Monthly Archives: January 2008

DEVP203 – Old Documents

Just found out a lot of old documents in my computer. There is a folder called DEVP203 – Development Process No. 203, or Microsoft Development Management Training Serious – Microsoft Development Process Overview. We did put a lot of effort into that training course, and delivered many times of the training in many different software parks, in many different cities back in 2002.

I also found a folder called WebRAID, another half year project. There are almost 100M of documents and code. I was so surprised how much effort we spent to create that project. They are in a height that I even cannot imagine that I have ever being there.

Wendy wrote about the same feeling (Chinese) many days ago. In short (her article was already very short), she said when she thought of the old good times, she still could remember the excitement and devote people put into the projects. She used the word “war” – hmm… that is exactly the word to use (war for excellency).

Crazy New Year

This is the craziest new year I have ever experienced. Just to list a few.

  • It is snowing. Crazily heavy in Shanghai – the heaviest snow in recent years. Looking outside our office – I feel I am in Beijing.
  • No railway station. From today to the Spring Festival, many stations have stopped all ticket selling. No ticket at all.
  • Highways closed. In provinces like Anhui, all highways have been closed because of snow.
  • No electricity. Shanghai’s storage of coal to product electricity has been left for only two days, according to media today. What happens after two days when there are not enough electricity in Shanghai?
  • Things get expensive. Due to half million people waiting in the train station, someone are selling boxed meal at 10 times or higher price.
  • My friends in office called people who have ticket. The price as been 3-4 fold, from 300 RMB to 1000 RMB, and increasing.
  • Snow caused the most important railway line – Beijing to Guangzhou line – broken for 20 hours. People with tickets cannot leave the city.
  • Many airports are closed. No aircraft have left or arrived since then.

Disclaimer: I didn’t personally see the facts with my eyes except the Shanghai snow. I rely on the sources in news in this article, and those sources are not always reliable.

Traveler Tide in Spring Festival

In the next half an month or so, we will experience the largest transportation tide. It is maybe the largest scale of people move in the planet. It is because of the Spring Festival.

Why So Many People Need to Go Home

Although people do not treat spring festival as serious as the previous generations (some may ignore the Chunlian, or couplet, some may ignore the traditional events during the festival), most of people still keep the tradition of going back home during the Spring Festival.

Spring Festival is the biggest holiday in China. For many people, it is maybe the only holiday for them to have a chance to leave where they work or study and get back to home. No matter where you are, most of the people will try to get back home.

How Many People

I don’t need to mention the population of China: 1.3 billion or 1.6 billion (depends on which source you get the information). The change in the recent few years is clear, more and more people are mobile. They move out of their home town and move to larger cities, like Shanghai, Beijing or move from smaller village to cities nearby. This adds to the demand to transportation capacity during the Spring Festival. During this peak time, many train stations are sending more than 200K passengers per day.

No Way to Get Ticket

Every year, during this period of time, it is extremely hard, if not impossible, to get a train ticket. People have to wait in cold for hours, or days, just to hear the person in the ticket counter to say “no” with their own ears.

Let’s just imagine this scenario. If I decide to go back to Luoyang, my choices will be:

  • Go to Train station to get ticket. Definitely no way. There are no train tickets, and even the tickets without seat (standing there for 19 hours) are sold out. For every ticket, there are at least thousands of people there waiting for it.
  • Pay high price – even those resellers who charge double to triple the price cannot help you. You have money, but you cannot get the ticket.
  • By Air? No way. All tickets are booked long time ago.
  • By Bus? All bus tickets are sold out. No way to get more. Don’t dream about cheaper price. Full price tickets already disappeared.

Snow and Bad Weather Cause Bigger Problem

I just read the news. Due to snow, there are already 0.6 million people jammed in the train station. More and more people are coming. The Metro Station in Guangzhou has been used to hold these passengers.

I just talked with some people who decided to go back home, but don’t have a ticket. All the door closed to them. It seems there is only one door left for them: walk.

I run into the same problem before, but this time, we decided not to go back home. My parents visited us before the festival, just to avoid the rush hours.

More Transportation Capacity Seriously Needed

The huge demand for transportation and the relative weak supply caused the big problem. In the future, I do want to see the government put more money form the huge tax dollars into transportation, and do something to help the people to get the ticket they need, and help them to get back home (including me).

Finally, My Daocheng Video is Online

Thanks to YouTube, I am finally able to post the Daocheng video XGE helped to create 6 years ago online.

The Daocheng Trip is the most amazing trip and memoriable trip I had. As you can see from the video, it is a great place.

P.S. I also got another comment (the first comment I got on YouTube) about the other video I posted:

worst video in history of videos in the world of videos

Not surprisingly, the video got a 1 (out of 1 to 5) rating. If you are interested in this “worst video”, here is the link.

