It is Personal Website Age

My Friends Goes .COM, .NET, .Biz…

I found more and more of my friend begin to register their own domain names and begin to host personal website. I owe a “friendly link” to every one of them. It is becoming popular to host personal websites now. I know I have ignored a section of links on my homepage, which can be found in most blogs. Here are some of websites by my friends – listed by order of time I became aware of the existence of their websites. Criteria to be listed in this page are

  • The owner is my good friends in real life

  • I know the owner for at least one year before I know his/her web presence
  • The person has personal website with top level domain name
  • The website is still live and accessible

Most of the sites are in Chinese.

  • Wangchen.com Check out the good pictures of Daocheng and Yading. He just came back from the fantastic place.

  • Pgao2003.com
  • Lijia.biz It is a FTP based website. However, I love the simple interface – it is not a bad idea to design a website like this: Simple, easy to navigate. :-)
  • 9718.net Eddie’s site
  • Run2me.com Run’s website. Just started but with good potential. ;-)

Maybe I have lost many others. I hope I can add more later. Please remind me if you know I have missed anybody meeting the criteria.

My Sites of Two Year Ago

When I registered my domain name three years ago – more preciously, on Sept 6, 2003 (my WHOIS record), I didn’t expect what it will look like three years later. I checked my archive and can still find out my old homepage at the end of year 2000.

screen-wangjianshuo.com-2001.01.07.jpg

I just found the old home page still looks good. I even noticed I begin the practice similar to weblog using the limited functions from FrontPage since 2000. It was the new headlines marked with date.

Archive of the Previous Pages

Internet Archive provides great service for anyone to go back to the history of a website. It brings people to see what microsoft.com looks like in 1996 and what Yahoo! looks like in 1997.

Of cause, it also allow me to go back to the history of my site. At the date this entry is created, 1143 pages were archived by archive.org for wangjianshuo.com. 14 snapshot of the home page were archived in 2002 and 4 versions in 2003.

So one of the advantages and disadvantages to create a page accessible on Internet is, it will be kept in the history archive – for ever….

Update about Traffic Rules

The new traffic rule in China was approved today. I found I begin to be extremely interested in such kind of news after I got the driver’s license.

According to the new rule, the following big changes happened:

New Driver can Use the Express Ways

New driver can use the express way immediately after they get the driver’s license. The old rule was that new drivers have to wait for one year before they are permitted to enter the express way. This is good news for me since I can use the express way. However, I will be conservative and will not drive onto the highway before I am 100% confident.

The Highest Speed of Expressway is Set to 120 km/hour

It seems driving faster than 120 km/hour in China is forbidden – then why bother make the good cars with highest speed of 200+km/hour?

Human Not Permitted on Express Way

It is obvious. However, the explanation for this rule made me LOL. The reason to keep human out of express way is: “All vehicles with designed highest speed less than 70 km/hour are not permitted on express way, such as human, …..” Haha. Then what is my designed highest speed?

Houses in Shanghai

It is approaching the three year anniversary of my purchase of my current house at Vanke Waltz Garden. I have been paying the mortgage of the house for three years and have lived in the house for two years. During the three years, the real estate market in Shanghai changed dramatically and affected millions of people. The current status of the market is still confusing – the house price is still rising like a rocket, while the voice of the bubble theory is becoming stronger day by day. It is a good time to take a look at the houses in Shanghai by reviewing the three years we went along.

Why I bought this House

Many people commented on the house and asked why I bought this house. “I am interested in why you chose to move to Vanke’s Waltz Garden: what attracted you to the place?”

Well. I chose the house by a simple reason – I love the Real Estate Developer – Vanke. The Vanke group is the largest real estate developer in China. Vanke is a magic word for me. It has turned many county areas into beautiful town house.

At the time I bought the house in early 1999, the average price per sq. meter is about 3000 RMB. Typical apartment is from 90 – 120 sq. meters in Shanghai. That made the total price to be 300,000 RMB or 36,000 USD. It was a huge number already. However, the Vanke house was priced higher. The 5000 RMB per sq. m is even higher than the adjacent properties.

