I Bought Myself a MacBook Air

I passed by Apple Store in downtown Palo Alto, and bought myself a MackBook Air 13” 256G notebook. I have been a fun of iPhone, and want to continue my explore to other Mac product. I wanted to buy iPad 2 initially, but at second thought, I may use a laptop more frequently iPad – a physical keyboard is the key to me.

Sense of Relief

I am currently a proud Apple user. How strange it is if you put this into perspective – I have been working in Microsoft for 7 years. It is not politically right to use Apple product, or Linux product. Now I am a big fan of PHP, Linux, cheap scalable servers, and enjoys Apple. Of cause, for search, Google.

That is an interesting topic about how much a person should bear the identity of his/her company. Not working for Microsoft actually gives me freedom to try different things, and holds, well, hopefully, more balanced view.

For a person who work for a company, but enjoy using its competitors’ product, shall I admire his/her openness, and wisdom, or shall I blame him for less of ownership, or don’t have passion needed to improve a product?

Which is the right way to go? I find it hard to answer.

Humanity is Optimist-ism

It is human’s basic need to feel part of something, to belong to something bigger than him/herself. That is maybe the source why so many people like the product, and uses the product of his/her own company only. That is very nature. I would assume that the “narrowness” of people who stay in one environment, and the “fake sense of confidence” (things like both side of a football match believes “We will definitely win”) are very key to humanity. People always over-estimate him/herself’s ability, and over estimate how likely to win for his/her own team/company/country, or others, you name it.

For example, if you ask people about how good looking they are, and rate it from 1 to 10, with 5 as average. I believe the surveyed average should be above 5, which won’t be true. Over-optimistic!

Ask people about how much chance they may break a leg? The ratio should be lower than actual.

Ask people how well they can do math? The same thing, the surveyed average should be higher than average. Over-optimistic!

I am happy that I am not over-optimistic to Microsoft product today, but I don’t feel about not-being-so 6 years ago.

MacBook Air

Well. I will keep the box unopen, and try it out later tomorrow night.

God is Favorable to People in Bay Area

I am here for few days. The bay area is always nice – sunny (except yesterday, when it rained a lot). The view of the bay area seems to be very stable, at least for a visitor like me. I don’t see new buildings, and I don’t see too much changes, event the name of the shops on the University Ave, in Palo Alto.

The change of this place is all about the inside. The up and down of companies, the shift of talent from one to another (like to Google, and to Facebook), and the sentiment of financial marketing all change greatly, and that changes (part of) the world. You just don’t see it from the buildings, and environment.

The whole area is a nice place to be in. I haven’t been to many places. I am familiar with Redmond/Seattle area, and I know bay area well. Visited New York once, and some other cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego. So far, nothing is like San Francisco and bay area – the weather, the spread out of the city, and even the traffic. I love the bay area most.

The God seems to be very favorable to this area. Not many places (at least based on my limited travel experience) has the best of a lot of aspects. Just to name a few.

  • Good weather

  • Sea, sea shore, and beach!
  • Bay that you can sail.
  • Lakes
  • Mountains
  • Wine (Napa)
  • Hi-tech companies, and great job opportunities (Silicon Valley!)
  • Financial center (San Francisco, kind of)
  • Good location with easy access to the world (port, west coast to connect to Asia, in the middle of west coast shoreline)
  • Diversified culture

Don’t Trust Travel Agencies

I need to change my flight back to China earlier.

I called ctrip, where I booked the flight (I should do a better job in getting around them). Their term:

Sorry. We cannot do it since it is international flight. You have to give up your back leg, and book a new ticket. If you just change the date, you need to pay 1500 RMB change fee. Let me check what a single trip ticket from San Francisco to Shanghai is. That can be very expensive

Well. I decided not to change, but later, I thought of American Airline, the carrier. I called them, and they said:

Everything has been changed as you wish. BTW, since there is a change in the price of your new route, we are giving $400 back to you

Hmm… For the same question, maybe we need to try different channels.

Hello from SFO

Hello, I am here, stayed at Foster City, CA this time.

The trip was long. I transferred at Los Angeles International Airport via American Airlines. I didn’t write it before, but I really like San Francisco over Los Angeles, and I enjoy SFO much better than LAX.

Los Angeles

Interestingly, my impression of Los Angeles was all about being hungry. The last time I did the trip with Wendy from the south up to LA on I-5, the only reason we took exist at the downtown was, we were so hungry because we didn’t have lunch and it was 3:30 PM. So LA has been a place to eat when we are hungry. Later, when we spent the last night at LAX, it was the same. We wanted to have dinner, and since we stayed near LAX airport, we took the shuttle to the airport hoping to get some thing to eat. Again, to our disappointment, most terminals won’t open for people who are not traveling.

Over-night Flight

So far, I like the schedule of AA182, over UA858. The flight leaves Shanghai on 9:45p, and arrives at LAX at 1830p. The flight was a long one but since it overlaps with the sleeping time of my body, I happily fell asleep all the way until one hour before arrival. The long flight became invisible for me. If there is a chance, I will choose this flight the next time – flying at night, and arriving at night.

