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A Simple Brown Paper Bag

Yesterday I went to Mentor’s U2U user event. Something was missing – and it was a good thing.

We editors probably go to more events than your average engineer, but even an engineer that goes to a couple per year  must end up with a basement full of black ballistic nylon bags of various shapes and sizes with logos that ensure that his or her kids will never want to be seen in public with them. We may like the technology behind the logos, but they’re not considered “cool brands.”

I’ve actually gotten to where I decline the bags; I simply ask for the contents. Otherwise I might as well be collecting inventory to open a store. I was actually denied the opportunity to decline the bag at the recent TSMC event: the person behind the counter must have been instructed that everyone was to get a bag, and, by god, everyone was going to get one, including me.

But yesterday was different: it featured a simple brown paper bag. It’s already in the recycling bin. It will not be degrading in my garage or a landfill for the next 100,000 years. Granted, it was a smaller event than your ESC or DAC, but still, it was refreshing. It’s nice to have something to carry stuff around in during a conference – if you haven’t already brought your own (so make it optional). But it doesn’t have to last longer than the return home.

And it probably saves money too. Seems like a win-win.

(I’ll have more to say about the actual meat of the event separately.)

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