief and has been at every ISS I've been to for the past 10 years.  He's retiring after a 35 year career at Intel.   He's a great guy, a good friend to the computer reseller channel, and he will be missed.  Thanks for all the help over the years, Steve!  

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