CeBIT Impressions 2008
There weren't much new trends recognizable. The smaller Asian manufacturers seemed to be somewhat focused on webcams and silly game console accessories. Gamers continue to be a driving force behind processor and GPU development. Cooling seems to be the biggest concern for the manufacturers. Many booths showed huge coolers, Asus even presented a mainboard with integrated connectors for liquid cooling systems.
IBM presented their own take on the cooling problem with their new Z10 system. This mainframe can house up to for CPU boards, each with 5 quad core Intel CPUs. The whole mainframe is cooled by a refrigerator like system. But starting at 500k the Z10 isn't targeted at gamers I guess .
IBM also had a look at the cooling from a different view. They suggested method to use liquid cooling for computing centers reusing the collected heat for heating purposes. Even though “Green IT” was supposed to be a big theme on this year's CeBIT I didn't see much of it.
A disappointment was Asus' presentation of the EeePC. It focused completely on their soon to be released Windows driven model. No mention of the already available Linux system. My impression was that this decision was heavily influenced by Microsoft. They even provided the staff for the booth.
On the positive side of this year's CeBIT was the Content Management Area. With focus on CMS in the Web 2.0 era it had quite a selection of interesting presentations. In the morning we listened to a usecase example on how to improve enterprise knowledge management with a wiki. Martin Koser's talk concentrated on how to successfully migrating an “old” static intranet to a wiki based system. BTW. the used wiki was a DokuWiki .
In the evening we returned to the place and learned about a new social platform for scientists called researchgate. They aim to combine wiki technology and social networking to help scientific researchers in connecting to each other and exchanging research data. Even if their aim is to completely revolutionize the whole scientific publishing process in the end, their near time goals are very reasonable and promising.
Another part I enjoyed, was the “Future Park” where (mostly) universities present their research prototypes. Very interesting was a system not only detecting and tracking faces on a real time camera image, but also their gender and expression (sad, happy, angry, …). The university of Brussels presented a radar like camera prototype for depth measuring working on inexpensive infrared and CMOS technology. And a company called sunload had bags with integrated solar panels on display. The latter where really interesting but still too expensive and impractical for my taste.
This year's CeBIT wasn't very innovative IMHO but I'm still glad I've made it this time.