Good Deal

Looking back, it turned out to be a good deal. The price for the houses has almost doubled in three years. Now it is almost impossible to buy any house within the inner ring less than 7000 RMB per sq. m.

Xiao Qu

“I understand that Vanke’s Waltz Garden is also called a new “xiao qu” or “she qu”? Are these very popular housing options in Shanghai now?” – Mr. Pow from Singapore.

Yes. It is called Xiao Qu or Community in English. It is almost the only option in Shanghai. Currently, the real estate market works this way in Shanghai:

  • The government offer lands to the public. Typically, the land will be a very large area.

  • The Real Estate Company Buy the Land from the government.
  • The Real Estate Company build houses on the land and sell them. Typically, they are either high buildings (with 20 – 30 stories) in downtown or 10 – 11 stories in farther areas.
  • The customers buy the houses and get the certificate of ownership.

So there is no separated house. Actually houses (one building with only one family living in it) are no longer allowed to be built within the outer ring road of Shanghai. The new apartment buildings have to be either 7-stories without elevator or higher with elevator.

So, several buildings will make up a community. The community is typically maintained by a Property Management Company. The Property Management Company charges people living in the community for their service (say, 1.95 RMB per sq. m per month)

JW Marriott in Tomorrow Square Opens

When I am talking about JW Marriott Hotel in Shanghai, most of my friends has never heard of the name. Not to mention the new JW Marriott Hotel in the Tomorrow Square, the name of Marriott is not that famous like Shangri-la or Hilton. Although Marriott is the largest hotel group in the world, the brands are not widely recongnized. Maybe it is because of the translation. Either Hilton and Shangri-la are directly translated as they are pronounced, but Marriott is translated as Wanhao in Chinese. There is absolutely no directly relationships between the English name and the Chinese name.

Anyway, not well-known does not prevent the hotel to be a great hotel. It is at the heart of Shanghai – the People’s Square.

Great View

I happen to visit this hotel days ago and took the following pictures:

shanghai-cafe.38-marriott.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The Cafeteria of JW Marriott is located on the 38th floor with fantastic view. The four directions of the hotels are all wonderful since it is located exactly at the center of Shanghai.

shanghai-buildings.view-marriot.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Looking southward, you can see the high buildings are raising all across the city. The building in the middle is the famous Hongkong Plaza.

Confusing Elevators

Since the building was not designed to be a hotel at the very begining, the elevators and the grand halls on the grand floor were not designed to accommodate a hotel. When I entered the lobby of Tomorrow Square for the first time, I doubt – is this a hotel? There is only about 50 sq. meters in the lobby – the smallest lobby I have ever seen. There is no logo for the hotels either. I asked the bell boy – yes. Only the presence of a bell boy secured me to believe this is a hotel.

From one of the two elevators adjustance to the building entrance, we arrived at the 38th floor, the real lobby of the hotel. To be honest, this lobby is not large also. The elevators are equiped with door lock that only a guest with the room IC card can use the elevators to room levels.

Location

399 Nanjing West Road Shanghai, 200003 China

Phone: 86 21-53594969 Fax: 86 21-63755988

Map

Google Map

Invalid Login on My MovableType

As some of you may have noticed, my site experienced technical difficulties yersterday. The comment system didn’t work. You will see Entry with ID “xx” does not exisit or page not found or other error messages. This lasted for about 20 hours.

For me, when I try to logon using my user name and password into MovableType, I got the following error:

“Invalid Login”

It seemed I have typed the wrong username and password, which I was very sure to be correct.

I tried the recover password in MovableType function but was told the user “Jian Shuo Wang” does not exist.

Wired

I was really scared and backed up everything immediately. I tried a lot of methods, including restore my previous backups to the server. These does not work. After that, I know something wrong with the server software, instead of my database files.

