2018 COMPUTEX OBSERVATIONS
A THEMELESS YEAR
With no new motherboard chipset or GPU to hang a million products off and spur a marketing war of identical products in heated battle, and with the VR-Ready craze in the dust, and not much else to bind the industry together in a united front of frenzied manufacturing, it came to AI and deep learning to fly the weakly waving theme flag. Nvidia’s Jensen gave a terrific presentation about driverless cars and robots, some enterprise products were big on deep learning, and faint hints of consumer products with user-awareness were mentioned, though with nothing actually on show.
Let’s call Computex 2018 the Year of Hints that 2019 Will Be the Actual Year of Deep Learning.
RGB THEY’RE NOT DONE YET
Each year we think we’ve hit peak RGB. And each year we’re wrong. Asus threw down the gauntlet with its new Thor PSU, which has a big OLED screen on the side to monitor power draw. More notably – Asus is now doing PSUs. Also, Asus is now doing ROG AIO CPU coolers. But not like the others. These have big OLED screens that you can customise with pictures of things. Like a picture of a PSU with an OLED screen, for example. Cooler Master also had a new OLED PSU. This is just the beginning. OH GOD.
SPIES, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE
There we were, half way through Company TT’s tour, when a company-shirted employee of Company M carefully went from product to product, taking several close up photos and writing notes. No one seemed to care, not that it was in a secret area, or anything; it just seemed very brazen to us.
TAIWAN’S AIR RAID DRILL WAS EXCELLENT
At precisely 2:30pm on the Monday, during Nvidia’s keynote, just as Jensen was hitting peak Jensen, every phone in the room went off at once with an alert siren, the sound of which we’ve never heard before. It was a city-wide air raid drill, during which everyone had to be off the streets. Most impressively it was pretty tricky technology, we thought, that the authorities had to make every phone go off at maximum volume, with the same sound, even though they were all set to silent. It was also impressive to observe Jensen just-barely contain his frustration. 30 minutes later at 3pm on the dot it happened again, at the exact moment Jensen was wrapping up with the big crescendo.
He really did get shitty that time. Good job, Taiwan.
I MENTIONED THE WAR ONCE, BUT I THINK I GOT AWAY WITH IT
During AMD’s presser, CEO Lisa Su invited various partners up to talk for a moment about their newest AMD-powered laptops. All went well until the Asus chap had his moment, muttered something about an AMD CPU, then loudly proclaimed “and it’s got Nvidia graphics!”. Crowd fell silent. Crowd then murmured. Murmur rose to crescendo of laughter and a few boos.
Asus chap realised his error and skulked off.
1. We are totally not telling you who did this... 2. Is OLED the next RGB? We kinda hope not... 3. Yeah, okay, maybe it is. 4. “Hello, my name is WEEEEEEEEEEEE-EEEEEEEEEEEEE...”