Korea: The Bandwitdh Capital of the World?

Today, I found this piece of news about broadband in Korea. This is one of my interest recently. Please read this first.

In Seoul, the broadband age is in full swing – online games have become a national sport, and cybercafes are the new singles bars.

And the numbers are impressive ?South Korea has the highest per capita broadband penetration in the world. Slightly more than half of its households have high-bandwidth connections, compared to less than 10 percent in the US. The growth in broadband has surged in the last three years from a few hundred thousand subscribers to 8.5 million

As luck would have it, urban apartment dwellers have a lot of broadband capacity right under their noses, courtesy of Kepco, the public power utility, which developed a network of fiber-optic cables for its own use years ago. In 1996, South Korea allowed Kepco to lease the unused 90 percent of its capacity, giving upstart providers a cheap, instant last-mile solution. Sharp competition with Korea Telecom, which the government forced to open its network in the early ’90s, has driven broadband prices down to the world’s lowest levels. All-you-can-eat service is available for as little as $25 a month.

I partly disagree with the report on some details.

South Korea has the highest per capita broadband penetration in the world? No.

According to Nielsen/NetRatings report, Hong Kong seems to be the top region in the world, with amazing 66.6% of people accessing Internet using broadband. German 45%, Switherland 43%…. United States ranked low with 17% broadband access, not less than 10%.

… drives broadband prices down to the world’s lowest level? Maybe.

It is true that it is of the world’s lowest level, but it is not the lowest price in the world. In Shanghai, ADSL (type of DSL) charges 130 RMB ($15.7) each month. For 100M broadband, like GWBN, it costs only 100 RMB ($12) for one month.

Korea did great job in broadband deployment? Yes.

It is amazing to see how Korea is wired with broadband. The online game, PC Baangs, and the certification for buildings…. all sound exciting.

Much more problems ahead for broadband deployment in Shanghai

I checked local media to find the comparasion data in Shanghai. At last, I found this one:

Internet users in Shanghai exceeded one million last week. 61.7% in urban area chose traditional dial-up, the other 38.3% chose broadband.

source: Jie Fang Daily (Chinese site)

However, the situation here is not that good than in Korea. Another report from Eastday.com (Chinese site), only 5% of the residents are subscribers of broadband. News about the finanical difficulties for some broadband companies is full of media.

ODP – Not As Good as Zeal.com

… or my experience of becoming an ODP (Open Directory Project) editor.

Inspired by andersja’s Optimizing Movable Type (part 3) – get more readers , I sent my blog site to DMOZ.org.

While you’re there – consider signing up as an editor: it’s easy to sign up, there are lots of tools available for you to do your editing, and loads of support to be had from other editors. — andersja

This is a cool idea, so I signed up today to be an editor of http://dmoz.org/Regional/Asia/China/Provinces_and_Regions/Henan/Luoyang/ catalog. This is the city I was born and I’d like to help to build up the portal. It is strange that there is only two sites listed under this category.

I am interested in usability analysis recently and tend to review the usibility of all web site I come across. This is no exception this time – I found it easy to locate the link of “Become an editor”. However, it is confusing that the notice of “This category needs an editor” are seperate from the Adverstisement of “Become an editor”. Why not merge them together by simply say “This category needs an editor. Apply now.” with hyper link of application form?

For the application form, it seems normal, like thousands of similar pages. However, I am quite confused by the section to submit 2 or 3 URLs. This is the road-block to submit my review form. What I am going to do is to submit a review form so I can continue to contribute to the community, but the form designer may thing I must have prepared everything and be ready for this question. To continue, I have to grasp some sites very quickly and submitted it. To be honest, I think the quality shown by these three samples are not the quality I will contribute. It is much lower, since I was not concentrated on that.

How to improve?

There should be seperated into two steps. The first step, you register a user name and password, so you can become a candidate in the database immediately. Later, in order to get reviewed to become an editor, you have plenty of time to come back to complete the sample URL question. This makes more sense.

