Up at the NEC in Birmingham this week, Channel 5's Gadget Show has taken over a couple of the larger halls for its annual 'Live' extravaganza, at which members of the public can experience what its like to be at a tradeshow, see the latest tech in action and meet members of the Gadget Show team. It runs until Sunday, and if you're thinking of going along here's the things which you really should see.
Jokingly referred to as “The last 'dream PC' we'll build for a while” by one of the etailer's management team, Scan's Swordfish is a watercooled six core i7 with GeForce GTX 580s in triple SLI configuration and three 24inch monitors to go with it. It has to be seen to believed, because you almost certainly aren't going to buy one. At upwards of £20,000 it's more like an exercise in redistribution of wealth than an actual games machine.
It's been a while since I last went to visit Dr Adrian Bowyer at the University of Bath, whose name I mention since he's largely responsible for the current surge of enthusiasm for 3D printing. Bits from Bytes use his open source RepRap design as the basis for their off the shelf 3D printers, and then add extra print heads and refinements so that they can produce some impressively fine detail. Feed in 3D models from your favourite games to produce bespoke mannequins on demand.
Now that it's part of Lenovo, the supermarket's favourite PC builder Medion should be able to lever economies of scale to make even better value machines than its currently renowned for. It's serious about games PCs too: its latest Erazer X75 sports a custom case and various high end parts for an as yet to be announced price.
I'm not even going to try and make a gaming connection to these. Perhaps sir would like his background music played via a traditional 1950s-style jukebox courtesy of Soundleisure ? Each machine seems to have a uniquely modern twist, though, whether its the bubbling fluid which flows through the neon tubes of one or the built in Sonos sound system in another.
The best part of the show isn't the noisy new fangled stuff that takes up the bulk of the floor space, it's the sectioned off bit that's been taken over by The Centre for Computing History . Full of ZX81s, original Apple Macs, Ataris, Binatones and Galaxian games consoles, it's a nostalgia trip of the best kind. Apparently the Centre itself is planning on moving into a proper museum premises soon, with a visitors' centre and everything.