SC08: the wrap up (probably part 1)

SC08 has been over for a few days. I have multiple impressions, and will try to outline them here. Please post your impressions as well.
First: Being in Pervasive Software’s booth was great. They are a great group, with an interesting product. As they noted, most HPC is not Java, and they get that it won’t be for the forseeable future. That said, I think they got lots of good feedback from potential consumers of their product.

Second: What I noticed was something akin to the following. There were several different types of booths: 1) point product or product lines (Gore, VI Chip, …) which addressed a small sub-segment of the market, 2) generalized product without specific applications (Arista, etc) which addressed a wide swath of the market, 3) specialized computing product with specific applications (nVidia, etc) which addressed narrower swaths but very important, 4) large vendor booths with many things and limited discernable messages/threads … something of a “we do it all”, 5) large vendor booths with value providers embedded, though some of these appeared to be solutions in search of problems (c.f. Microsoft), 6) lots of “me too” booths … basically no-value-added resellers of other peoples hardware (they don’t do anything other than assemble and ship), 7) software vendor booths, …
And others.
I need to drill into this some more at some point.
I was struck by how un-crowded the show floor was as compared to previous years. Yeah, I know. SC reports more exhibitors than ever. This is more of a subjective feel to it. Hard to quantify.
I was pleased that the people visiting seemed to be of a higher quality than in years past. Maybe this is the positive side to what I perceive to be fewer people. That is, they are asking better questions.
Our message of low price for high performance and quality is striking a resonant chord.
More later, as I am sitting in Austin airport ready to fly home.
Oh … note to all potential future vendor SWAG people.
Pocket knives are a bad SWAG item. You should know better, especially for people flying out. The xray folks apparently have collected many of the SWAG knives from one of the exhibitors. Because most folks (like me) forgot about them when they put them in their bag.
Please … please … next year … no pocket knives.