Zeal.com is doing a better job

Zeal.com is doing the same thing as DMOZ.org. Zeal obviously knows better about community then its competitors. Zeal.com does not only judge whether you are qualified to become a contributor or editor, it also help you to learn and become qualified. The Zeal.com provide guidelines to educate community members to write good descriptions and put sites into the right categories. It also setup the mechanism for peer-to-peer review. The quality quotient reflect the qualify of a contributor, which helps to improve the overall quality of the dictionary.

“Listing may take anything from 2 weeks to several months, so once you’ve submitted, just try to forget about the whole thing… ;-)” andersja said

I cannot agree with you more on that. Submission for free or volunteer based communities should never be too serious. Just submit and forget. It will make life much easier.

Network Infrustucture in my Home in Shanghai

11:50 PM

I have been asked about how I can access Internet. For friends in Shanghai, they are curious about the broadband, which is new to the city.

Dial-up: Basically, residents in Shanghai have lots of choices for Internet access from home.

  • The China Telecom is the largest and most popular provider of dial-up access.

    Telephone #: 8163

    username: 8163

    password: 8163

    The Internet service fee will be charged to the caller’s telephone bill. This is very convenience. We don’t need to apply a user account. (What about other regions in the world? Writhe comments and let us hear you.)

  • Their there many other ISPs are providing Internet Access card. Users buy the cards and can dial the number on the card for predefined period of Internet Access time. It is also good and cheaper than 8163 service.


There are many service providers are competing to gain more market share here in Shanghai

  • China Telecom is selling ADSL – the method to use normal telephone line to transmit digital signals, though greatly speed-up the data transition.
  • Cable TV providers are persuading users to use cable modem to access Internet.
  • China Unicom, which don’t have the fixed line telephone are using wireless technology to gain its market. User with wireless LAN adaptor can subscribe to their services.
  • Other broadband providers like Great Wall Broadband – the provider I chose. They are using traditional LAN technologies for users in a residential area.

Let me share some facts of the broadband I am using.

Speed The inbound network cable provides 100M access to other servers on the LAN, and provide pretty good Internet access rate (not very sure about the exact bandwidth now) I tried to download some files, the transfer rate displayed on downloading dialog box is typically 40 KB/sec to 100 KB/sec.

IP address GWBN is providing dynamic, real IP address.

  • Dynamic IP GWBN uses DHCP to allocate IP addresses on a LAN. Heroically, the IP may change. However, because currently the number of subscribers is far less than number of IPs in the IP pool, the IP addresses for my computers never changed. So I can safely direct my domain http://home.wangjianshuo.com to my IP address
  • Real IP Unlike China Telecom broadband and other broadband who are using NAT (Network Address Translation), GWBN provides real IP address. I queried my IP address in www.apnic.net, the result looks like this

    inetnum: –

    netname: GWBN-SH-COMMUNITY145


    country: CN

    admin-c: JM97-AP

    tech-c: JM97-AP

    mnt-by: MAINT-CNNIC-AP

    changed: mengjian@gwbn.net.cn 20020715


    source: APNIC

I guess the so-called “# 145 RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY” refers to Vanke Waltz Garden. That means 773 families are sharing the 255 IP addresses. It is pretty good, since only about 5% of the residents are subscribers now.

I randomly checked some IP from to and found them all belong to GWBN. It seems the company has lots of IP addresses for the broadband services.

Campus Network Application Needed for China Universities

10:09 PM

Recently, I am involved in the discussion with some students from East China Normal University[Chinese site]. Most of them are computer science or related majors. Billy Qiu is one of them. He is a talented guy who actively initialized the MSN Messenger chat with me the day before yesterday.

After we discussed, the technical club members are going to setup some interest groups on campus to discuss technology trends and share technical resources.

Actually this is a very good idea, just as Apple’s User Group and Internet .NET Associate, the local interest groups will highly help the participants to learn technologies.

During our discussion on the proposals, Billy also shared some concerns.

