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CeBIT 2000 CeBIT 2000 was in absolute chaos the first morning (last Thursday) because the traffic lights in the city went belly-up. That led one exhibitor who we met in the afternoon to complain that a journey of five kilometers had taken three hours....we travelled by tram to the Messegelande, avoiding one sort of chaos for another. When we arrived (having lost one of our staffers in a snafu at Hannover airport), we wondered whether we'd have trouble gaining ingress, but sailed through the barriers....later, after having lost our Presse pass because some huge chicken in one of the Hell Halles bumped into us, we thought we'd have trouble again, but the nice young chap just took one look at our NUJ card and came to the conclusion that it wasn't wise to mess with someone who looked like a convicted convict....and more on convicts later... Gazing up at the snow-filled skies, we noticed that the Messe organisers (by the way, the singular of criteria is not criterium), had built a cable car spanning the entire Messegelande. Obviously built for the big Expo that's coming up in March, there were no cars running yet. And down opposite Hell Halle 11, we noticed a vast wooden construction that looked like it was intended to communicate with aliens....it too was unfinished, and probably meant for the Expo too. We're sorry that the Messegelande no longer has the huge Ferris Wheel that was a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the Halles. Talking about world Expos, some nice chap at a Taiwanese booth told us about the World Expo in Taipei which immediately follows the June Computex show this year. We wondered whether it would be easy for people like us to gain ingress into such an occasion, seeing as world lucifers such as Bill Gates would be key-noting. That led him into a furious diatribe against the organisers of this Expo, the Taiwanese government, which is apparently demanding huge bonds from the vendors in order to pay for the event... Of course, we had to pay our obligatory visit to the Munchenhalle, a vast beer hall to the East of the Messe, if only to watch the spectacle of computer suits awash with steins of best beer a pukin' and a mewlin' like something out of a Bunuel film or a detail out of one of the better Hieronymus Bosch pix. We also took our time on Freitag to visit the Fujitsu Siemens stand, where there was a wild party a goin' on. We failed to gain ingress at the bottom of the stairs, with a security guard (shouldn't they be called insecurity guards?) rattling off in rapid German a question to a tall Germanic-looking Fujitsu Siemens suit. He turned to her and said: "Sorry, I don't understand German. I'm from Sweden -- they're fine to go in..." Upstairs, there was another little detail from Bosch, with red-clad waiters and waitresses ferrying great big long wooden beer holders to all and sundry. Unfortunately, one of the ZD Net UK journalists (who was stone cold sober, we assure you, as we were) backed into one of these people. Result? Said stick of beer with contents crashed to the floor, drenching whole heap of suits sitting down at a table behind him. On our last afternoon before we flew back to handsome Luton Airport, we were just entering the massive TCM central building when we encountered Daniel, from CHIP Magazine, who we'd met the week before at IDF in Palm Springs. Serendipity for him. He was organising a photo shoot and we saw four online journalists lined up with convict style numbers on their chest....we became the fifth, even though we've never been convicted of anything, even driving a bicycle without lights... So that was SnoBIT 2000. Roll-on, rolloff SnoBIT 2001. We can't wait... ®

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