Las Vegas recap: AT&T Developer Summit, CES

– click for the full album!

Note: the trip was jam-packed with activities, so I didn’t actually write in my journal that much

Friday Jan 4 after midnight
Long day! The parts of Vegas I’ve seen have been, by and large, crazy. Getting a lot of good pictures of famous casinos and such.

After dinner at Texas de Brazil (a Brazilian steakhouse that was good, although not quite as good as Fogo de Chao), we got to hang out in a Skyloft at the MGM Grand.

The curtains and lights are remote controlled and we played foosball. It was over the top, in a good way.

Saturday Jan 5
Today was the hackathon, so I was either coding (working on Know Your States) or helping people all day. Exhausting! In the casino, I did see someone playing computerized roulette (although the ball/wheel were real) and graphing out the results. I (mentally) wished him well – it’s theoretically possible that the wheel is misshapen in some way, right?

Sunday Jan 6
Today was the hackathon part 2. I helped a few people out and managed to finished (enough of) Know Your States, an app to help you learn state capitals/birds/trees/etc. Not terribly exciting (and not related to AT&T at all), but I like it. After the 2PM deadline, the 70+ teams(!) got to demo their app for 90 seconds. I think my demo went pretty well. Around 18 teams developed Windows Phone apps and 10 won prizes, myself not included. I can’t really disagree but I’ll admit to being a little disappointed. Oh well!

Afterwards, we had drinks at Rain (our favorite hotel bar), and some folks went up to a club. I was a little tempted, but instead tried my hand at blackjack. Two fine-looking women were my dealers (they seem to change shifts/tables often!) and helped me figure out what I was doing. I mistakenly chose an empty table, which meant that hands happened very fast. I was briefly up but then I ordered a (free!) drink, so I felt obliged to stay until the drink came and by then I was down a lot. More people came to the table, which slowed down my descent but the dealer was on fire. Vegas!

Monday Jan 7
The AT&T Developer Summit proper was today, and I ended up working the Nokia booth for a long while. It was fun to talk to people about Nokia/Windows Phone, but tiring. Went to see a session that was held in one of the casino movie theaters – neat!

After that was the Nokia party, which was awesome. 8-bit games, and artists making 8-bit versions of people – it was a nice theme!

After that was The Killers concert where I paid for a drink for the first time in quite a while.

In the meantime, I got to try out two new table games. Roulette was OK but I was the only one playing most of the time. Also I kept betting on black and it kept coming up red, so…yeah. Craps was fun, though – a lot of people were betting so there was a lot of camaraderie. Also, I ended up a bit, which was nice! You don’t get the same one-on-one interaction you do in blackjack, but between the camaraderie and the fact that it can take a long time to know whether your bet wins or not (read: you lose money slower), I think craps wins. There were a lot of complicated bets people were making, but I stuck to betting on “Pass”.

Tomorrow is CES! It occurred to me today that I haven’t been outside in three days, and that doesn’t see weird, which in itself seems weird.

Tuesday Jan 8
CES was pretty neat, although I spent all day just walking from booth to booth and my feet ache like nobody’s business. (glad I got new shoes recently!) Saw a lot of cool stuff, though.

Afterwards I took the monorail and walked to Caesar’s Palace instead of taking a shuttle back. This sounded like a great idea last night, but I was tired and my feet hurt so it was less appealing at the time. Did get a few other random casino pictures, though.

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