Archive for January, 2005

January 28th, 2005

New products in No Windows, No Problems store

Check out the No Windows, No Problems store in Caf├ęPress. I just created a few new items for declaring that you don’t consider Windows a real OS.

By purchasing items from the store you help me to maintain Thanks in advance.

Concentration of Computer Stores

Pacific Digital Plazas 1 and 2 are good starting points for hunting down any IT gadgets. The first floor sells mostly laptops and PDA styled gadgets. There is also a miniscule Apple store in the middle of the Plaza 2. The upper floor have mixed selection of shops, but if you’re after components, you have to venture these floor carefully.

The atmosphere is hectic, as there are numerous customers and clerks dealing on a single matter, and everybody is talking on a loud voice. Ah, the joys of Chinese retail business….

The IT stuff has heavy import taxes in China, so the prices are not competetive with Singapore, but for us Europeans, there can be something worth buying for.

Pacific Digital Plaza 1 and 2, Xujiahui, Shanghai, China

Huge Mall with Asian Brands

Grand Gateway is another of those malls that requires superlatives for the description. It’s conveniently located next to the Xujiahui metro station on line 1. The entrance from the metro opens to a huge hall ten stories high, lined with shops selling everything and between.

Most of the shops are not so well known brands for an average Westener, but one can make good finds. There is also an Apple store, but its a sort of a bummer as it turned out to be a clothing shop.

As usual, there is several restaurants on the top floor. The Japanese restaurant with the sushi robot has good food with decent prices.

Grand Gateway, Xujiahui, Shanghai, China, +86 21 6407 0111

January 26th, 2005

New images for the pages

I just uploaded two new images to the rotating site banner found on the top of every page. Hopefully you can spot the nice Chinese letters (I do hope that it’s not a curse :) and christmas lights of Fullerton Hotel.

I’m quite proud of the images, they mingle well with the rest and (still) show some quality as photographs.

Chic stores and restaurants

Three on the Bund is a newly developed collection of eclectic fashion shops and restaurants just next to the Bund. The ground floor hosts a few high-end stores, such as Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani, ready to drain your wallet.

The place is designed with an edge, especially Giorgio Armani’s store is a worth of visit for the interior only. Browsing through the fares is free, so why don’t you drop in?

There is also an art gallery on the upper floors that provides some cheap thrills. The restaurants are gourmet orientated, so the price is higher than in Shanghai in general.

Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dong Erlu, Shanghai, China

Communistic monumentalism

The northern end of the Bund is devoted to the Monument to the People’s Heroes, a three legged statue that looks like a torch and a surrounding cavity that is filled with heroic images from Chinese workers’ history. Or something similar.

From the Westener point of view, the whole place looks a little bit comical in its industrialised optimism of the people’s democracies. We’ve seen the results of these experiments in former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Concrete brutalism of People’s Heroes Monument

This monument is the only proof that I could find in Shanghai that we were visiting a communist country. Everywhere else, capitalism ruled and money talked.

Monument to the People’s Heroes, The Bund, Shanghai, China

January 24th, 2005

iPOD woes

I finally got myself to do something with the iPOD. I first plugged it in my Mac and transferred mp3 collection without too much of hiccups. Some mp3 files missed id tags, so they ended up in a huge unknown (or something similar) category. I didn’t have energy to go through them and so I uploaded only the correctly categorised files.

This was good and sweet. I also configured the gadget to be an external disk drive and managed to store a few documents there without problems.

A few days later, I tried to do the same on my Sony laptop. I installed the iPOD software, rebooted the machine, and connected the gadget. The software promptly told me to format iPOD in order to use with Windows. Of course, I didn’t like the idea and surfed the web for some time to find a solution.

The first FAQs were not very encouraging. Even Apple confirmed that iPOD may be used with either Windows or Mac. But not both. After more searches (I can be quite stubborn when solving these issues), I found information about XPlay. Downloaded a free trial and all the problems are solved for a couple of weeks.

But I have to use the gadget with three PCs and one Mac. I really don’t want to pay 3 x $29.95 to get it working in all of them. Some sources say that I could format iPOD with PC to FAT32 and use it also with Mac. Maybe I have to try it…

I could copy a few files to the gadget with the help of XPlay, but their filenames were truncated! Is this a problem on HFS or XPlay? Sounds so early 90’s to me.

And as the topping of the cake, I today listened music while riding my bike to work and back. During the trip, I had to lower down the volume. You have to use gloves while biking during Finnish winter. And the black leather gloves left marks to the scrollwheel! Fortunately I could rub the marks later off, but boy I was scared that I just ruined the outlook of my brand spanking new techie dream…

I’m reluctantly accepting that I have to read the fine print every single time I’m going to buy something from Apple. First issues with NTFS and now this. What would be the next obstacle? Any bright guesses?

Contemporary traditional designs

Annabel Lee Shanghai is a group of young international artists that mix the traditional, elegant Chinese crafts with modern design. They specialise in embroidery, a skill that has been rediscovered just recently by the younger designer generation.

The group has a smallish store in the Xintiandi plaza that stocks their products, such as scarfs, bags and tablecloths. As the shops sells mostly crafts, the prices are steep, but some items are worth every penny.

Annabel Lee Shanghai, North Block, Xintiandi, Lane 181, Taicang Lu