I Fixed My Sony P8 Battery

I used to take photos with Sony P8 before my last trip to U.S. The battery of the camera was complete dead. That is the reason I bought another one T10 in Tokyo airport.

However, I just few that T10 is not as good as P8, although it is smaller, with a bigger screen, and resolution is much higher.

Finally, I found out the reason.

P8’s aperture range is F2.8 – F5.6 while T10 is only 3.5. That makes a big difference.

For example, when the object is not briget enough, T10 is more likely to blur than P8.

How to Cure the Battery

I got a trick from my father. It is not professional, but it works. I wrapped the battery with newspaper and a plastic bag, and then put it into my refregirator. After two days, get it out and put it in the room for two days.

Now the battery is back! So far so good, and the charging capacity is almost like the new one.

Hm…. I know it is maybe dangerous, but at least it prove that it IS the battery problem.

I am happy that I can use my bigger Sony P8 again.

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.

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.

Hope for Microsoft Web Effort

I start to use the Windows Live application by Microsoft – I mean the client application tools, not the LIVE.COM services. It gave me much hope about the future of Windows Live.

When I use the first and second version of Windows Live, my comment was: "I see great hope in Microsoft Live product. It shares something in common with many great products from Microsoft – the first two versions are always garbage."

I am happy that I am right again. Although the first two versions of Microsoft Live Writer is not good, this version (version 12) works very well. It simply works without many bugs. I also enjoy using Microsoft Live Mail – using it as a client, the experience is just better than GMail – that is the strength of a desktop application over a web application. The new Microsoft Live Photo Gallery is also doing very well. Comparing to Picasa, I didn’t see significant weakness. Live Photo Gallery is even stronger in sorting according to date.

Jiayou, Microsoft.

Photography Technical Details of Night Scenes

I posted some pictures on the Bund (National Holiday 2007 in Shanghai)

© Jian Shuo Wang

Liping asked:

Jianshou, those pictures are fantastic. I had some difficulty to take sharp images of night scene. How do you take those pictures? Did you use any special settings? Did you use tripod? I have Nikon D50, too.

Posted by: Liping on October 2, 2007 10:42 PM

Let me share my tips of taking the photos. Please note that I am by no means a professional photography, and even didn’t have enough time to think about the technical details. Let me just share what I did, and hopefully it helps.

Technical Details

For the photo shown above, here are the key metrics:

Focal Length: 70.0 mm – this is very long length, the longest in my current lens.

Flash: Not Used – it is completely useless for flash to capture night scene.

Aperture: f/25.0 – very small indeed. This is to ensure the sharp image of the picture. The small it is, the sharper the image is.

Exposure bias: -0.67 – this is very key. Since the auto-exposure meter will take the dark sky into consideration, it makes sense to under-exposure a little bit so the color of the building reveals.

Exposure: Program – this is the [P] mode on the D50 camera.

Exposure time: 8.000s – this is maybe the most important thing. I used exposure time of 8 second. That is after you press the shuttle button, count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. I know, that is very long. This makes it possible for me to use smaller Aperture to get the sharp image.

The Key Challenge – to Hold the Camera Tight

1/60 second is the threshold for most people to hold the camera tight enough. The key challenge for me to take night scenes is to hold the camera tightly as possible, for as long as 8 seconds!

I don’t want to bring a tripod with me. That is huge, and again, I don’t want to be a professional photographer. Even if I do, I don’t want the burden of a tripod ruin my pleasant travel mood.

I always find something, like the pole near the river, or a bench, or even a solid grand. Then put the camera directly onto the solid supporting surface. Then set the exposure to long enough, so even there are some initial small movement of the camera, it won’t impact the imagine too much.

Hope these tips helps.

More Case Study

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

This one uses:

18.00 mm Focal length

10.000s Exposure time

f/16.0 Aperture

Logitech QuickCam for Notebooks Pro

To prepare for a video conference call tomorrow morning (early in the morning), I started to use another WebCam. I don’t remember how many webcam I started to use and abondoned (lose them, broke them, or simply lost drivers so they didn’t work).

They have a nice 12″ Desktop Stand for use when not on the go!

They have a carrying case too. I don’t know where should I put it yet. I am pretty sure that the fate for this case is getting lost soon.

Sign. I used a New WebCam, Again!

There are two things I don’t enjoy. First, to get a new pair of glasses. Most of the time, my glasses are thicker than the last time. This is typically un-recoverable.

