CeBIT 2010 Day One: Music, Mayhem, Green, Research, Snow

There's lots going on at CeBIT. Some of it's really interesting

Every few minutes, a train arrives that dumps hundreds of people into the North or East entrances to CeBIT. Waves of humanity flow into the twenty buildings, the blood in the veins of CeBIT. CeBIT 2010 has that wonderful taste of intellectual overload, despite the fact that it's down to "just" 20 buildings full of gear. The gear addresses just about any possible professional or personal interest fascination possible. It's all here, and undoubtedly the most diverse conference and exhibition in the computer-based technology industry.

The grand opening ceremony last night consisted of 3D entertainment, coupled with addresses from the German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkle, the partner-country prime minister (and current president of the EU), Jose Luis Rodrigues Zapatero, as well as the new head of SAP, Bill McDermott. The several thousands guests then moved to a hall with free-flowing beer, wine, and buffet selections (the pickled herring was delicious, thank you for asking).

Today, the floodgates opened to a different kind of CeBIT, one with more strongly-themed subsegments and focus. As an example, CeBIT 2010 is getting youth appeal. There's an Intel Extreme Gaming dedicated pavilion-- the whole hall-- to fast (and obviously Intel-based) gaming machines and competition gaming.

Gamers-- some working in unison, others out for kill

Photo: Tom Henderson

Dealing death blows while downing fresh soft drinks

Photo: Tom Henderson

Driving games seem more authentic when you're sitting in a real race car.

In the next hall over, is an electronic music exhibition, although I've seen hotel rooms with more equipment. Despite the dearth of equipment, there was a large sound stage, and four bands per day scheduled to play. And as always, there's a handy bar nearby.


CeBIT 2010 devotes nearly an entire hall-- albeit a smaller one-- to the issues surrounding Green IT. The dirty secret is that Green IT is tough, and this despite the fact that there are several very low power makes of notebook and 'brick' computers coming into the marketplace. Asus showed a remarkable number of their Eee systems in another hall, as an example, but when you add gadgetry to them, they still can suck comparatively high amounts of power. Instead, I saw a demonstration of two office workers in an office mock-up. Each worker had other peripherals, like laser printers, connected to two independently measured stations in this BITKOM (BITKOM is the sponsor of CeBIT) demo.

One person used green stuff-- low power (or duty cycle) devices such as reduced power printers, lighting, and so on. The other had just the regular issue of stuff. As the people used their equipment, the watts started climbing, but the monitor on the right showed nearly double the consumption of power for the exact same activities. The difference was strictly choice of equipment.

Green IT
Photo: Tom Henderson

Although it's tough to see the numbers, the monitor on the right shows double power consumption for the same human efforts.

Although not quite related to IT, Tesla had a model in the Green-IT mall of its delicious and fully-electric roadster. Not to be outdone, Fiat also showed their version of the 600-- with a plug in its front behind the Fiat badge.

Fiat Li-Ion 600
Photo: Tom Henderson

When IT needs to drive somewhere, it ought to be on batteries is the message of this Fiat Li-Ion '600'.

The final component I saw that was definitely 'green' was a simple lightbulb. Incandescent bulbs are largely banned in the EU, so I wondered why this one. Then it occurred to me- this isn't a bulb, it's an LED flashlight whose batteries are charged through a screw-base lightbulb socket. It's perfect for countries where the power isn't on all the time.

LED flashlight
Photo: Tom Henderson

Lightbulb technology has come a long way; this one charges from its own batteries. Don't worry if the power goes off.

More coverage tomorrow.

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