July 2nd, 2003

Zoner en fuego!

Vacation

So far, so good. I've been relaxing. My legs are a bit sore because they're not used to walking all day, and I spent all day Monday and a good part of the day Tuesday walking around Disney. I have one day left on my pass, and I'm trying to decide if I want to walk over there now (it is 19:00) and hang out until midnight or so, or if I want to go over tomorrow after AX stuff. Looking at the AX schedule it looks like the last thing I really want to be part of is over at 15:00, which would theoretically give me more time to use the Disney pass...

But then, I don't know if i really need it. I've covered most of both parks, and it is kind of nicer at night once the sun is down anyway.

I have had one annoying event. I had my NZ90 with me on Monday, since I stopped to do some testing at the VCom kiosk at the 7-Eleven on the corner on the way to the park. No problem, it was fine all day. I carried it in my back pocket. On the way back I stopped at Denny's for dinner (it is right across from the park entrance) and I played some Bejeweled while waiting for things. Ok. Well, later, in the hotel, I discovered that the metal case had cracked and a small chunk had gone missing. Right on the bottom next to the CF slot, encompassing a screw hole. I don't get it - I don't recall hitting it on anything, and between Denny's and the hotel I certainly didn't. I just walked back. The screw was in my pocket, but the missing piece is plain missing. The unit is still functional, and it isn't falling apart or anything, but it is annoying to have this hole in it, and it has a ragged edge. I don't get it. Oh well, I actually thought it would bother me more than it does..

I ended up staying up most of the night last night since I got back late, close to 2AM. Then I got online, and I spent some time putting together a basic page for PMX events for when the site goes live.

Oh, I have discovered that having a wireless headset for my phone is neat for a few reasons:
- I've had a number of people ask me in the past few days what the headset was, how it worked, and where they could get one.
- I had a few random people at Disney think I worked there. ;-)
- Mike T. called me to discuss some PMX stuff while I was at Disney on Monday, so I was walking around the park having a conversation with him. Of course, unless you're on my right you probably can't see the headset at all, even then people didn't get it. So I think I left a trail of people thinking a madman was in the park. I *know* there were some, because I could hear them talking to each other. And a few cases of "Who is that guy talking to?" "He's got a headset on, see? *point*" between couples, parents and kids, etc. I enjoyed that too much I think.

Tomorow AX starts. Monday I fly home. I'm already wishing I had more time off.
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Zoner en fuego!

If you're going to AX, something to try while in Anaheim...

7-Eleven has been rolling out kiosk units into their stores, including the stories in Anaheim - like the one on the corner of Katella and Harbor by the ACC.

One of the features of the kiosk is 'Internet Shopping'. Basically you can buy a limited number of items from the kiosk, with cash, and have them shipped to you - like buying over the web. The selection today is small, but it is growing as more merchants are added, and the software is updated to handle more categories, sub-categories, etc. Also, some merchants should also be taking credit cards soon.

Why do I know this, or care? Because the little startup I work for, Cyphermint, is partnered with 7-Eleven and NCR on this project. We created the shopping application, and our payment system is used on the back-end. I'm one of the Professional Services engineers, and I've helped to shape some of the architecture, and some of the back-end code is mine. I also work with merchants, helping to the integrate their e-commerce sites into the kiosk.

So, if anyone tries this out while at the con (or if a 7-Eleven near you has one) I'd love to get real end-user feedback on the system. I had my first real 'field trial' experience Monday. I did some testing on the kiosk since I'm out here - they haven't rolled out any to stores in MA yet, which is where Cyphermint is.
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Zoner en fuego!

Tonight

I decided not to do Disney again tonight - want to do it when I have more tiime, so I'll try tomorrow. Instead I think I'll go have dinner someplace nicer than Denny's - since I've had dinner there three nights in a row. If I don't get to the park again this trip, the 3rd day on my pass is still good into 2005 - and I'll be back here for pmx in early 2004 anyway. But I should have some time tomorrow afternoon/evening.

And yes, I *like* Disney. I know it is a manufactured environment, etc, etc. BFD. I admire their ability to construct an illusion and get people to forget the outside world for a while. Disneyland is even more impressive than Disney World, because it is smack in the middle of Anaheim, surrounded by streets and businesses, etc. It doesn't have the isolation DW has been afforded. I had more fun in California Adventure since I'm not a big 'Magic Kingdom' kind of guy, but I still enjoy some bits of MK like Tomorrow Land, and such. I don't even go on a lot of the rides - I just like strolling around, people watching, and not thinking about anything else.

Though I do really wish I wasn't doing it alone *again*. Someday I *will* manage to be in a relationship at this time of year and she'll be able to go with me.
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