In the days before Dilbert, computer rooms often featured a sign in pseudo German that instructed visitors to "keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das pockets" and "watchen das blinkenlichten". Sadly, there aren't as many blinkenlights on modern systems, but the concept did enjoy a fabulous revival a few years ago in Berlin.
I'm a sucker for anything that lights up, flashes, blinks or glows. The tacky neon of Vegas is fine by me, but what I really, really wanted from CES was one of Logitech's flashing green medallions.
As freebies go, the Logitech medallion isn't exactly dinner at The Ritz. Nevertheless, in the exhausted delirium of the last day of the show, I found myself stalking a member of the Logitech team as she circulated the stand with an armload of flashing freebies. Eventually it transpired that to secure a medallion (and turn yourself into a flashing Logitech billboard), you had to sit through a presentation on Logitech's new products.
I could offer the excuse that sitting through the Logitech presentation did involve actually sitting down, and after four days at a show the size of CES, that's an attractive offer. I could also point out that Logitech is one of the select group of companies that has been around for longer than I've been in tech journalism, which gives me a warm glow. The true attraction, though, was the blinkenlights. I can't tell you much about the presentation, except that it was short and involved a magician, but I'm pleased to report that my blinkenlight is still blinking.
You're probably thinking I'm a crazy, photophilic freak, and indeed I am. Still, it's not like I married a random or put a year's salary on black.