As usual, our forthcoming live online chat on Friday, March 21, promises to be a rip-roaring, fun-filled, roller-coaster thrill ride of thrust-and-parry ideas. Only thrill seekers need apply.
Your host will be yours truly. The main topic of conversation will be the entries in the Gadget Smackdown sessions to be held at EE Live! 2014 in the Fantastical Theatre of Engineering Innovation (also known as Booth 1608 in the main exhibition hall).
The Gadget Smackdown was one of the more popular events at last year's conference -- so much so that Allied Electronics is sponsoring three (count them, three) sessions at EE Live! 2014. The sessions will be held Tuesday, April 1, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday, April 2, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Thursday, April 3, from noon to 1:00 p.m.
Each presenter will get five minutes to offer a brief overview of the general operating principles of his or her gadget, demo it, and convince the audience of its merits. The winner will be selected based on the readings of a digital applause-o-meter, which itself will be entered into the competition by its developer.
In addition to my waffling on about my own entries (yes, of course I have a different gadget for each day, and some are different indeed), I'm inviting all the other presenters to join us in the online chat to tell us about their offerings.
I must admit that I'm really excited about all this, not the least because the Fantastical Theatre of Engineering Innovation sounds like it's will look... well, fantastical. Quite apart from anything else, the organizers have commissioned some amazing seven-foot-tall artworks reminiscent of the canvas advertising billboard signs at the carnivals of yesteryear tempting the punters with messages like "Come inside and see the bearded engineer."
As you can see, there's even a depiction of your humble narrator. The scary thing is that this does sort of look like me. I'll have to get a new black velvet cape (my old one isn't fit to be seen in public). These images are great. I cannot wait to stand a picture of myself next to this artistic creation. Also, the images obviously work. I now find myself desperately wanting to attend the "Beagle Boy" and "Nature's Freak" presentations.
I also cannot wait for this week's live online chat. I want to hear more about the various gadgets the other guys and gals will present. Will they have a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century look and feel, or will they make us hanker back to the technological wonders of the 1940s?
Our chat -- which is similar to using an instant messaging system but actually employs your web browser -- will commence at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. You can work out your local time from these clues, or you can use this handy-dandy time zone converter.
All you have to do is click here at the appropriate time to join the fun and make your opinions known. (If you aren't already a member of the EE Times community, now would be a perfect time to register.)
Last, but certainly not least, don't forget that EE Live! 2014 All Access passes and Engineering Summits passes are still available at the conference's official site. Make sure to follow updates about other EE Live! talks, programs, and announcements on its social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting