Siggraph used to be the place where the super-nerds of computer graphics would get to meet and schmooze in a setting that was still intimate enough to generate real discussions about technology, and big enough to attract the big players of the industry. That was nearly a decade ago; a few thousand people excited about graphics, and the possibilities it offered. Today, its tens of thousands of people, and an hall that's as big and packed as a MacWorld, for example. The hype factor is also as big as any MacWorld, too. Computer graphics is big business, and Siggraph is now big business, too.
The only problem is that every year the organizers, in their infinite wisdom and parsimony, make you trudge all the way to the hottest places they can find in August. Places like Orlando, Dallas, New Orleans, the site of next year's Siggraph, and Los Angeles, this year. None of these places are worth hanging around at this time of the year, unless you're a tourist, or you're looking for a job in the graphics industry. Yes, there certainly were a lot of people looking for jobs. Of course, judging by the number of them wearing shorts, and the quality of legs on display, the computer graphics society can rest assured that there is no discrimination on the basis of looks, anywhere, anytime, anyhow. So, there I was, in my canary yellow Hawaiian shirt, and puce canvas trousers, with a hint of vermilion in my socks.
More a result of packing my bags at four o'clock in morning then any desire on my part to be employed as an animator by Disney.