The second thing is to open the package of a new web cam. I don’t know how many webcam I have. 10? 20? or more, but I don’t have one that always travel with me, and more importantly, I didn’t use them so often. The famous saying or the infamous saying is: “Cannot find something in your home? To buy something is always quicker than looking for it”. I am in this bad habit.

P.S. I was asked to use NetMeeting. OMG! Is there anyone still using this application? It is the first time I know that NetMeeting uses H.233 protocol and can directly connect to hardware equipment like Polycom…

Software for Newly Installed PC

My best practice to maintain a healthy PC is to re-install the operating system and the applications every few month. These are the steps I follow. In case it is helpful for others.

Rule 1: Reinstall Operating System every 2-3 months.

Rule 2: Have Drive C: and Drive D: on computer. Name Drive D: as Data and never format it. Then re-format drive C: every time I install operating system.

Rule 3: Never, ever put any valuable files (which cannot be created from another source) on Drive C.

After installation, I will do at least the following thing.

  1. Run Windows Update
  2. Install Office 2003.
  3. Install Firefox and don’t use IE from then on
  4. Turn ClearType on

There are many others steps, but these are the major one.

I Just Paid for my Second Year of Flickr

I just paid 24.95 USD for the second year of my Flickr Pro Account.

Flickr is a nice service. I am a loyal user. I love Flickr, and willing to sponsor them for their wonderful service.

Flickr is a good “free+premium” or premium service, isn’t it?

P.S. This is the typical way we navigate (at lease my navigation on) the web.

I want to check my 24 Hours on Flickr photos, saw the notice – 6 days to renew my account notice. Then reviewed the limitation of the free account, decided to renew, and then paid via PayPal. After that, I even wrote a blog (this entry) about the change. When I finish everything, I almost (just almost) forgot what I originally wanted to do – to check my flickr photos…

This is a very typical way we use the web – do a lot of things randomly…

Counting Coins with Weight

Read from Mvm’s blog about a totally new way to count the number of coins:

Put the 0.50 RMB coins onto the electronic scale, and weigh them. Enther the price as 132 RMB/kg and it will display the price of the coins.

For 1 RMB coins, the price is 165 RMB/kg.

This is pretty interesting. That means coins also have a price – it is much more expensive than banana, orange, or walter melon.

Why I didn’t Use Twitter.com Yet

I know twitter.com came. I know it is getting traction. I know it is a hot topic. And I have tried it months before. But I don’t plan to use it.

We have to agree that not every tool is right for every person, right? We have to agree that if I don’t use some service, it does not mean that this service is not useful, right?

There are many new things on the Internet, from RSS, SNS, Podcast, etc. You name it. But, I do believe in blog. In my “Internet History Book”, there are several big steps in Internet.

Step 1: Email (with FTP, and all such command based Internet applications). For the first time in the history of human, people can communicate so easily.

Step 2: Browser. For the first time in history, getting information became so easy.

Step 3: Blogging. Blogging makes it so simple to publish something on the Internet. I didn’t made something impossible possible, it just made thing so simple – simple enough for everyone to use.

That is Communication to Read-only Web to Writable Web.

Among the three big trends, there are many smaller trends, like push technology, like BT, like RSS, like Twitter, like Wiki… But they are just smaller trends, and does not affect big scale of people.

Twitter is the small step. I am a strong believer of “long term”, and keep doing something to accumulate what I did. I don’t plan to do twitter for long term – I know how hard it is to update a blog once per day (I even didn’t find out any time in the last three days), so I know it is almost impossible for me to write hourly (although it is just one sentence) on twitter for long time.

New Phone – Dopod D600

I sold out my Nokia 6670 on Kijiji. The transaction was confirmed within one hour, and I gave the mobile to the guy (a mobile fan) at Haggen-Daas in Xujiahui, and he gave me 800 RMB. (I bought it at 1700 RMB, and I am very happy about the price) He is also happy. I heard he collect all kind of mobiles and now he has more than 100 models.

Then that night (I don’t have a mobile that afternoon), I bought Dopod D600. Maybe this is the fastest decision I made on electronic devices. I have made up my mind to get a Windows Mobile based phone after Nokia.

My first phone was a Motorola in university, then another Motorola in Microsoft, and then Dopod 535, then Alcatel OT315, then Nokia 6670. Finally, I got Dopod D600, my first touch screen phone.

The best place to get it is at third floor of Metro City, Xujiahui. The official price was 3950, and they asked for 3750. Finally I got it at 3700 RMB including a 1G SD card. It is too expensive for a phone – I don’t like to add too much fancy function to a simple phone and add attach too much $$$ to it, but I feel good this time since the old phone helped me to offset 800 RMB.