Answers have been Given

I should search with Google for “Invide Login” and MovableType earlier. Actually, this problem is descrbied in user mannual of MovableType already. According to the troubleshooting secton:

I changed hosts, and now I can’t log in to Movable Type

When you change hosting providers (or just move to a different server at the same provider), it is possible that the two servers have different versions of the Berkeley DB library; this is the library that Movable Type uses to store your data. When you copy the DB files from one host to another, if the two hosts have different versions of Berkeley DB, the new host will not be able to read the files from the old host.

This can be fixed by converting the DB files over to the format used by the new library version; this is accomplished in several different ways, depending on the Berkeley DB versions involved. The files that need to be converted are all of the files in your db directory whose filenames end in either .db or .idx (the .lock files do not need to be converted).

The Server Administrator Upgraded the Dataase Driver

It turned out that the server administrator has upgraded the database driver on the server. I checked the system with mt-check.cgi and got the following result:

Movable Type [mt-check.cgi]

SYSTEM INFORMATION:

Current working directory: E:/customer/wangjianshuo

Operating system: MSWin32

Perl version: 5.6.0

(Probably) Running under cgiwrap or suexec

CHECKING FOR REQUIRED MODULES:

HTML::Template (version >= 2)…

Your server has HTML::Template installed (version 2.6).

Image::Size…

Your server has Image::Size installed (version 2.992).

File::Spec (version >= 0.8)…

Your server has File::Spec installed (version 0.8).

CGI::Cookie…

Your server has CGI::Cookie installed (version 1.16).

CHECKING FOR DATA STORAGE MODULES:

The following modules are used by the different data storage options in

Movable Type. In order run the system, your server needs to have at least

one of these modules installed.

DB_File…

Your server has DB_File installed (version 1.806).

DBD::mysql…

Your server does not have DBD::mysql installed. DBI and

DBD::mysql are required if you want to use the MySQL database

backend. Please consult the installation instructions for help

in installing DBD::mysql.

DBD::Pg…

Your server does not have DBD::Pg installed. DBI and DBD::Pg

are required if you want to use the PostgreSQL database

backend. Please consult the installation instructions for help

in installing DBD::Pg.

DBD::SQLite…

Your server does not have DBD::SQLite installed. DBI and

DBD::SQLite are required if you want to use the SQLite database

backend. Please consult the installation instructions for help

in installing DBD::SQLite.

CHECKING FOR OPTIONAL MODULES:

The following modules are optional; if your server does not have these

modules installed, you only need to install them if you require the

functionality that the module provides.

LWP::UserAgent…

Your server has LWP::UserAgent installed (version 1.73).

SOAP::Lite (version >= 0.5)…

Either your server does not have SOAP::Lite installed, or the

version that is installed is too old. SOAP::Lite is optional;

it is needed if you wish to use the MT XML-RPC server

implementation. Please consult the installation instructions

for help in installing SOAP::Lite.

File::Temp…

Your server does not have File::Temp installed. File::Temp is

optional; it is needed if you would like to be able to

overwrite existing files when you upload. Please consult the

installation instructions for help in installing File::Temp.

Image::Magick…

Your server has Image::Magick installed (version 5.26).

Your server has all of the required modules installed; you do not need to

perform any additional module installations. Continue with the installation

instructions.

I cannot remember the previous version number, but it was obviously not 1.806 – this string seems so strange to me.

The Fix

The fix was easy – to run db_upgrade command on all *.db and *.idx.

“Run db_upgrade?” It is easy to say! The db_upgrade can be easily get on a Linux or Unix server. Where can I get db_upgrade command from a Windows system?

I searched the Internet and didn’t got an answer. The final fix was, not surprisingly, I asked for help from my friend Eric. He opened an account on his Linux server for me. I was not skilled enough to transfer data from Windows to Linux yet. So I opened FTP service on another Windows 2003 server, transfered all my *.db and *.idx files to that server, download it from the Linux server – thank God that the TCP/IP is working on the Linux. Run the db_upgrade *.db *.idx command at the folder containing the database files. Then transfer the new files back via the FTP server. It worked like a charm. The nightmare of the dabase problem ended.

Importance of Backup

Many articles are avaiable on Installation of MovableType. However, I didn’t see anyone talking about backup of MovableType. I suggest the following backup approach.

1. Export the Entries. On the MovableType console, click Import/Export from the left navigation bar and click Export Entries From <your blog name> and you see the HTML code. Do not directly click File -> Save as…. to save it. Instead, click View -> Source Code. After the codes are loaded in notepad, click Save on File menu to save it. I am using the naming convension of yyyymmdd-blogname-weekly.backup.txt to save the files.

Special note: Please check the exported files to make sure there is no lines with more than seven dashes “-”. Dashes from the begining of the line has sepecial meanings. So replace any seperator in comments or entry bodies like “”

2. Save all the .db and .idx files in your database folders. There should be 53 files of them. The .lock files always has 0 bytes in it and don’t need backup.

Traffic Control in Shanghai

To continue my story about the traffic ticket I got yesterday; I am going to tell the story of traffic control in Shanghai. There are obviously many interesting ways to keep the traffic, making the roads in the city a maze land for drivers.

The Expensive Plate

Raising the expense to get a car number plate is one of the most significant ways. Although there is hot debate in China around the policy that controls the number of cars by raising the cost of ownership, the car plate price is still going high. A car plate costs at least 38500 RMB in August. The price went down for a while in Sept at lowest success bid of 2800 RMB. I don’t know the lowest successful bid price of this month – the bid was held yesterday.

The Single Passes

Many roads in downtown Shanghai is single pass only. For example, the Tian Yao Qiao Rd. near where I work is a single pass road – cars can only goes from north to south. I bet the number of single pass road is almost the same as the two way roads in downtown Shanghai.

Unfortunately, the maps widely available do not mark these roads. Even the maps specially designed for drivers cannot effectively mark these roads. The rapid change in the road infrastructure force the tourism map to publish a new copy every three month to reflect the road changes, not to mention the driver’s map. The road, for example, the Nandan Road, opening for one direction only will be changed to open to the opposite direction without notice. I felt it so hard to survive in the city.

Restricted cards

There are four types of cars that are restricted in the city.

  • Cars driven by new drivers (after get the driver’s license within one year) – I am in this category.

  • Cars with plates issued outside Shanghai. (It can be tell from the number on the plate)
  • Empty taxi
  • Cars with 1200cc or smaller engines

These cars cannot use the elevated highway in the rush hours (maybe from 7:30 – 9:30, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM). So it is impossible to use the newly built Lupu bridge. I can only use the Dapu Road Tunnel, the Nanpu Bridge and the Yanan East Rd. Tunnel. (see the map)

Left Turn Forbidden

At many intersections, left turn is forbidden. At the intersection between Cao Bao Road and Long Wu Road, for example, there is even a rule that cars can only turn left or right at the intersection, but cannot go straight forward. Many car drivers get the tickets at this place – I think not many people, especially for new drivers, can understand this strange rule.

Thank God that that there are not many “right turn” forbidden roads yet. :-)

The Placement of the Signs

How can I get to know all these rules? I like to talk with taxi drivers and ask their suggestions. Guess what? They told me, “You have to keep several hundreds RMB in your pocket for one year when you drive. When a policeman stops you and give you a ticket, you know that you have done something wrong. Remember it and avoid the mistake.” “You have to go through this painful time in Shanghai. There is no shortcut.”

Poor me. What they suggested is very reasonable. There IS a sign saying the rule of “Odd weekday for odd numbers and even weekday for even numbers” at the Chongqing North Road, but if I don’t drive onto the road, I cannot see the sign. After I see the sign, I also see the policemen standing below the sign. When I see the policeman, I already see him pointing his finger to me and asked me to stop. :-( Learn from mistake is an inevitable way to drive in Shanghai.

The traffic sign forbidding the new car drivers are placed at the entrance of the elevated highways. I bet when drivers see the plate, it is already to late to change the lane to the other one leading to the surface road.

