Wednesday 10 January 2018

We did a show

On of the earliest shows that we did (we being S&S INternational) was in one of those big hallls; Earls Court, I think. I forget who organised it; this was over 25 years ago. But the organisers sent us a copy of the rules, and it ran to a couple of dozen pages. So, being the sort of person that I am, I read it.

And in the rules, it set a limit on how much sound you could use. It hadn't really occurred to me before, but if you use sound the right way, you can attract a lot more people to your stand than if you just sit there quietly.

And I read the rules. It said 96 decibels.

That is a *LOT*. It's really *REALLY* loud. So we got a couple of good quality speakers, and a decent sound system, and turned the volume up to eleven, as one does. And sure enough, the show organisers hurtled down to ask us to shut that noise up. The noise they were referring to was myself and Graham Cluley, doing our double act, which tangentially referenced antivirus, but was mostly just fun.

And it was at that point that I pulled out the show rules. 96 decibles. And, of course, I had a sound meter. We were doing 94 decibels, at the point where we measured it. So I pointed out  But I promised I'd turn it down by a couple of decibels, and the show organiser went away.

I think that was the year that we dressed the stand up to look like a saloon bar in the old West, and we all dressed up as cowboys, on the grounds that we could do that precisely because we weren't cowboys.

I looked at the show stats afterwards; we had more people round our stand than even Microsoft!


  1. Fun times.

    I did a show for one of S&S's Scandinavian partners once. They'd seen the shows S&S had done in the UK and were doing their best to imitate it - and knew to bring along a decibel meter for the inevitable complaints.

    At the end of the show I was given a plaque for being the "Noisiest bastard in the corner".

  2. Do show organisers still allow loud stands?

  3. Dear Dr. Your name evolved from a search I did on Shadow Banning then to > Usenet > Plonk > Shades (Mud) > Indira Singh > Cybergypsies > Virus Writers > Anti Virus Writers and to you at the old IBMPCUG. And me delivering 20MB HDDs to the Harrow office from Intral Products for you to sell. I remember you hearing the story of the show so long ago and I never did bother with the S&S socks. As for the show I think it was the Personal Computer World show as we had exhibited there a year or two before. Adrian Clint