Maryland's high-tech industry -- which some experts say should account for a significant share of job growth regionally in the decade ahead -- goes on show in the month ahead with 60 events statewide.
Most of the events are geared to industry professionals and the growing legions of venture capitalists, lawyers and accountants looking to make a buck from the region's emerging high-technologies.
But there are several events slated to appeal to those in the public who might not be exactly technologically savvy -- but willing to expand their minds a little.
"The Baltimore-Washington region is really emerging as a national leader in the high-tech field," said Deborah Barnett, coordinator for the Greater Baltimore Committee's high-technology month. The business group is sponsoring and organizing many of the events.
"What we're hoping to do with high-tech month is show people that there's a lot of technology that is available now which almost anyone can use to make life easier, better," said Ms. Barnett.
Among the events that might appeal to the general public is an open house at Silicon Graphics' Magic Bus. The tractor trailer is filled with computer stations that show users how high technology is being used in Maryland.
The Magic Bus will be featured at a technology career day at the University of Maryland Baltimore County Oct. 18. The event is aimed at interesting high school students in careers in high-technology and education, but children also enjoy visiting the bus, said Ms. Barnett.
Also, anyone who has a personal computer with a 14,400 baud modem and a connection to the Internet will be able to tune in live to one of the major events -- tonight's "Tech Night" dinner -- and save the $85 ticket fee.
The event, expected to draw 800, will feature demonstrations of technologies developed by area firms and a keynote speech by Microsoft's vice president, John Neilsen.
The audio and video simulcast will be available on the World Wide Web between 7 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. at http:/www.gbc.org. It will be retained on file for a week. (The same technology will be used to simulcast Pope John Paul II's papal message on his visit to Baltimore Oct. 8.)
The GBC hopes to develop in the future more events geared to educating the public about the role of the high technology in Maryland's economy.
Meanwhile, many of this month's high-tech events are aimed at helping industry professionals network and exchange new ideas.
Aside from tonight's dinner, other events will be the Greater Baltimore Fast 40 Awards Ceremony, Oct. 16 in Baltimore when the 40 fastest-growing companies in the Baltimore region will be honored.
Also the same day there will be a ceremony marking the completion of the Maryland BioCenter, a $21 million pilot manufacturing facility on East Lombard Street in Baltimore where new biotechnology firms will be able to share the cost of small-scale manufacturing.