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25 'critical' things you need to know about Interop, Las Vegas

Vint Cerf, computer networking and bungee-jumping, all in the same city!

By , Network World
April 18, 2011 06:04 AM ET

Network World - For those of you going to Las Vegas for Interop, here are 25 fun facts about the show and things to while you're there.

1. Interop, which also hosts conferences in Japan, India and New York, was founded 25 years ago and expects about 13,000 attendees in the Las Vegas show May 8-12. Expo passes, keynotes, InteropNet tours and certain sessions are free, but a full ticket will cost more than $3,000

MORE ON INTEROP: Virtualization, cloud computing dominate InteropQuiz: Can you identify the misfires, milestones and high jinks from Interops past?

2. If you're going to Interop you almost have to check out the keynote speech to be delivered by Vint Cerf on Tuesday morning. Seriously, how often do you get to hear the wisdom of one of the fathers of the Internet?

3. Interop founder Dan Lynch is a "private investor and retired bum," according to Usable Security Systems, where he is an investor and adviser. Lynch was involved in the development of Arpanet and founded CyberCash, whose payment technology was acquired by eBay's PayPal.

4. Tour the InteropNet and OpenFlow Lab. Interop offers tours each year of one of the impressive temporary networks in the world. This year the show is upping the ante by providing a lab where attendees can learn about OpenFlow, an emerging networking technology with backing from Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others.

5. Interop, will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The million-square-foot convention center is attached to the hotel of the same name, which has some pretty fancy restaurants and a giant wave pool and “beach.”

6. Obviously, there is tons of fun stuff to do in Las Vegas. Take a ride on the New York New York casino's roller coaster. Here's a description: "The Roller Coaster will lift you up 203 feet, drop you down 144 feet and leave you coasting at 67 mph."

A discussion with Interop general manager Lenny Heymann

7. Visit the SuperNAP. You'd probably need an invitation, but one of the world's most powerful and efficient data centers is just six miles from the Vegas airport. The location was chosen partly because of its lack of natural disasters and the presence of a no-fly zone around the airport, minimizing the risk of a plane crash.

8. Go to the top of the Stratosphere, and bungee jump down. The Stratosphere hotel's tower is 1,149 feet tall, one of the tallest structures in the United States. You can take an elevator ride to the top in less than a minute, and then fall down 108 floors in the "SkyJump," the “highest controlled free fall in the world.”

9. If you want something even more dangerous, you can always gamble – and you can do that anywhere in Vegas, even the airport. If you do gamble, feel free to sign up for each casino's rewards card program to earn free meals and stuff. A couple of years ago I snagged some free Beatles T-shirts and drumsticks from the Hard Rock Hotel. You may not be so lucky, because the Hard Rock has scaled its rewards program back since then. But if you're going to risk your money anyway you may as well have a chance at some free stuff.

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