Doug Aamoth here in beautiful Madrid, getting ready for tomorrow’s Acer Global Press Conference. What kinds of fascinating new products and services will be announced? It’s anyone’s guess at this point. I’d expect them to spend a fair amount of time talking about the recent Gateway acquisition and I’ll be having lunch with Acer’s wonderfully outspoken president Gianfranco Lanci, so I’ll see what information I can dig up. That’s all tomorrow though — here’s what’s happened so far…
America to Spain
My pain in Spain? Due mainly to the plane. Actually, it’s not the plane’s fault. I just should have actually tried to get some sleep. I had a hard time getting any shut-eye, though, as my seat had me overstimulated for the entire duration of the flight.
I didn’t get a chance to stretch out like the lady above because, at 6′ 4", I’m probably never going to be completely comfortable on an airplane. That being said, the flight from Chicago to Madrid (via Iberia) was without a doubt the best I’ve been on. I used my little personal video screen to take in a couple of fascinating documentaries, a James Brown concert (he doesn’t even really try to sing any more, it’s mostly just grunting), and I kept switching to the tail-mounted camera to watch the plane float around in the air with me inside of it.
Madrid Barajas International Airport
The airport is pretty cool in an Ikea-meets-escalators kind of way. I emphasize escalators because I’m pretty sure I rode on at least ten different ones to get to baggage claim. So if you like escalators, you’ll love this airport. After passing through customs, I was stopped by a guard who was randomly spot checking people and he said, "Norway, over here. Where you are from? Norway, yes?" Luckily, I just look Norwegian so I didn’t have to stop.
I traded in the $25 I had in my wallet for a measly 14 and something Euro, grabbed my bag and hopped in the shuttle, and rode to the hotel with two Acer reps and Harry McCracken of PC World. Harry, you might remember, quit PC World back in May after the magazine refused to run an anti-Apple story because Apple is one of its big advertisers. He returned shortly thereafter when former CEO Colin Crawford was replaced.
Melia Castilla Hotel
The hotel is nice, real nice. In the interest of keeping this post about technology (too late), I’ll spare you the non-technical details to let you know that there is a phone in the bathroom but no wireless internet. I went down to the front desk to ask for what turned out to be a gigantic voltage changer and inquired about an ethernet cable, only to be informed that there was a cable inside my mini-bar that could be purchased for the low-low price of 6 Euro. Here’s a photo of the voltage doodad.
I put myself down for a "nap" at about 10:30am local time and didn’t wake up until around 5:00pm so I completely missed Acer’s "Welcome to Spain" buffet running from 12:30 to 3:30, but the sleep was worth it. When I woke up, I felt just like a Newport cigarette — alive with pleasure.
There was a cocktail party and dinner that started at around 7:30 and I have nothing fascinating to report from that except that I ate with Sahin Eksioglu of the Turkish division of CHIP Magazine and he’s a hell of a nice guy. Oh wait, I did win a leather booze satchel of some type for squirting a bunch of red wine into my mouth with my arms outstretched. Very classy, Doug.
That’s about it for now. The conference starts tomorrow morning, bright and early, so I’ll soon be posting anything and everything interesting, fascinating, or otherwise.