“They (the students) dont like to do logistics & admin work. What they really care, and really interested is just the core technology. Knowing about the GAME rule, following the rule, making proposal, and calling group meetings… etc are very boring, they think.” Billy said.

I fully understand Billy’s concern. It reminded me about the time when I was in Shanghai Jiaotong University[Chinese site]. It is back to 1995-1999. At that time, Internet access is not popular and there is very few resources on intranet. It changes greatly recently. Take a look at Shanghai Jiao Tong University:

  • Students dorms are connected with LANs.
  • BBS is more popluar (it has been popular since 1993) (See SJTU BBS[Chinese site])
  • Students are enjoying movies on campus network

Despit all this improvement, the campus of nowadays in China are still far behind the pace of global IT in terms of electronic communications. I’d like to see some students on campus really think hard and think out of box, inspire others with the possibility IT may bring to their lives.

A lot of powerful tools has been avaiable for online collaboration. For example, Blogger, or knowledge managemetn tools such as SharePoint Team Services, and other online collaboration tools are very good for use on campus. During the process of implementation, students will learn a lot.

If I have to learn something, I learn it by doing.


My thoughts for all the borthers

  • Knowing about the GAME rule – Good thing is, IT can help to greatly simplify the game rule. Just check project like zeal.com, which used the system to simplified the contribution, review, and publish process. No one need to bother to learn the details of the rules. Open Directory Project is another successful colloration project.
  • Following the rule – IT system is will do the logisitic work for you.
  • Making proposal – sorry, you need to do this party
  • Calling group meetings… – Why bother call so many meetings? Online collaration will do most of the job

Later, I found there is no classroom reservation system, which can be used to reserve classrooms electronicly. There is no online libary services, which will help to deliver the book you want to your dorm. There is very large space there. I will keep my eyes on their progress and I’d like to see them make great impact using the technologies.

Good luck

Please check Comments below to share your thoughts on the possibilities IT will change students lives.

MovableType Successfully Installed on Windows XP

To be honest, I don’t know too much about Perl. However, to make the best weblog system work – Movable Type, I installed Perl onto my Windows XP machine from scretch. I believe I am not alone to install MT to Windows XP machines – although I believe there will not be too many people doing so – so I’d like to record the steps for other’s reference. It is also a good resource for myself if I need to rebuild the server.


Windows XP

Inetnet Information Server (IIS)

Install Perl on Windows XP

  • Download ActivePerl for Windows XP from ActiveState. At the time I downloaed, the version was ActivePerl 5.6.1 build 633.
  • After registering my user information, I choosed WIndows MSI package, which is 8.31M in size.
  • It took me about 2 minutes and 51 seconds to download – thanks to the broadband provider – China Great Wall Broadband Corp[Chinese site]. I haven’t dreamed of downloading files larger than 5M in 10 minutes before.
  • Install the MSI package. There is no any problem during the installation. I accepted all the defaul settings expect changing the default location from c:\Perl to c:\Program Files\Perl. I believe it is always good to follow the Windows convension instead of seeking for a place in root directory of C:\. This makes the disk hard to manage. Update: I am changing my mind recently. “C:\Program Files” folder is special in terms of Read-only settings and security permissions. Moving programs from their original location to this folder may bring unneccessary trouble if the program has never been tested in this environment.

Download MT source code

  • Download the MT source code from http://www.movabletype.org/download.shtml. It is only 299K in size and took me 5 seconds to get it from the other side of the Pacific.
  • Having MT-2.21.tar.gz on my disk, I met the first problem. I rely heavily on Windows XP to extract all .ZIP files and don’t use WinZip any more, but it seems I need to get my Winzip back. OK. Download a trial version from www.winzip.com and continue.
  • Now all the source code is located in C:\Inetpub\Wwwroot\Mt folder, which can be accessed via http://home.wangjianshuo.com/mt. I am very serious about naming convensions. I cannot bear to put all the files directly into the root folder.

