Notes to the Day

1. Server changed to bluehost.com. They seem good. The transition is smooth (pretty smooth), but I still lost some comments (5?). Feel bad about it.

2. Back from Donews gathering this year. Had wonderful dinner with Friends.

3. Went to Internet cafe again.

4. Focus Group is really helpful.

5. It is better to go to bed now.

Photo of People’s Square Area

The People’s Square area represents big portion of Shanghai’s image. So are its details. Here are two pictures I took the other day.

© Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. Poles on Pedestrains

The flower is the city flower of Shanghai. The city flower is a smart choice. March is the month when white city flowers (Yulan? No idea about English name) boom everywhere.

© Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang. Window of Moore’s Church

Car Insurance in Shanghai

It is time to figure out how to buy another year of car insurance. The new car comes with 2 years of car insurances. It ends this month. I even didn’t notice that.

Car insurance is enforced. It is several thousand RMB per year – not cheap.

People like to ask about living cost in Shanghai. My simple answer is, to live the local live cost less than US, while to live U.S. live in Shanghai causes even higher than U.S.

Car is an example. Car is much more expensive than those in U.S. – a Volkswagon Polo is 10K RMB (or 12 K USD), and everything related to car is more expensive.

I guess that is the reason why Shanghai is ranked as one of the most expensive city for expat – because to play Golf in Shanghai is way far expensive than playing golf in U.S.

P.S. The suspension nightmare is not over yet. The lunarpages.com guy is sending email again, and may want to suspend the site due to the wrong calculation of CPU usage they use. I am thinking about bluehost.com. They are amazing in my first few telephone call – they pick up the phone almost instantly – or to be more exact, within 10 seconds. I’d say it is a little bit better than the 27 minutes expected waiting time from ipowerweb.com

Finally Back from Suspension

You may noticed two days of server outage. Don’t worry. It is another technical support case with lunarpages.com. They like to suspend a site first, and drop you an email that “please contact me”. After that, it seems the guy who suspend it never appeared. So, in the next 48 hours, (or even 56 hours), there were no one response to the ticket. They have educated me that the only thing I can do is to wait, since my future request will cause my ticket to be put into the back of the queue again, causing the delay… So I waited. Finally, I found myself smart (will you call it smart), that I submitted another case, and it was solved quickly (in 30 hours).

Anyway, I feel happen when I see the blueish screen of this blog.

This time, I really learnt to be patient, and this time is not that hard as the previous 10 day server down.

If I Lost it, Then Let it Be…

I found myself never work well with a host company. I moved from ipowerweb.com to lunarpages.com for hosting, but again, I was driven mad. Every time I have to write or talk with a technical support guy, I am completely mad. Every single word I read or hear lead to the thought in my head: “I have to kill someone.”. Just kidding, but it is exactly what I feel.

From March 15, to March 25, it is another 10 days, and the server problem is not solved. I paused for several days for the data to get back. Finally, I gave up. I always cannot work well with technical support from hosting companies, no matter where…

How painful it is to work with someone follow a process, and cross the different time zone. It is hard.

Here are some examples:

1. Every morning, when I check my mail box, I always cannot see my response from lunarpages.com. Then I asked is there any update. Two days later, I was told that “Every time I add a note, the case will be put to the end of the queue again.” So if I am worried, and I need urgent assistant, the more I write, the slower my response will be. OK. I accept this.

2. Although I am worried, I kept patient and don’t touch the case. I expect a response within 24 hours, but two days later, I get another response. So, remember when dealing with a host company, be patient. Plan a 72 hour server down time.

3. Time zone is hard. Sometimes, when I add a note, waiting for the next morning, and only get one note: “Can I verify your identity? What is the last four digits of your credit card”. I replied and wait. Two another day past. Finally, when we reach some agreement for an action, support guys will ask: Can you confirm this? I said “I confirm”, another two days go away.

4. Telephone may helps. If you call, I feel lunarpages.com did wonderful job on telephone support. They only ask me to stay hold for 7 minutes, while on ipowerweb.com, they can easily say: “Expected waiting time is 27 minutes”. I think the definition of “how long is long” in China and America is different. It is unbelievable to have someone wait on telephone for half an hour. Telephone system does not have emotion. People have.

After another 10 drilling experience, I said: OK. Forget about the old entries, and forget about the comment I lost. Let me start from March 25, 2006, and stop working with the guys in lunarpages.com. It is just because my expectation always does not match the host can provide.

My expectation is very clear:

1. Someone response my email with two days.

2. Any very simple server request like backup files, or get a file, should be solved within 7 days.

This expectation has been lowered a lot after working with hosting companies. That is the reason when someone ask my recommendation to hosting companies, I said: It is hard to recommend, since everyone is “bad”. You will get angry with anyone. The only difference is, how angry you are.

On the lost data, If I have to lose it, let it be…

Xiang Yang Market is Closed on June 30

I guess this may be the last entry for the Xiangyangmarket category in this blog. Xiang Yang Market will be offically closed on Jun 30, 2006. The market started with a small market at Huating Road (Metro Changshu Road station), and moved to the current location, and became really big and famous. Since there are too many fake goods there, under the pressure of foreign companies, the government finally closed it (This is my guess of the reasons, not official reasons).

After the market, there is no plan to rebuild it somewhere else. Quoting the term a technical support guy in ipowerweb.com, “It is gone. It is gone, for ever. There is absolutely no way to get it back!” (The guy used the sentence to convinience they have happily deleted every single file I own on their server.)

Currently, according to my friends who visited the market, the majority of the market is closed, with small portion still open. There are many people bringing visitors to their private locations near the market. The fake deal still continues.

Pending for Rolling Back.

This site was rolled back to March 15 by my ISP – Lunarpages. I have sent email to ask for the latest version (March 20). This change is expected to happen in the next 24 hours. All comments (including this post) coming after this post will be erased. So do not comment, or keep a copy of your comment if you do.

Yangtze Hotel is Good

screen-wangjianshuos.pick-logo.pngTo be honest, I am not familiar with hotel in Shanghai at all – I never, ever stayed in any of the hotels, because I live here. Unfortunately, hotel recommendation is the most frequently asked question.

I helped to arrange my friend and his family in Yangtze Hotel yesterday. Today, his feedback to the hotel is really good. So I feel safe to recommend it to my readers.

Name

Yangtze Hotel 扬子饭店

Yangtze is named after the Yangtze River – the longest river in China.

Location

Although I never been to the room of the hotel, one thing I can confirm is, you cannot easily find a hotel that has better location than this one. It is just at the People’s Square, the very center of the city. There is a church beside it. It is just at the No. 2 exit of the Metro Line 1 and #2.

The door of Yangtze Hotel opens just before the door of Raffles City (where I work everyday). It is near to almost everywhere – easily reached via Metro or taxi.

Here is the map.

Price

As of this week (March 13 – March 18), the standard room is 560 RMB (or 70 USD) per night.

The Room

I didn’t see the room myself, but my friend told me there are old style rooms and very modern style rooms. The sink in the modern rooms are made of glass, and there are curtain between the restroom and the bedrooms. They even have computers…. Let me find time to take a look.

The History

Yangtze Hotel looks like a very normal hotel from outside. I even didn’t realize there is a hotel at the gate of my office building. For me, it is only a cheap place to have lunch. We enjoy the fast food of the hotel – 15 RMB for the lunch – not bad.

I checked the history of the hotel on Internet. It has unordinary history. It was built in 1934, and was once named “the third best hotel in the fareast” in old times.

Wow. Let me take pictures of the hotel tomorrow. People always ignore important stuff besides us.

Reservation

Book it via CTRIP: Yangtze Hotel.

Forget about the 1078 RMB listing price. It never charged that high.

Yangtze Hotel

740 HanKou Road, Shanghai 200001

Tel +86 21 6351 7880

Fax +86 21 6351 6974

Email:sales@e-yangtze.com

Website

They have a website: http://www.e-yangtze.com/

If you stayed in the hotel, please share your comment.

P.S. There is always good and cheap motel like Motel 168, and Jinjiang Inn. They are 268 RMB or 168 RMB per night. They are also good – clean, fully equipped, and convenient. The only problem is, they are often fully booked. There are other hotels like this, Sports Hotel is one example.

Taihu! Taihu! Taihu!

You have to visit a place many times to really learn its beauty. It is exactly

true. I fall in love in Hangzhou, in Nanjing, and today, in Taihu. The

Expressway network in the Yangtze Delta extends at the speed I cannot imagine.

The newly built Suzhou – Shanghai Expressway directly connect the Suzhou City

Ring Express and Shanghai A30 Express. Now the riding distance from my home at

Pudong and the Xukou at Taihu is only 120 KM, costing…