Labor Day (May Holiday) Canceled

I know this is not news. That was announced last December. The interesting thing is the other day, I talked with my good friend from California in Xintiandi. He talked the T.I.C (This Is China) moment.

He asked his friend what they are planning to do during the May Holiday this year. His friend told him very easily: “It was canceled”.

“What? Canceled”, he was very surprised, “It is just like U.S government suddenly announce Thanksgivings is canceled, which is unbelievable”.

Well. It IS possible in China. Personally I do not think negatively about the change, and the quick move of the change, like this. I mean I think so personally. However, I know many people in travel and hotel industry really hate the news.

Backed Up All My Documents

Before I install Windows Vista tomorrow, I want to back up all my files on my Drive D.

My rule of file management is always:

  • Reinstall Windows system every two months.
  • Reinstall all software again.
  • Backup my all my documents during this time

I bought a new 60G Mobile Disk with USB 2.0 Interface. It costs me 470 RMB (I know I over paid but I didn’t have too much time). It has a HITACHI 60G Disk with a SSK disk case.

E:\>dir
Volume in drive E is Jian Shuo Wang's Mobile Disk
Volume Serial Number is 108C-60BB Directory of E:\
01/22/2008 02:03 PM 2007
0 File(s) 0 bytes
1 Dir(s) 61,669,658,624 bytes free

Hopefully, I will have full back of all my docs every year.

P.S. A New Tooth

Just found out I got a new tooth in my month – pretty painful. I am expecting my son Yifan to have his first tooth, and finally, I got one.

Skyscrapers in Lujiazui

What a day!

This is a not completely-normal normal day. It is not normal, since my typical working day is in office. It is also normal, since this is a typical day in Shanghai. Let me tell you what exactly the life here looks like – since many people didn’t get the change to visit Shanghai yet. Today, I am visiting several places in the Lujiazui area.

Shangri-La

The hotel of Shangri-la is still having a good business. The UBS Greater China Conference 2008 was going on in many floors of the hotel. So many people with black suits and ties attended. Well. Business meeting of a wealth bank is much more luxurious than a meeting of Internet company.

From Shangri-La to Jin Mao Tower

I admit that I haven’t been to the Lujiazui area for a long time. To my surprise, many new buildings appeared. By “new buildings”, I mean those skyscrapers higher than 40 floors, or something around 200 meters.

Side by side with Shangri-la, is the Hopson International Tower. I don’t know when they started construction, but it seems to be opened to public soon in 2008. Behind it is another tower as high as the CITI Bank Tower.

Turning the corner, is the new twin tower (260m) of Shanghai IFC (International Financial Center), or with the new name – HSBC Building, Shanghai IFC. In the same tower are the Ritz-Carlton hotel (second in Shanghai), and the W Hotel (first in China). It is to be completed between 2009 to 2010.

Meeting in Jinmao Tower

The meeting in the afternoon is in the Jinmao Tower. We talked about the office rent price. Compared to the office building of 3.8 RMB or 0.5 USD per sq. meter per day, I guess the price of Jin Mao must be high. I am right. It is more than 1 USD per sq. meter per day. My host told me that the World Financial Center on the other side is asking for pre-leasing price of 3.3 USD per sq. meter per day.

It was a law firm, and they are expanding rapidly. Their staff is working days and night (seriously, till 2 AM sometimes) but still cannot meet the demand. With more and more office buildings and the moving-in companies, I can see their business must keep growing.

The other side of Jin Mao

When I stepped out of the busy Jin Mao Tower, I realize the restaurants on the other side of road were already closed, and many of them were pulled down. That is also a reserved space, called Z3-2. That piece of land is for the future skyscraper named “Shanghai Center”. The final design has not be chosen, but the idea is to have something between 550 to 700 meters in height. Hmm…. Another tall building.

Crazy? Pre-Bubble?

Maybe the photos in this post: World Financial Center give you some idea about what the skyscrapers in Lujiazui looks like.

Everyone is very optimistic about the future of Shanghai. I am so too. However, most of the bubble happens when people get over optimistic.

Shanghai Car Plate is NOT Investment

This is a follow up post for my entry Shanghai Car Plates IS Investment I wrote 4 months ago. Within just 4 months, the high valued car plate dropped dramatically.

My Record on Car Plate Price in Shanghai

From my blog post on Car Plates in Shanghai, you can get some idea about how the prices of a car plate in Shanghai changes over time.