Here is the picture:

Dopod D600

Feature I Like Best

Automatic sync of Address book and email with my Exchange Server, so I am sure my address book is always up to date.

Feature I don’t Like Most

It takes two hand to dial a number.


Kijiji is becoming more and more useful. I am going to list about 2 0 to 50 items to Kijiji in the next few days. Up to now, all my listings led to transaction quickly (in hours) except one (I want someone to teach me architecture drawing).

Disclaimer: I am the head of Kijiji China site.

Reset Nokia 6670

I sold out my Nokia 6670 on Kijiji yesterday, and will deliver the phone to the buyer.

Before I give out my phone, I used the following key to reset:


then enter

12345 as password.

Your phone will be reset as if it is just out of a factory. Everything including files, and your phone address is gone.

Sony GPS-CS1

Sony just announced the release of Sony GPS-CS1.

Image in courtesy of Sony.com

I want to be the first in Shanghai to get it. :-) Hope in the future, I have GPS information with all my pictures.

My HP Deskjet 3500 Series Printer

Just got my HP Deskjet 3500 Series Printer out of my storage room.


HP Deskjet 3500 Series Printer

It still works – after staying in the room for about two years.

It printed out a testing page – with a nice butterfly on the top. What a surprise when you get some colorful picture out of a two year old printer that I almost forgot.

The printer came with my home PC HP Pavilion a610cl that I bought almost two years ago. I never used it after I set it up and installed print cartridge. I have a lot of cool toys and never use them. After the new Kijiji product goes online with personal management feature, I will add all these toys to share them with my friends nearby… I don’t expect to get money out of the m, just want to share some of my cool stuff to hose who work in the same building, live in the same area or my friends…

PSP is Hard to Use

I got a PlayStation Portal (PSP). It is hard to use – you have to buy more stuff other than the stone-like black box.

The usability is not that good. May need some time to get used to. There is almost nothing I can do with it, if I don’t have a Memory Stick Pro Duo card. Information on the Internet for PSP is not good enough. Seems all complicated. I start to wonder, did I change from a geek type of guy to an idol, or the hardware changes?

The Metro City offers so different price for Memory Stick Pro Duo. Some quotes 690 RMB for 1 GB, and some offers 460 RMB for 2GB.

Anyway, I don’t know why but my passion for hardware, even including camera is not as strong as several years ago. Why?

I Need a USB Cable

I remembered to bring my camera (SONY P8) with me during my travel but left the cable connection at home. It is a gray USB cable with a standard USB outlet on the one side and a mini USB on the other side. Without the cable, all my 128M pictures still sit in my memory stick in my camera, and I cannot transfer them to my laptop. There are many photos of Beijing that I cannot share now.

God of Fortune Arrived

According to the Chinese tradition, the 5th day of new year is the day the God of Fortune return to everyone’s home.

Last year in Shanghai, fireworks were stronger than the New Year’s Eve to Welcome to the God of Fortune. In Beijing, last night was a quite night with almost no fireworks. That is clearly the difference on culture and tradition between Beijing and Shanghai.

Edwards’ New LCD Dell 2405

Take a look at Edward’s New LCD Dell 2405:

Photography by Edward. Used with permission

This is called hobby. It gives a geek the highest satisfaction to add some cool hardware (computer related or camera related) into the collection. I had a lot of geek happiness before, (like this and that). I hope I can rest for several days to pickup something.

I like the light, the arrangement of the screens. The Dell computer at the corner attracted my attention. I used that model of computer for more than 3 years. It is the standard configuration in Microsoft.

Edward is a good photographer. Check out his website for more photos during his trip in U.S.

Web 2.0 Faces

Check out these photos: Photos of Web 2.0 People (via Via Shangji’s blog.

Image in courtesy of Wang Feng and the Esquire magazine

It is so interesting to see my friends appeared in such a cool appearence.

The same group of photographer also visited the office and took some photos. I never dressed like that in my entire life. I don’t know how it can turn out to be.


IPEVO Skype Headset Hardware

Today, I tried the new Skype phone from PCHome-Skype from Taiwan. It is a wonderful application – very cute iPod-like design, cute buttons, and much improved voice quality above already very nice quality of Skype.

The Skype Phone

Although it is basically not a big change from using mouse+screen+software to a headset, when I experienced it, it still brings big difference into the experience.