New Things

Shanghai to San Francisco has been a routine route for me, and by changing a flight (well, I was forced to because of late booking), and changing an airline, changing a time, I experienced something new. New things makes people happy (well, at least for the ENFP like myself). Looking forward to seeing new things in the future.

Time to sleep. Good night.

I am Going to Sillicon Valley

I am checking my Checklist for US Trip I prepared a long time ago. Interestingly, I found around July 1 is the most frequently traveled date I have for US trip. This time, since I booked later than I should, UA858, the flight I don’t enjoy too much, was fully booked. So I am trying a new airline – America Airlines. The departure time is as late as 21:45 so I deferred to packing till now, which is 5:00 PM already.

So, my friends in the bay area, shoot me an email at jianshuo at hotmail dot com if you want to meet up. My schedule is pretty packed, but I am always willing to spend time with passionate people in the bay area, even at the cost of my sleep time.

Surround Yourself with Passionate People

I first read this sentence in Zen Habits. Leo, the writer of the blog, is obviously a passionate person.

I had a good conversation with Ann in Starbucks at Liangyang area. From time to time, I meet with people like her, and get excited myself, even when talking about my own stuff. For example, Bob Kagel is one of them. When talking with him, well, to be more exact, to be talking to him, and with him listening and asking questions, you get passionate about what you are doing. That is a magic. He once mentioned that the less control you seek, the more powerful you are. It is that type of passionate people. Mark Zurkerburg is another type of passionate people that you don’t feel it when you talk with him. He is so shy, just like Ben of MovableType. But that type of person also impress me a lot by how “insistent” he is for certain things, which he has passion in.

Pattern #1 – Passionate People

In VC world, there is a term of “Pattern Recognition”. People don’t know future, but the successful pattern repeats itself, all the time. The type of feeling I have when talking with great people has emerge as a pattern, that I can recognize.

I often talk with people that I believe has great skill, or with high titles. But I don’t recognize the pattern, and I just feel it may be waste of time in the future, if I do not feel the passion from them about what they are doing.

When I do the reflection, I feel Yifan, and many other children are very passionate people themselves. He is passionate to stepping into water after rain, and he is so passionate to cars, and tracks. That is also a pattern, that can be recognized in adult – as passionate as a child.

Remember that pattern, and repeat that pattern in the future, just as we did in the Design Pattern in computer programs. I need to prioritize my life around spending time with passionate people.

P.S. You can’t discover new lands until you have courage to lose sight of the shore…

IKEA Beicai Store Photos

Yifan wanted to visit IKEA, so we went there, the new store, which is opening on June 23, 2011. Here are the photos.

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

shanghai.ikea-parking.direction.jpg

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

shanghai.ikea-parking.jpg

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

shanghai.ikea-store.front.jpg

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

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Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang on iPhone 4

The store is bigger than the current IKEA Xujiahui Store. At least it has three stories. The parking area is better, and with better transportation system – the Middle Ring Road provides even better access for bigger areas in Shanghai, and I hope the nearby road can avoid the traffic jam IKEA Xujiahui Store brought to the area.

Excercise Make People Happy

One rule I learnt from blogging was, you have to enjoy the process of writing it, not the result of have something written. For the exercise, it is the same thing. Keeping fit is the goal, and being healthy is the destination, but you have to enjoy doing that, and that is the only way we can keep doing it for a long time.

I did some swim today. Good…

The picture shows the swimming pool of Dahua Jinxiu Holiday Hotel near my home. They offer 80 RMB (14 USD) single entry ticket. I hate to buy monthly or annual card for sports since I don’t leverage it well. Highly recommended for people living around.

BTW, I am 73.4 kg today. Looking forward to lose some weight, and get fitter.

P.S. I want to share a great article to CEOs and Tech Directors of Auren Hoffman (another YLFer): The Power of Great People (why “good enough” won’t cut it). It is a pity that we just saw a great engineer who finally chose to go to Baidu. Well. Keep working hard to find more like him.

Chongming via Shanghai Yangtze Bridge and Tunnel

I visited Chongming with Wendy and Yifan today, so I experienced the Island and the Shanghai Yangtze Bridge and Tunnel. Both are great.

Shanghai Yangtze Bridge and Tunnel

This is another Mega Project in China. The whole project is 25 km long, with 16 km bridge (9 km bridge and the rest are land road), and 9 km of tunnel.

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shanghai.chongming-tunnel-entrance.jpg

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Cost

It cost 50 RMB single way to use the bridge and tunnel. That is about 100 RMB fee to visit Chongming each time. The bridge and tunnel integrate the island to be part of Shanghai.

Closer to Shanghai

Recently, Chongming gives me the feeling of Hainan Island – blue sky, green lands, and good road infrastructure. Since the construction of the island is not strictly controlled, the island is still in good shape.

shanghai.chongming-blue.sky-river.jpg

Driving Direction

At the north end of the S20 (Outer Ring Road), turn to the G40, and the tunnel is right at the starting point of G40 (Shanghai – Xi’an Expressway). The other side of the G40 is connected to G1501 (the Rural Ring Road or formally A30). To get to that point is closer than Pudong Airport for me.

It appears to me that I may visit Chongming very often in the future. It is just a better alternative other than Hangzhou/Suzhou for people in Shanghai.