Shanghai’s Car Plate Bidding

Shanghai is the only place in China to have Car Plate Bidding practices. Every month, around 7000 car plates are issued to the public and people bid for the plates in a public auction. With the high demand for private cars, and limited number of car plates, the car plate price in Shanghai went all the way high to more than 50,000 Yuan last month.

This Month

This month, the lowest bidding price for car plate dropped to 8,100 Yuan, and the average winning price is 23,370 Yuan, less than half of the record high of 56,042 Yuan in December, 2007.

What Caused the Drop?

The most important change is, this time, the authority made the bidding price of all the other buyers public, so people can see how much other people want to pay. Also, people are given a second chance to change their bidding price according to other’s price. This helps the higher bidder to lower down their price, and the lower bidder to raise their price – to finally make the bidding price more concentrated among a certain number.

Before that, the price guideline is given by the car dealers – they have some sort of information sources to tell the buyers about the finally winning price, so everyone has to pay higher than that, and this guidance price always raises.

The other reason is with the Spring Festival in Feb, they pause the Feb bidding and double the amount of car plate supply this month.

The final reason is because of the bottle neck of the Telephone and Internet system of the authority, many people could not dial in via telephone or logon to the web site. This further reduced the number of Would-be buyers.

Is it an Investment?

Everyone is trying to predict the future. I am the same.

Four months ago, I regret that I didn’t bid for a Shanghai Car Plate in my post: Shanghai Car Plates IS Investment. I changed my mind this month, and very likely, I will change my mind again in the next few months if the car plate price goes all the way high.

P.S. This post should have another title: Shanghai Car Plate = 8100 RMB

Third Day in Nanyuan Hot Spring

Still in the offsite in Nanyuan Hot Spring, Ninghai, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

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Photo by Jian Shuo Wang

P.S. Just found out PayPal started its referral engine in China also:

Sign up for PayPal and start accepting credit card payments instantly.

Update: January 20, 2008

In the morning, the fog of the mountains winding among the hills:

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This is the villa – Bamboo Villa we stayed. It has hot spring water in the room.

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The entrance of the villa:

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This Bamboo Villa has 8 rooms of all kinds, and we 20 people stayed in the villa for the three days. Wonderful experience.

Logistic Stuff

This is a perfect place for a team of 8 to 20 people to do team building.

There are two villa sharing the same lobby. There are 4 rooms in each section, with public area to watch TV or activities.

It is 5 hours away from Shanghai. There are high way connects Shanghai and Hangzhou, and Hangzhou and Ninghhai.

I am in Ninghai in Ningbo

I am in a company offsite meeting in Ninghai, Ningbo City. It is about 5 hour’s bus ride from Shanghai.

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The Nanyuan Hot-Spring Resort is very nice – it reminds me of another similar resort: Chaminade in Santa Cruz. The feeling of nice hotel, good service, beautiful scene and all these hidden in the deep of mountains…

I will get back on Saturday.

Related Entry: Third Day in Nanyuan Hot Spring

Photo Needed for Olympic Ceremonies

According to the official web site of Beijing Olympics 2008, Photo ID and personal information needed for Olympic ceremonies ticket buyers.

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Credit: Beijing 2008

 

Below is the information ticket owners have to fill:

It seems gender, birth date, mobile, telephone, email, mail address all all other personal information IS very important for the committee to host a successful Olympic.

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If the ticket buyer fail to go to the designated places to submit their forms in person or via a trustee, they may not be able to attend the ticket. Mail is not accepted. It takes too much time to get a ticket for Olympic.

My 2 cents

It is hard for me to tell my reaction to this requirement.

On the negative side, it is a simple solution to complicated problems again. They may also require you do all kinds of silly things, as long as this can make their job easier. It is just as many easy solutions to complicated system, the inconvenience of ticket buyers is not considered at all.

On the positive side, they are at least doing something to fight against speculative ticket reselling, or many other problems. Although this may not be the best solution, it is at least a solution. Any way, unlike Hukou System, it is not mandatory. Then it is OK, that people still have the freedom to give up the ticket if they really don’t want to go…

On privacy, even if I trust the authority to have the good intention to protect the personal data, I do doubt their ability. Well. It is not just for Olympic Ticket Office. To enforce protection to the sensitive data is a big challenge many commercial companies facing. Typically, governments are often even slower than commercial companies.

BTW, Beijing Olympic is going to open on August 8, this year.

World Financial Center

Kenneth posted some nice picture from the top of World Financial Center (via Shanghaiist.com). These are the first bunch of photos from that high.

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

This is the top of Jinmao Tower – how many people are able to look at Jinmao from this direction?

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

Jinmao looks really tall from the top, even looks taller from this direction.

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

Jinmao and the Bund:

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

Jinmao and the other tall buildings at Lujiazui.

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

The Oriental Pearl TV Tower.

