Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATO Riga: More Macs, mutterings about the wireless

As yet another day starts at the NATO Summit in Riga, I have a couple of observations. First, there may be around 10 Macintosh laptops in the press center, including a MacBook Pro that I saw with no user nearby (I have not chatted up the other Mac folks as they were all busy typing away frantically). So there are a few others of the faith....:)

A major IT deal was signed to simulate a layered theater anti-ballistic missile system. Worth 95 million USD, it went to consortium led by a US company, Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and an bunch of other US and European companies. No Latvian or Baltic involvement.

Also talked to someone from the NATO Communication and Information Services Agency (NCSA). They manage and package NATO telecommunications and data transfer. It also seems they have no Baltic links as yet. A good partner for them in the NATO humanitarian effort (I cynically called this Earthquakes R Us) would be Mikrotik, who moved into Kosovo and Baghdad to set up wireless internet in 1999 and 2003, respectively.

I have yet to use the WiFi here, although there seem to be around seven networks available at the NATO press center, including on for the Latvian Police Academy (as well as the official open network for the Summit press). Some colleagues have grumbled that the WiFi isn't that great. It just goes to show that if there is a wire conveniently available, I will use it, but I'm glad there is a WiFi alternative, although I have not been writing from my laptop at press conferences and presentations. I did do that at the SAP event in Paris last summer.

The whole circus ends today, I'm finishing up at my paper and off to Stockholm for a few days and will start my new job sometime next week.

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