You know you’re in Austin when a live band is playing rock and roll at 8:30 in the morning before Steve Wozniak’s keynote speech. Every square inch of free space and time in this town is filled with Austin’s own weird brand of country/western/rock music. The crowd of 2,500 or so goes wild, clapping and cheering while trying not to spill coffee on its pants. We, the tech community, are at Austin City Limits, and why not? We’re in a town that mixes music and tech as easily as tequila and lime juice.
The occasion for this early daylight celebration and celebrity speech is the 10thannual Freescale Technology Forum. This is my first time at the conference, though. Freescale Semiconductor FSL -0.26% is so far down in the technological weeds, the low-level details of how things actually work, that I, whose background is way up at the system level (that is, PCs), have practically never run into it over the years, even though we both inhabit the technology world, and I once worked for the same firm (Motorola) out from which Freescale was spun. However, as the pendulum of history swings back in Freescale’s direction, its activities have become more relevant not just to me, but to everyone else as well.