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Computex: Tech tricks & taxi tactics

Taipei is buzzing, with over 130,000 techies descending upon Taiwan's capital for Computex, the world's second largest IT exhibition and my home for the next few days.

It will be interesting to see how the event has changed over the past few years. It used to be regarded as a hardcore event for Asia's computer component manufacturers, and some of the spokespeople on the stands were severely lacking in media training. Many openly revealed industry secrets to journalists on the assumption that everyone who visited the event must be a potential client.

Now, however, publications (as well as manufacturers) from all corners of the world regard it as a must and suppliers have smartened up. According to Computex's organiser, the Taipei Computer Association, 32,000 overseas visitors will attend this year.

It's also become a key point in the calendar for the world's top suppliers to launch new products. The theme of this year's Computex is likely to be mobility, with visitors expected to see new variations on the UMPC platform, among other things. Asus, for example, is reportedly showing off a shock-resistant UMPC with 7in touchscreen and an integrated webcam. It's one of several products I'll look at over the next few days.

That's if I arrive at the Taipei World Trade Center safely, of course. My taxi journey to the hotel today has already reminded me of the manic Taipei street code - anything goes!

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