The Roads Are not Straight

The road map of Shanghai is already a big maze – even for people reading the maps. The roads are designed to be curve. It is hard to say the direction of a road. For example, the Hua Shan Road goes north from Xujiahui, and then goes directly eastward, then goes to north again. So in Shanghai, turning right twice does not mean you are returning to the original direction. Many times, I am confused to see the two roads has more than one interactions. Haha. It is so interesting.

New Job – Road Guide!

At the entrance of all major express ways to Shanghai, such as the A8 (from Hangzhou) and A11 (from Nanjing), you will see a lot of people with a new occupation – Road Guide. They hold a big advertisement plate saying: Road Guide – 10 RMB or 20 RMB.

Guess what service they offer? They can get onto your car and help you to get through the big maze of the city. Many drivers from outside Shanghai will hire a guide to go with them. The service fee for the guide certainly is compensated by eliminating the traffic tickets and the time spend on the wrong way.

Drove to Songjiang University City

Songjiang

I heard about the University city in Songjiang. Driving along the Caobao Rd., Husong Rd, I get there after one and half hour – actually, it should only take 50 minutes, but the terrible traffic jam at the Zhongchun Rd. intersection held us there for about 40 minutes. The new campus is very beautiful – we were so impressed to see the completely new buildings there. At least four universities has moved or expanded there from their campus in downtown.

shanghai.songjiang-donghua.univ-cover.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-dustbin-univ.city.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-exp.building-before.lake.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-exp.building-front.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-steps-univ.city.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

shanghai.songjiang-jianshuo-w.car.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Me and the car.

My First Ticket

I got my first ticket today at the Chongqing South Road. The roads in Shanghai is so confusing – there are so many single pass roads along with time-based pass roads. Taking Chongqing Road S. as an example, only cars with odd plate numbers can pass on Mon, Wed, Fri and those with even numbers can only pass on Tues, Thur, Sat. :-( I learnt this when I entered the road and saw the notice, under the notice was the policeman.

shanghai-ticket-odd.even.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Cold Shanghai and Hot Hotmail

Cold Shanghai

Shanghai became cold from yesterday. Compared to the hot weather this September, it is hard to believe it is the same city. I wore T-shirt for the whole summer and just changed to shirt yersterday. However, the sudden drop in temperature gave me a big surprise. It was really cold last night. I was almost frozen before I found a taxi and escaped into the warm cab. So I withdraw my suggestions to those coming to Shanghai – at night, you need to wear coat instead of shirt. :-)

Hotmail inaccessible in China

According my a lot of my friend, they cannot access hotmail.com via China Telecom – the major ISP in China. People get very confused. They still can access MSN Messenger, just to see the number in mail box keeps increasing but cannot read it, or delete it. This has been lasted for quite a while. Along Hotmail is the Yahoo!Messenger. Lots of my friends encountered technical difficulties to connect to that service. Is there any relationship between this and the Google Ban?

Hand-Made Map of Pudong Area

Pudong Map

The result of last Saturday’s driving experience raises my interest in the Pudong Area. After I get off the Dapuqiao Tunnel, which is one of the 10 tunnel/bridges connecting the Pudong and Puxi, the roads become wider and the car speed raised dramatically. The road infrastructure has been well established. I practices a lot of time to get the most important roads out of the Pudong Area. To learn the roads in Pudong is just the same experience as I learnt the roads in Puxi when I first came here in 1995. I still remember the excitement when I realized Huaihai road and Nanjing road are paralle. This should be the most basic knowledge for any people living in Shanghai.

However, the situation for roads in Pudong is totally different. I bet 9 out of 10 people around me cannot tell the relationship between Yang Gao Road and Dong Fang Road, or the Zhang Yang Road – are they parallel, or intersecting? At least I didn’t know before. Now, I have successful drew the following map from my memory. After I can draw a map of a place without reference another map, I can declare that I know that place.

map-main.road-pudong.PNG

© Jian Shuo Wang

Here is the real map, showing the Jinxiu Road near the Century Park. I am personally interested in the houses there.

map-jinxiu.rd-inc.centary.park.jpg

Credit: Smi.stn.sh.cn

Updated: Interactive Map June 4, 2004

What to scroll the Shanghai map? Try the map below. Click on the arrows to navigate the map.

