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ConFonz gives a break from all the SXSW news with demographic reports (old, fat) from a conference actually going on in the Valley. After reading this, though, it looks like Silicon Valley needs its beautiful SXSW-attending emigrants back from Austin. Thank God we're all flying back today.

The Santa Clara Convention Center has always been the third-rate expo venue in the Bay area, tagging closely behind the SJ Convention Center, and a distant third behind the titanic Moscone in SF. Perhaps this is why the shows that take place here are typically the sort that can drive a registered press offender to seek out sneaky places to curl up and catch a nap (and some wireless packets). SD West is not really any different.

The show has always been the type that attracts the fat, the old, and the unshaven. But this year, it is particularly old, and particularly unshaven. The fellows meandering around inside the SC Convention center are all but geriatric, and they're big on discussing the good old days, when they hand-cranked their computers and cleared registers with static shocks.

It gets even better, after the jump.

Serving as the conference's perfect foil is the San Jose Mercury News' high-tech job fair going on in the SC Center today. Pimply-faced teens have been wandering in and out all day, many with looks of excitement going in, and utter disgust as they leave. You see, kids aren't all that dim. They can very easily see that the jobs they're hearing about in Hall A are the same jobs that made everyone in Hall B fat, wrinkled, bitter, and impotent. Hall A is the "before" picture, Hall B the "after."

Yes, it's pretty quiet here at SD West, CMP Media's annual software development show. The real buzz this year is not the fact that the show has yet again shrunken since the previous year, nor is it the hot new tools from Buildforge. No, the real news this year is that CMP will be crushing Software Development Magazine. It seems as though this venerable publication will be going the way of the dodo this summer, and Dr. Dobbs Journal will take up the slack by integrating some of the leftovers.

Earlier ConFonz: ConFonz at the I-Play part [Valleywag]