Friday, March 22, 2013

Informática 2013 and 1992

The fifteenth Cuban international trade show and conference, Informática 2013, took place this week. Below, you see a photo of the opening session and a picture taken on the exhibit floor.

I looked around the Informática Web site and found a couple of interesting things. Below, you see the logos of the "diamond" sponsors. Note that four are Chinese (top row) and six Cuban (two universities). This reminded me of a recent post on Chinese tech companies in Cuba.

Informática is a collection of technical conferences on various topics as well as a trade show. (We have already described the health conference) The technical presentations were categorized as follows:
  • XV Congreso Internacional de Informática en la Educación “INFOREDU 2013”
  • 1er Foro Internacional de TV Digital
  • XI Simposio Internacional de Automatización
  • VI Congreso Internacional de Tecnologías, Contenidos Multimedia y Realidad Virtual
  • I Congreso Integracionista de las Ciencias y las Tecnologías Informáticas, Santiago de Cuba 
  • IV Simposio Internacional de Electrónica: diseño, aplicaciones, técnicas avanzadas y retos actuales
  • VIII Congreso Internacional de Geomática
  • IX Congreso Internacional de Informática en Salud
  • VI Simposio de Telecomunicaciones
  • II Conferencia Internacional de Ciencias Computacionales e Informáticas
  • Energía y Medio Ambiente
  • IV Simposio Informática y Comunidad
  • VI Taller de Calidad en las Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones
  • XI Seminario Iberoamericano de Seguridad en las Tecnologías de la Información
  • III Taller internacional “Las TIC en la Gestión de las Organizaciones”
The papers are not online, but abstracts, comments and the email addresses of the authors are.

I could not help noticing that the Web site was a bit amateurish. For example, author's photos were sometime distorted -- re-sized without maintaining the original aspect ratio and HTML tags were visible in many of the abstracts. These are minor quibbles, but they are jarring in 2013.

As Muchas Gracias points out in a comment on a recent post, Cubans were required to pay registration fees in CUC this year rather than Cuban pesos. (In the US, conferences often admit people to the exhibit hall only free or at a reduced price -- perhaps that was also the case at Informática).

Informatica 1992

Muchas Gracias' comment also reminded me of my visits to Informática 1992 and 1994. Cuba did not yet have IP connectivity at that time, and the Internet was not well known outside of the technical community. The Internet community was open and friendly to a professor from the US, and I presented papers and met many people. Since I've begun reminiscing, here are some photos that my colleague Joel Snyder took at Informática 1992:

Pabexpo -- the site of Informática 

Attendees coming for the opening speeches

The stage for the opening

Two rows of dignitaries

Looking down on the exhibit hall

On the exhibit floor

On the exhibit floor

An East German computer

Cuban hardware running Russian software

Russian chips

The Youth Computer Club booth

Ceniai booth

In the Ceniai booth

Relaxing afterward at the Bay of Pigs

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