I've had lots of good memorable moments from DAC over the years, my first was as a grad student in 1987. A few of us VLSI focused grad students (went to college in S. Florida @ FAU) hopped in the engineering van and attended the Miami Beach DAC that year.
The next year (as a new college grad) at Intel Corporation I went with my first manager (awesome guy). I was all gung ho and had a list of paper presentations I was going to attend, and some vendors I wanted to see demos from, etc. BUT, my boss stopped me in my tracks and handed me a paper sack and said - dude - were going to fill up these sacks with freebies (tee-shirts, pens, Frisbees, and nerd nick-knacks of all kinds). Was an awesome DAC that year in Anaheim.
Took my wife then (who was six months pregnant with our first child) to the 1989 Las Vegas DAC. I had purchased a top of the line Sony 8mm consumer video camera with the hopes of capturing video of our child as he/she grew up. Thought I would bring it along with me to DAC so my wife and I could take videos of Las Vegas. As we were checking in to the hotel, I spotted a bunch of my engineering buddies (all grizzled looking from an apparent previous night of partying) and of course had to call them over and show them my new high tech toy (the video camera). At the same time I told the person behind the check-in counter we needed a room. She looked at me, my pregnant wife, the camera, and the other guys and said “for all of you?” with an inquisitive tone. Man oh man, guess Las Vegas is a lot crazier then I ever imagined :-)
I actually attended the 1997 Anaheim DAC as a vendor (I had moved on to Cadence R&D at the time). I remember being at one of the after-hours dinner gatherings hosted by some vendor. All I remember was a few of us engineers were down at the end of this long dinner table (I was showing off my new PDA and we were all talking about tech/engineering stuff). At some point in the conversation I looked up down at the other end of the dinner table were the Sales and Marketing types had naturally clustered away from us engineers. They were down there clearly inebriated (as the one young lady marketer was about to stand up on the table and do a dance) while us engineers were down at the other end talking shop. I was at this point in my career I wondered if I should continue to be an engineer or head over to marketing and sales :-)
The last DAC I attended was in 1999 in New Orleans. Oh my gosh, I cannot believe that I made it so far through life without ever having tasted gumbo. I’ve been a gumbo addict ever since! And while talking about food, I remember the DAC dinner and dance then, I’ve never seen so much shrimp piled so high on so many tables. I was in food heaven :-)
Oh, and almost forgot, the only time I ever won something (anything) was at the 1998 DAC in San Francisco. Where I sat through some vendor’s presentation and they had a drawing latter in the day. I thought, what the heck, and put my card in the box. The vendor’s theme (was all cowboys and the wild west), anyway, I actually one the drawing and my prize was a fifty dollar bag of coins (made out to look like a bank bag, get it, old west – bank robbery – something like that :-). I had to lug that damn bag around with me and onto the plane and all the way home. But, my kids were very happy as I let them split the money and put it in their piggy banks.
Oh yes, there just as many technical memories about DAC that I could share, but, what fun would that be!
Can’t wait for DAC 2013. Will be in my town of Austin. Hopefully with have a few fun stories to tell next year!
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DAC is the premier conference devoted to the design and automation of electronic systems (EDA), embedded systems and software (ESS), and intellectual property (IP).