Two Rooms

I spent most of the day, as expected, in the Board Room at IBM Corporate Headquarters, attending the first meeting of the “CIO Tech Board”. It was interesting and possibly productive (I got a homework assignment, which is probably a good thing), but that’s not what I want to write about. I don’t even want to write about David Weinberger’s talk, at least not at the moment.

Instead, I want to talk about the Board Room itself. I wish I’d had a camera with me — it is quite impressive (as befits the Board Room of a major multinational corporation). It’s loaded with technology, most of which is nearly invisible (for example, there’s a wonderful speakerphone setup; the mikes are very inconspicuous little bumps around the table). Something which surprised me was that the table is a round table (bigger than the one in Winchester, England, which is supposed to be King Arthur’s Round Table) — I would have expected it to have a clear “head” where the CEO would sit.

The Board Room is also very nicely furnished, and there are rules which help to keep it that way (at least for mortals like ourselves). The chief rule: No Eating in the Board Room (no, there wasn’t a sign — but the word was passed). And No Briefcases on the Table (for that, there was a sign). Neither of these was a problem.

And, of course, there was plenty of connectivity — both wired and wireless.

Now, I’m sitting in the Admirals’ Club in Terminal 8 at JFK. It’s a nice place, but as a haven for connected travellers, it sucks. Most of the phones are voice-only and cost Big Bucks, even for local calls; there are a few data-capable phones hiding in the back of the lounge, some of which even work. There is one wired Ethernet port which costs 25 cents/minute; there’s also wireless (T-Mobile), but that’s expensive unless you have the monthly plan, which I don’t (yet, anyway). Fortunately, I’ve only got a few minutes to spend here — because the Club is also very stupidly located outside security. *sigh*

Time to head for the security line so I can go home!