AMD64 tour experience… So shiny!

By Kyle Francis

The allure of trade shows is inherently fleeting. There are always flashing lights and shiny things to grab people’s attention, abundance of free snack food and of course the wonderful booth girls always- always-smiling. The golden rules of trade shows held true when AMD 64 came to town and showed off their computing muscle at their very own tech show held within the mighty bastion known as the Telus convention center.

Although the beef of the show throughout the morning was for major computer retailers, the doors opened to the public later that evening to allow the downtrodden masses to come in and check out all the latest in techno goodies. The two major players at the show were AMD and ATI, however some other companies such as Yamaha showed up to wow consumers with their gadgetry goodness.

Immediately upon entering the center, ATI had a booth set up to show off their latest graphics technology and push their new X800 video card. A very cool motion capture display ran on a loop, showing an ATI-sponsored super spy beat the everlasting crap out of some ninjas and what self respecting computer geek doesn’t dig ninjas?

Nearly one quarter of the floor was dedicated to digital video equipment, which allowed convention-goers to play around with “green screen” technology. People were able to insert themselves into movies and film clips to hobnob with the likes of Lance Armstrong. Hollywood has been doing this sort of thing for years, but the technology is becoming smaller and cheap enough to be used by excited home-movie advocates and amateur directors.

Yamaha made an appearance to demo some of their digital music equipment. After a quick explanation of what can only be described as a do-it-yourself-DJ-kit, they proceeded to pump some club beats at a ridiculously high volume. Although all the mix boards and big subwoofers could get any self-respecting techno-geek drooling, Yamaha’s display didn’t share the consumer accessibility of the rest of the convention due to the obvious high cost of the equipment. But hey, nothing says “microprocessors” like Destiny’s Child.

Several videogame stations positioned sporadically about the floor rounded off the tech show. Show-goers could take a break from the digital music and video displays to kill some terrorists, zombies or what have you on the latest gaming hardware setups. A massive gaming tournament was held, in which players could outgun their opponents in the popular first-person shooter Fry Cry, had the opportunity to win a brand new, top of the line, AMD microprocessor.

After all was said and done, the AMD tech show was exactly what it was meant to be: a way for the micro processing giant to show consumers its new toys and convince retailers to sell them. Filled to the brim with free food and new information about up-and-coming technology, show-goers waddled out of the convention center satisfied both in body and mind. Although their time was over in Calgary, the AMD tech tour will be bringing the electronic experience to other places all over Canada in the coming months.