The Technology (And Biology) That Saved Comic-Con

Illustration for article titled The Technology (And Biology) That Saved Comic-Con

People call Comic-Con "Woodstock for geeks," and the chaos that reigns at the San Diego Convention Center for 5 days definitely makes you feel like you're soaking in LSD-laced mud. But a few gadgets saved us from total madness.


Thanks to a kind donation from the comic book geeks at Sanho, we had a Hypermac external mega-battery to keep our MacBooks and my Air chugging along even during marathon, all-day sessions blogging from Hall H (where all the biggest stars make appearances, and the crowd gets to see special preview clips). Sanho makes a variety of sizes of the Hypermac, and we used the 222 watt-hour version, which easily powered our Macs for 10 hours without even reaching the halfway-empty point. Lauren said having the battery was like "being able to plug into an alternate dimension where we had power outlets." I even powered my G1 Android phone via the Hypermac's USB port. Basically if you are going anywhere where outlets are impossible to find, and you need to be using your Mac all day, nothing beats the Hypermac. So thanks, Sanho! You saved our butts.

We used Google Calendar to coordinate our coverage and keep abreast of the zillions of panels, press conferences, and meetings that we had. Most of the io9 team have mobiles that can access Google Calendar, so we could add new information about times or meeting rooms on the fly, and everybody else on the team would get the update instantly. Everybody had a different smart phone - the G1, iPhone, and Blackberry were all representing - and Google Calendar worked with them all.

Google also provided free wifi for the entire San Diego Convention Center during the 4 main days of Comic-Con. The amazing part was that it actually worked. Yes, it was occasionally slow, but no slower than the EVDO cards we had brought as backup. So if you enjoyed seeing our up-to-the-minute coverage of panels and breaking news, you can thank Google - and then ask them to put the entire Comic-Con schedule into a Google Calendar format next year.

But the very best technology of all was in fact biological. Two former interns and two current ones came out to San Diego to help us out for free, and we can't thank them enough. They interviewed talent, went to panels, wrote stories, took pictures, shot video, and waited in line when I'm sure they would have rather been sleeping. So thanks, Alasdair Wilkins, Caitlin Petrakovitz, Julia Carusillo, and Sarah Williams. You guys rock.



the wifi would have been more helpful had it helped out in the hallways and not just on the main exhibit hall floor.