Why I Added Google Adsense to My Blog

You may discover that from today (Oct 22, 2003), the Google Adsense begin to appear on my website. It is typically a banner like the one shown under the Ad section on this page.

Experiment

I am just doing experiment to see if the Google’s newest technology works on my site. So far, the result is satisfactary. The advertisement served is pretty relavent to the content of my page and is not that annoying.

Ad Placement

Actually, I hate to bring the advertisement into this site, since I am passionate to provide more information about Shanghai and life here just because I love to do it. I am just conducting the experiment to see how it works and how much revenue it will bring. :-) I’d like to keep the banner to the second half of my content – after the article I created, so it should still be acceptable. What do you feel?

I tried to use all the layout of Google Adsense:

  • 468 x 60 Banner

  • 120 x 600 Skyscraper
  • 728 x 90 Leaderboard
  • 300 x 250 Inline rectangle

Finally, I choosed the smallest one – the 468 x 60 banner which serve only up to two sites. It looks more decent and fits into the design of my pages.

Andersj mentioned the idea to show the advertisement only on certain pages older than one month, so frequently readers always get fresh and ad-free content, and people from search engine will be served with content relative ads.

Still Expect Some USD for the hosting

To be honest, I still expecting to see money coming in from Google Adsense. At least, it may pay off for the domain names, the disk space. I always feel lack of disk space when I what to share something, like the Alcatel OT715 Mobile Software Suite. It does not make such sense for me to pay everything just to help others. :-)

PVG: Location of Maglev Station

Maglev is really hot recently. I can tell from the number of emails I received asking about the operation of Maglev. There is no such kind of good information on the web yet.

In the last few months, I have collected some and shared in the following articles:

More articles can be found at PVG Category page (PVG is the international air code for Pudong Airport)

Recent Operation

Now the Maglev has started to take passengers at Pudong Airport and drop them off at Long Yang Road Station. The price for single trip is 75 RMB.

Location of Maglev Station

Steve asked:

Is the way to the maglev train from the arrivals area clearly marked? Are there signs in English as well as other languages.

Well. It may not be easy for people to find the station. Since there is not sign for the Maglev yet at the International Arrival Hall. You will get very confused when you get there. It is another proof of the poor usability of Pudong Airport. I feel it is my responsibility to post some pictures about how to get to the Maglev station.

After you get out of the International Arrivals Exit (shown below), find the sign pointing to Parking. It is on the second floor of the airport. You can arrive there either by using the escalator on the right or the elevator in front of the gate.

After you arrive on the second floor of the airport, follow the sign to the parking lot. Then you will see a long bridge from the airport to the parking lots. It is shown in the picture below:

shanghai-maglev-bridge.to.maglev.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

After you enter the long hallway, you will see the first sign on the top pointing to Maglev. You can see the sign of Maglev Entrance with both English and Chinese name. The icon screen-maglev-sign.JPG is interesting.

shanghai-maglev-entrance-sign.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

After you arrive the end of this hallway, you have entered the building of Maglev Station. There is even a KFC restraunant there. It may be good choice if you are really hungry after the long trip.

shanghai-maglev-kfc.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below is the innovative roof of the Maglev Station.

shanghai-maglev-roof.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

Relationship between the Maglev Station and the Pudong Airport

Actually, the two buildings are seperate, but connected with a bridge. See my diagram below:

screen-pvg.and.maglev-map.PNG

I happen to find out another picture I took after the plane just departed on my trip to Xiamen.

shanghai.pudongairport-birdeye-with.names.PNG

It is highly appreciated if someone can share with others about your REAL experience to take the Maglev train – I haven’t get a chance to give it a try yet.

screen-maglev-schedule.png