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Honey, I Shrunk the Comdex

Over at my old stomping grounds,, Senior Contributing Editor Jerry Pournelle is once again filing his annual fall Comdex reports. And from the sounds of things, this may be the teeny, tinyest Comdex in Vegas ever.

I've been to several of them myself -- for the uninitiated, it's so big that it's split into two seperate convention halls, not to mention various conference rooms throughout the tightly packed hotels. The Exhibits booths can look more like Broadway performances than technology showcases, with stages, music, dancers, flashing strobes and occasionally (very well-compensated) celebrities. It's basically like a working Spring Break for the IT industry. If regular folks are planning a vacation to the Rat Pack's ol' stompin' grounds, this time of the year ain't it.

At least that used to be the case. As Jerry relates, Comdex has slimmed down considerably. For the first time in maybe a dozen years, the Hilton Convention Center is dark and locked, devoid of anything Comdex related.

Over at the Vegas Convention Center, there's no long lines to get into the registration tent. Heck, there's no tent! The parking lot where it used to be is being used for...parking. Inside, cordoned off areas and press rooms that in previous years were exhibit spots are serving as a further sign of the times.

If things keep up, Comdex might be ready to vanish from Vegas like a White Siberian tiger cub in a Siegfried and Roy performance.