Monday, September 12, 2005

PDC 2005: The Darkness

No, "The Darkness" is not a reference to the band that tried to bring back heavy metal hair last year. It's a reference to the blackout at PDC this afternoon.

Like many other exhibitors, I was in here setting up my booth at about 1:00 pm, when all the lights went out. Of course, the folks here in the exhibit hall had the same reaction that has occurred in every single blackout I've ever been in since first grade: a big cheer went up. Followed by a strange silence, wherein the collective group was thinking "Umm...what do we do now?" Within about 30 seconds, a backup system turned on and we had dim light again. It wasn't light enough to read a book, but I kept assemblying my booth.

Hilariously, about 10 minutes later, there was an announcement, explaining that there was a power outage.

I took off to get some food--not so easy in this neighborhood--and saw that the whole area was without power. By the time I bought a burrito (in a darkened restaurant that was persevering without power) and got back, the power had been restored.

The A/V department arrived and delivered a beautiful 42" monitor. Unfortunately, it came with a different stand than the one we ordered. Fortunately, the stand that they delivered works better with our booth than the one we ordered.

The headache of the hour is that we can't connect to our VPN through their firewall right now. Of course, our software is distributed computing software. I didn't bring a stack of servers with me; I decided it would be easier to just VPN to my stack of servers in Oakland. That's going to be difficult if I can't VPN anywhere! I'm sure we'll be able to figure it out.