Back, sort of

The good news: Anaheim did have the desired positive affect, I think…once I recover from the conference.

Which always takes a day or three.

I probably won’t post a lot about the conference itself. (Relatively poorly-attended, probably because of travel costs, and I think that’s the future; actually reasonably convenient; the program I spoke at was up against 36 or 37 other programs at the same time…), but did have a couple of odd notes relating to the Hilton, which is undergoing renovation:

  • The close-door button in the elevators actually seemed to be connected. That’s quite unusual, in my experience: Usually it’s just there as a feel-good device but does nothing at all.
  • They do have a 13th floor (but no 10th floor)–but a bellman says that, when the renovation is done, the 13th floor will probably go away (and the 10th floor appear). Too bad…
  • I turned down the chance to overlook Disneyland on the 9th floor–thus giving me a great direct view of the nightly fireworks–in favor of one of the “new’d” (renovated) rooms. Nice enough (actually quite nice) but with two oddities…
  1. The Hilton has the usual “save some soap and water” thing–if your towels are on the racks, you’ll reuse them; if they’re on the floor, you want them replace. Fine–except that there weren’t any towel racks except for the one holding two bath towels. Really no place to hang a hand or face towel….
  2. The new rooms have widescreen 32″ high-def LCD TVs (LG). But…and maybe this is only until renovation is complete…the TV service is analog cable, not digital. And it’s been preset so that regular TV is broadened a bit to use the 16×9 screen. The result, for shows that are already widescreen, is that you still get black bars above and below the picture…which is still distorted to fit the screen. It’s called “the worst of both worlds,” and no available adjustments seemet to fix it (probably because hotel TVs have most direct user adjustments locked out). If they switch to digital cable/satellite, the TV will presumably handle some or most of this… On the other hand, I do see why so many owners of HDTVs apparently don’t realize they’re not seeing HD (because they’ve never set it up): I found that the standard-def signals looked pretty good, by and large, adjusting for the distortion.

What does any of that have to do with the conference? Well, I said “sort of.” Maybe more later–but only after I read a few hundred other posts and see whether I have anything new to offer.

My session? Room for 300 (I think). Started with 36. Peaked at about 60. Ended with about 30. Given the competition, none of this is surprising (LITA Top Tech Trends was just one of the three dozen competitive programs at this time slot). Heck, the same division and same unit within the division had a competitive program, on the same program track, at the same time…

4 Responses to “Back, sort of”

  1. jessamyn says:

    The oddest thing about the new’d rooms for me was that they didn’t come with coffee makers. You could get one sent to you, at no charge, but I’ve found this to be true with fancier rooms for some reason. I also found the towel rack thing weird.

  2. walt says:

    I didn’t even notice the coffee maker or lack thereof. It’s been a long time since I actually used one… (I was going to say “I’d swear there was one,” but that was in the Hilton Vancouver Airport hotel from a few weeks ago…)

    The lack of adequate (or any) towel racks seems to be common in newer hotel rooms, and at odds with the near-universal conservation programs. It’s one of the things I’d expect Hilton to get right, though.

  3. Holly says:

    I was in the older Hilton room I think. Changing the tv stations it took several seconds for the new channel to appear – is this how it will be with digital? I hope not. The coffee was pretty good.

    Sbucks had a line of 40 or so ea morning. How did you like the lines?

  4. walt says:


    The flat-screen TV took a second or two to complete channel changes–but that’s analog. Still, I think part of it is the TV negotiating with the input. Since I don’t have an HDTV yet, I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me if channel-surfing slows down.

    I don’t drink Starbucks (I grew up as a Peet’s person–living in walking distance of the original store, before there was a Starbucks; since then, I’ve come to find both Peet’s and Starbucks over-roasted for my taste), so not a problem. In any case, I can’t get by without a full breakfast at conferences, and that’s the only time I drink coffee…and my timing was usually good on restaurant lines. Luck and being an early riser, I guess.