In Las Vegas

So I’m in Las Vegas, at the Adobe MAX 2006 Conference, and here’s some thoughts, as I wandered around a little today:

  • Las Vegas is hideously ugly. It’s almost so ugly that it comes back out the other side to being beautiful (the way old industrial sites can be) – the only thing preventing this is the unrelenting fakeness of it all. Fake trees, fake ponds, fake boobs, fake fronts.
  • Everything is designed to get you to spend money. Some intersections, for instance, you pretty much have to go up and over a bridge, through a little mall, then back down to get to the other side. Casinos seem to have the right to take over the sidewalk to force you through at least some part of it to keep going.
  • Everyone here appears to be trying to either hustle, be hustled,or avoid being hustled.
  • The hotels are mind-bogglingly large. For instance: MAX probably has 10,000 people here. Not only is not the only conference at this hotel (the Venetian), I don’t even think it’s the largest conference here. And the Venetian feels like it might be smaller than Ceasar’s Palace, and possibly the Bellagio as well
  • Everyone smokes everywhere, which makes it somewhat miserable
  • As long as you’re not expecting to win, playing craps with some buddies is pretty fun. I spend $100, lost $90 of it, then made $240, then ended up with $95, all within about 2 hours. It was a lot of fun.
  • ColdFusion, as it currently exists, appears to be pretty much dead. That being said, ColdFusion/Flex is looking amazing. Add in Apollo (which allows you to run web-apps as a desktop-app, essentially), and it’s mindbogglingly cool. Excepting the graphics, we watched someone build a sweet-looking iTunes-like app, that worked either in a browser or on the desktop, live, in about 20 minutes today. With added features, like calling Flickr to show photos based on the artist,album or song name, while using another webservice to grab the album cover, latest news on the band, etc. And no one wrote code. It was all done through wizards in the new Dreamweaver/Flex Builder/Illustrator.
  • I’m annoyed that virtually all the CF stuff here is telling me about Scorpio (the next version), which doesn’t even have a release date. That being said, there’s some things in Scorpio that I’ve seen that I’m already wondering how I’ve ever done without.

More tomorow, or later – now I gotta go do some work, sadly, before joining some folk to see Carl Cox much later on tonight.