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PC EXPO, June 27, 2000


When I woke up and got out of bed, I could hardly stand. My calves and thighs were embarrassingly sore from my time in the stairwell the morning before. In no mood to exercise, I went back to sleep until 7:00. I finally got out of bed and hobbled to the shower. Breakfast was at the hotel restaurant, again, but I had the hot foods this time. I hadn’t had a real dinner the night before, and I didn’t know how long it would be until lunch.

We had been invited to be at the Palm pavilion early so we could demonstrate our product to some of the Palm executive staff. We had to be there at 8:45, and the execs would come by between then and 9:45.

Bob and I met just before 8:20 and took a cab to the convention center. When we got to the Palm pavilion, we were amazed at the change. All of the stations were put together, the place was cleaned up, and there were boxes in front of our station. The boxes contained 500 refrigerator magnets, 500 30-day trial CD’s of ACT!, and 1,000 data sheets for the ACT! product. There wasn’t enough storage space at the station for them, so I took my backpack and one of the boxes of trial CD’s to the coat check, where I could store them all day for $2 each.

We managed to put away or put out the remainder of the promotional stuff and get the demo system set up again. By the time we were completely done, it was nearly 10:00, opening time for the convention. The Palm execs had never come by.

We looked through the large doorway between us and the convention attendees waiting to get in. The area was packed with people. Bob and I had decided to take turns manning our booth, and I would take the first two hours. He hung around for a while to make sure everything was going smoothly, then left to look at the show.

The Palm pavilion was one of the most popular places in the entire expo. Anything that had to do with hand-held computers or wireless internet access was hot. We had both in our booth, and the traffic was non-stop. I spent a lot of my time explaining that ACT! doesn’t run on the Palm, but links to it. I spent some more time directing people to the Palm staff. The rest of the time I demonstrated ACT! and talked to current ACT! users who came by the station. That first two hours turned out to be typical of the entire show — brief demonstrations, short quiet periods, and giving directions to other parts of the pavilion.

During my first break I hobbled down to the food court, my leg muscles still very stiff and sore. I dined on a sandwich, then just sat for a while, letting my brain settle down. Then I took a quick look around the expo, not really stopping at any of the displays except for Kodak’s (to talk about their digital cameras) and Symantec’s (to see if anyone I knew was there). I did recognize a couple of the Symantec staff, both of them from Technical Support. Everyone else was a complete stranger. One of the more interesting attention getters at the show was a man who played digeridoos and drums at the Internet Appliance booth.

The rest of the day went pretty much the same way, and, before we knew it, it was 5:00, and we were packing up. We got on a shuttle bus back to our hotel. Bob wanted to walk around Central Park, which is only 5 blocks north of the Hilton. I thought it might help my sore legs if I walked around some, so I joined him. We entered the park from the south and walked around in the southwest corner for about an hour. We saw an empty ice-skating rink, the carousel house, a large field with four baseball diamonds in it, and the Chess-and-Checkers house.

My legs weren’t feeling any better, so we headed back to the hotel. On the way, we looked for a good, authentic New York deli to eat dinner in. We didn’t see any that we wanted to eat at, so we kept going. I then remembered that I’d seen a good one the night before on my way to the Empire State Building. We walked past the hotel about 6 blocks to the “Kosher Delight” restaurant. When we walked in, I was a little disappointed. I thought I had walked into a Jewish McDonald’s; there was a counter across the end with a menu above it, cooks rushing around in the back like any fast-food restaurant, and an upstairs area with tables and chairs bolted to the floor.

We went ahead and ordered, both of us getting corned-beef sandwiches. They were terrific. There was a ton of meet on the sandwich, almost too much to bite into. It was delicious.

Back at the hotel, it was still pretty early. I watched “The 13th Floor” on HBO, then went to sleep around 10:30. The movie was predictable and poorly acted, but was based on an interesting idea. In other words, it was just about perfect for the occasion — mind candy.

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