Configure IIS for Perl and perl script with .CGI extension to work

  • I know it is wired for more green hand to have CGI run on Windows computer. At this time, if anyone access http://home.wangjianshuo.com/mt/mt.cgi, it will prompt to download the file instead of see the result. I configured IIS to recognize .CGI extension just as it recognize .ASP or .SHTML.
  • In Inetmgr.exe, right click MT folder and select Properties. Click Create button in Application Settings area on Directory tab. Now we have created a seperate application.
  • Click Configure and check the program to parse .pl files. It is C:\program files\perl\bin\perl.exe “%s” %s for my server.
  • Note: The following changes can be changed on website level, no applicaiton level. Click Add and enter the same parsing program (C:\program files\perl\bin\perl.exe “%s” %s for my case) and enter .cgi to Extension text box. Click OK.

Configure MT to work on my site

  • Open MT.cfg
  • Changed the CGIPath to http://home.wangjianshuo.com/mt/
  • Changed DataSource to c:\inetpub\wwwroot\mt\db\ (Alex reminded me that I need to state that you have to create the db folder yourself. The db folder does not exist by default).

Updated: Install additional MT modules

Before you can run your MovableType, you still need to install more required ActivePerl components. As stated in Checking for Perl Modules section of MovableType Installation menual, you need to run http://home.wangjianshuo.com/mt/mt-check.cgi.

At the time I downloaded ActivePerl, it includes most of the required modules except the following:




Typically, you need to follow these steps:

1. Start -> Run

2. Type “cmd” and click “OK”

3. In DOS command line, enter “PPM” (without quotation marks)

4. When PPM> prompt apprears, type “Install HTML-template”

5. Wait until it is installed, then type “Install Image-Size”

6. Type “Install DB_File”

7. Quite PPM program.

Thanks for Jeff for pointing this out. I forgot to add this item before.

Updated again Fail to Install DB_File

If you see this error message when installing DB_File

PPM> Install DB_File

Install package ‘DB_File?’ (y/N): Y

Installing package ‘DB_File’…

Error installing package ‘DB_File’: Read a PPD for ‘DB_File’, but it is not inte

nded for this build of Perl (MSWin32-x86-multi-thread)

You may try to follow the steps below:

Thanks for Samuel Wan for pointing this out for me. I have also wrote another blog entry on this: DB_File Error When Installing MovableType

Complete the installation

  • After all the steps are perfomed, there is very little work left. Just follow the installation instruction and it works very well.
  • The user manual is also very good resource to go ahead to configure the MT system.

Updated Sending Email on Windows XP

Sending email on Unix system seems easy. Just configure the sendmail command and it will work. Typically you don’t have any SMTP server that you can configure MT to send to. To port MovableType on Windows system (Windows 2000 or Windows XP or Windows .NET Server), you will need to configure the SMTP services of IIS.

  • Check you have IIS install with SMTP service. Start -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs -> Add/Remove Windows Component. (or simply Start -> Run -> AppWiz.cpl). Ensure IIS is selected. You may also want to click Details… button to see if SMTP is installed within IIS.
  • Make sure SMTP is started. Start -> Run -> InetMgr.exe. Make sure SMTP is up and running.
  • Configure On properity sheet of SMTP Viture Server, click Relay button on Access tab. The default setting is “Only the list below”. Add the IP address of the server your MovableType is hosted to the list. Or, select “All expect the list below”. The later one is not recommended since it may open a door for spammers to use your server to send spams. (Microsoft has more detailed articles on configuration of SMTP Service.)
  • Configure MovableType to send mail using local SMTP server. Uncomment the lines below in mt.cfg file.

    MailTransfer smtp

    SMTPServer localhost

    Replace localhost with the host name of your SMTP server if you are hosting the servers on two machines.


  • I’d like to thank Geo, who writes for www.russianlegs.com. He inspired me with the idea of WebLog. After talking with him on the issue of Google’s block in China, I was aware of the weblog trends and joined it.
  • I also want to thank andersja, the owner of anderrsja’s blog. His site on weblog are very well done. I learnt a lot on categories and the pertential usage of MovableType from his site.

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.