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8 The PCB Design Magazine • March 2014 by Andy Shaughnessy i-ConneCT007 THE SHAuGHNESSy REPORT Back to Vegas column Yes, we're heading back to Las Vegas for IPC APEX EXPO 2014. I, for one, will be glad to get back to Sin City. I admit I was a little burned out on Vegas the last time APEX and the Designers Forum were held there, back in 2011. (That was BD, or before divorce.) We had been there for four years in a row covering the show, so I cheered when IPC announced that the event would be moving to San Diego for 2012 and 2013, and alternating every two years after that. Now, don't get me wrong: San Diego is a great location. It's hard not to like a place that's always at the top of the annual "Top Cities in the Country" lists. And we did some sailing, which the desert pretty much precludes. But after three years, it'll be nice to get back to Vegas. It's a microcosm of America, a symbol of all that is positive and negative in the land of red, white, and blue. This town is a true dichot- omy: gamblers can win big, or lose big. There are a lot of really happy people on the way up, and a lot of not-so-happy people on way down. Plenty of shiny casinos, and too many fore- closed houses. Of course, Vegas presents its own unique challenges. My co-workers and I spend most of the week bathed in artificial light. We get up early, and by the time we finish work, it's night- time. Years ago, Editor Marcy LaRont dubbed us "The Mole People," because we went for days at a time without ever seeing the sun. I was afraid we might develop the bad eyesight that moles are famous for. And you'd better wear your walking shoes for trade shows in Vegas. Mandalay Bay is a great venue, but it's so big that you just about need a GPS. Everything you need is a quarter mile away from your current location. One Manda- lay Bay staffer told me that the show floor is almost half a mile from the front door. Still, I'm glad to be heading back to Vegas. This year, APEX kicks off with the Designers Forum on Monday, March 24. Speakers in- clude Greg Munie of IPC, Karen McConnell of Northrop Grumman, Gary Carter of Fujitsu

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