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

Those guys are so brave – what if they fall?

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Photo Credit: Singaporeano

I will keep report the progress of this very nice building.

P.S. I also heard that the world’s highest hotel will no longer be the Grant Hyatt. It will be Park Hyatt from 79th to 93rd floor. It will open in just 6 months!

Snowing Huangshan

Wendy got back from her trip to Huangshan. She went there with her team in a team building event. It snows heavily in Huangshan, and she was very cold there. The good thing is, she took back some great photos of Huangshan in snow.

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Photograph by Wendy Fan

Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) is pretty near to Shanghai, after the Hangzhou – Huangshan Expressway was completed. It takes about 2 hours for bus to get to Hangzhou, and even less time to get to Huangshan from Hangzhou.

Wendy got bus in Shanghai at 5:00 PM and arrived in Shanghai around 11:00 PM. Please remember that it was in the worst weather condition, and many sections of the high way were closed. You should take 4 hours at most.

P.S. Previous articles about places near Huangshan:

Video about Shanghai

Paul Merton posted nice video about Shanghai. Obviously he did much better job in editing and narration then me.

The video is uploaded in July 2007, and I already see there are many changes in the landscape of Shanghai since he took the video half an year ago.

Near to Both Metro Stations

In the next few minute, I am going to go back home via Metro Line #4. There are two stations of the line, and both are "near" to where I work.

In the map below: The one on the left top corner is the Metro Line #4 Hongqiao Rd. Station, and the one on the lower left is Metro Line #4 Yishan Rd. Station. The red point on the top right is where I work. (BTW, the other dot in the middle of the right is the Xujiahui Station of Metro Line #1).

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Which station I should go? It seems to Yishan Rd. Station, it is 1.36 km, and to Hongqiao Rd. Station, it is 1.44 km. This is the sad life of "living near BOTH stations", and this description is for my first rented apartment in Shanghai – near both stations of Metro Line #1, but not near enough to any of them.

OK. I am going home.

Shanghai Metro People’s Square Station

Shanghai Metro People’s Square Station is the first transition station in Shanghai Metro System. Once upon a time, there is only one metro line in Shanghai when I arrived in this city, and it took many years for the Metro Line #2 to be constructed and opened. Then the Long Transition Tunnel of the Metro #1 and #2 became the memories of many people – it was really long.

Now, with the opening of Metro Line #8 and the new transition hall, this is history. Look at the brand new Metro Station in People’s Square. Again, I am reporting through photos:

From Metro Line #8

From the Metro Line #8 platform, clear directions hangs on the top of the elevator entrance. The Metro Line #8 is much cleaner than Metro Line #1 and #2 anyway.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Look at the lovely sign – [1] and [2]

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© Jian Shuo Wang

The Transition Hall

This is the transition hall. It is pretty high. Most people stay in the bottom of the hall. For those people who want to exit, climb high to get to the ground floor.

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This is the view of the transition hall.  The right of the red-lined area is paying-area – passengers with tickets, and on the left is out of the station.

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Look at this: This is pretty amazing. Instead of just one elevator, they have 3 elevators moving people from the bottom of the transition hall into the deeper hall into the earth.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

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© Jian Shuo Wang

There are another three moving people up.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Closing of the Long Transition Tunnel

With the new transition hall, the old Long Transition Tunnel was closed. Can you imagine that before, all the traffic from #1 to #2 comes out of this long transition tunnel – just some small closed gate?

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Sky in the Transition Hall

Below is the roof of the transition hall – with sky visible.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Ground Signs

Outside the stations, direction signs have been updated to have the three lines there.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

New Control Center of Metro Line #8

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© Jian Shuo Wang

New Tunnel from Metro Line #8 to Raffles City.  

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Below is the old tunnel from Line #1 and #2. This one and the above one are parallel. If I were you, I will try to use the tunnel for Metro #8.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

At the end of the tunnel, there are three directions – Line #1, Line #2, and Line #8.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Above is the Line #1, and below is Line #8 Hall. Obviously, the newer one is better, cleaner with fewer people, although they are just one wall in between, with many gates on the wall.

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© Jian Shuo Wang

Below is the complicated transition map that I don’t think anyone can really understand. It seems very high-tech though.

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Conclusion

People’s Square Station is not my favorite one – my favorite transition station is Metro Century Avenue Station, and South Xizang Rd. Station. However, it is maybe the most complicated station. I am happy that it is finally transformed to be a much better station than before. I complained a lot about the Long Transition Tunnel – the big curve in the diagram blog linking top floor, to the bottom floor, until I saw the transition plan between Line #2 and Line #13 in Beijing. Now, with the close of the long tunnel, I don’t complain at all.