My first DAC was in 1979. I was a young European post-doc, who had never been to the US before. All DC-10s had been grounded due to engine problems and I had to fly a 707. The conference was held at San Diego. Before the conference started I stayed in a cheap hotel in the down-town area. The down-town area of San Diego was far from being attractive. I was not used to the heat.
The actual conference took place in the Town and Country Hotel at Hotel Circle. The conference was small enough to fit into the medium-sized hotel, concurrently with a large meeting of veterans. I gave two presentations on the MIMOLA high-level synthesis work. I was very surprised to see several presentations on routing, an area unknown to me. The presentations on high-level synthesis were well ahead of their time and I guess that many of the attendees did not know what this was good for. I met Dan Gajski for the very first time, and he was really interested in the work.