The coolest thing is to press the green “+” button in the middle. It is the starting number of any Skype out. For example, I can call +862168xxxxx to call my home, or +8610xxxxxxxx to a phone in Beijing, or +861391614xxxx to call any mobile in China, even +1416xxxxxxx to call phone in Toronto… It is so nice. The rate is 0.017 Euro per minute. It is half the price for regular mobile phone’s receiving rate…

The Headset

The headset is so cool. It is manufactured by IPEVO at PCHOME’s request. They have both logos. It sells at around 1000 New Taibi, or around 250 RMB. I hope we can have these kind of phone in China soon.

Technology is Lovely Only When it Changes Life

Tonight, I called my mother and father in Luoyang using the new Skype Headset (Thanks Tony to lent it to me). Then I called my brother in Fuzhou, and the other brother in Toronto. Thus all my parents’ three sons gathered on the phone using the Skype conference function and joined the family conference. My parents were so happy to hear everyone just like our reunion at home. So am I.

Technology is cool. It is cooler when it enables people to feel warmth of life.

P.S. Don’t ask me about the Skype block things in China, though. I won’t answer because it is not appropriate to discuss about it.

Thinking about Sony F828

To make the U.S. trip more memorable, I am going to buy a more professional camera than my Sony P8. Sony F-828 appeared on my landscope. I sells at 6800 RMB (or 829 USD), including tax. It is all the money I need to pay to get a full package of F828. Good deal, isn’t it? It is cheaper than any of the online store I can find.

The most attacting features of F828 are:

  • 28 – 200 mm lens. I am especially interested in the 200 mm long lens, so I can capture something far away – it is nice to short the buildings of New York from far away.
  • 170 mins of battery time.
  • Similarity of Sony F707. I used F707 for a long time.

BTW, I cannot find out a reason why my page My New Camera – Sony DSC-P8 is still within the top two results in Google for search term Sony P8. Google seems like my pages very much. It makes sense if people are search Pudong Airport since it is a relatively less mentioned topic in the cyber world. But Sony P8 is a popular product selling around the world. Wired…

Edward’s New Satellite TV

Edward sent me something new today, his new Satellite TV. He did it by himself. What impressed me a lot is:

  • The total cost is only 880 RMB or 106 USD.
  • He mentioned interesting technical details about satellite.
  • He also mentioned the legal risk he takes to install a satellite TV receiving in China. I covered it in this article: Satellite Dishes Still Forbidden in China.
  • He can receive 100 channels from 2 satellites now.


© Edward Wang. Used with permission.

Read on for more details in his blog.

HP Pavilion a610cl – My New Home PC

Let me show off my new home PC – HP Pavilion A610CL.

The front of the box. Looks nice


© Jian Shuo Wang

I opened the box to add additional 256M memory.


© Jian Shuo Wang

Clean motherboard.


© Jian Shuo Wang

I installed Windows XP on it.


© Jian Shuo Wang

I went to buy a new PC because I am tired of typing on laptops. I have a Dell Latitude D600 and Wendy has a Dell Latitude C200, but we have to bring it to the company and back home back and forth. As the keyboard instruction on the laptops indicates, the laptops are designed only for mobile computer and not for office use – long time typing on a laptop keyboard may hurt the hands and arms. I believe in it since my hands start to hurt when I type a long blog entry. So I need to get a home PC in my home.

Buying a PC is convient for me. The Metro City computer super market and the Pacific PC are just downstairs (if you are interested in the location, here it is: #1111, Zhao Jia Bang Rd. You can get there by Metro Line #1, Xujiahui Station).

This is the first time I buy a branded PC for myself. This is the second PC I have in my home. The first costs 8400 RMB (as I remember) and was bought when I stayed in my rented Meilong house

I bought every computer part and assemblied together. Later, I became very frustrated with the computer due to the drivers’ and compatibility problems. I bought very nice display card but I seldom play game on it after I bought XBox. (Yes. I didn’t play XBox often after getting it for a while). So I decided to buy a branded computer with tested compatibility, with driver CD and service. Then my choices are either HP or Dell. Dell has a longer shipment cycle. Do they really manufacture by order? So how many days it takes between building it in Xiamen to send it to my home? When I want something, I just want to bring it home immediately.

I never used HP before but want to have a try. I have to say the “Plus” advertise worked well for me – it brought a new face to HP.

There are many local PC providers. The largest is Lenovo. However, I checked the PC and found it is almost the same (if not worse) than the manually built system – the design, the configuration and the compability problems.

From this purchase experience, I found Wintel is really facing big challenges. The CPU in HP Pavilion a610cl is AMD Athlon XP 3000 and operating system is TurboLinux. The reseller offered to install any version of Windows system for me after my purchase free of charge. This happens all the time.

S/N: CNA42801JY