There are a lot of candidates for the center of the world’s IT industry: Cupertino, Redmond, Palo Alto, Tokyo, Seoul, – but these days it seems to be Taipei.
The definitive expression here is DIY, widely known in English speaking countries as an acronym for Do It Yourself, but here in Taiwan adopted as a uniquely specific lexical item referring just to the homebrew computer industry. If you walk into any of the many, many, many expansive computer stores in Taipei you will be overwhelmed by a selection of parts unavaliable at all but the rarest of US computer stores, and more interesting struck by the odd lack of brand name desktop systems.
“Here in Taiwan, if you can’t make your own PC you’re not a man,” I was told earlier today by a Taiwanese guy named Kevin. This is a sentiment that I can imagine evoking a kind of cultural jealousy in hardware geeks throughout the entire planet.
This little number from Foxconn has the distinction of being one of the coolest and best looking PC case designs I have seen. They also have the fine distinction of having provided one of the exhibitor ID tags that was used to sneak me into the show.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending Computex, Taiwan’s trademark computer and technology expo, the largest in Asia and the second largest of its type in the world after Hannover, Germany.
Of course I took a number of photos, and here is a sample of them. I have divided photos into two parts: Gear and Girls, since as everyone knows the motivation for attendance at these tech industry shows is based almost equally on both of those things.
This isn’t an ipod shuffle, but an unreleased prototype product of the socalled iVogue mp3 player line from Jetway. They estimated a July release date, but the website doesn’t even have a listing for these products yet, much less pricing information.
Easily the most impressive piece of actual new technology I saw at the show. This is an experimental prototype CPU cooling system, from Korean manufacturer KM Korea. The demo had a chip of some kind running at about 50 celsius, quite hot to the touch. You press the button and it activates their cooling device, and the heat instantly drains away from the chip surface, cooling it to about 15 celsius in only a couple of seconds. I have no idea how it works, and where the heat is being dissipated to. Perhaps the table concealed some kind of wormhole, through which the heat is sent into whatever dark dimension in which Cthulhu waits.