Thursday Apr 24, 2008

Crossing the River

Cross posted at http://www.nomadicminds.org

HuangPu River carved the lovely Bund, the prime financial real estate since China leased this area to Britain in 1870s. It slices the city into halves.

ShangHai City started from the west side (PuXi) and expanded east, toward the sea. The river exacted a distance tax to PuDong, or the east of HuangPu river. It accepted to be the lesser part of ShangHai.

No more. Its rural land provided growth space for high-tech industries. The adjacency to the new airport and sea ports makes it a better choice of trade, light manufacturing, and the steel industry. PuDong is now rich, modern, and vibrant. PuXi, however, remains charming, classic, and the choice location for the best restaurants.

The necessity of crossing the river is a daily nightmare. Subway network is not yet mature. Tunnels are frustrating. Bridges are inconvenient detours. Then, I found the lovely alternative: the ferry. I like ferries.

There are two commuter ferry lines (and many tourist ones). The shorter one costs 0.50 RMB and the longer one 2. A short wait beacons the boat and begins the leisure crossing. I soaked in busy river activities and understood the role this river plays to the prosperity of this biggest city of China.

Then the taxi thrusted me back to the mega-city's arteries. <script language="JavaScript"> TagStart() Technorati("China") Technorati("ShangHai") TagEnd() </script>

Sunday Apr 06, 2008

IDF 2008, ShangHai

IDF this year was next to the lovely Bund of ShangHai, overlooked by the strangely shaped Oriental Pearl Tower. This is my 3rd time in two years attending IDFs. Intel packed their usual power executives and attracted estimated more than 5,000 attendants. At 9am, long line snaked out to the street waiting to enter. Hordes of brightly jacketed youngsters cradling a pen-laptop to search people's registration codes when they are still in the line. I was one of them, she tried my name and then my email address. Finally, she located my code and directed me to a counter to retrieve my badge.

I herded myself to the meeting hall and sat down right before Pat Gelsinger's keynote. After the fanfare, he showed up on a wide screen! I was in the simul-cast room. The instinct of getting up quickly subdued. The screen did a good job; Pat spoke, polished, well-rehearsed, and obviously from a stage at a much larger hall upstair. I learned my lesson and attended the great hall for Renee James's keynote the 2nd day.

The evening reception was a packed house — stand-up cocktail style. Exuberant Intel employees and invitation-only guests celebrated another successful IDF. A small stage featured "live statues" of motionless pretty women. A commontion sparked when 3 dancers, to the tune of New York, New York, dragged Intel senior executives on stage. They were good sports, but bad dancers. I re-acquainted myself with several of them and made several new friends too.

Sun is a Gold Sponsor at IDF. Amiram Hayardeny attracted a standing-room only attendance with a topic of "Let Sun Shines on your Intel Platform." We exhibited various Software and Hardware technologies. People checked us out in a steady flow; everyone left with a nice stylish t-shirt too. All registered attendants also get a OpenSolaris CD in their bag.

ShangHai is a nice break from Beijing that is intensively focused on the Olympic. I took the opportunity to meet several customers and partners. I will also take a long detour back home via YangZhou, mixing business and pleasure together. That will be another blog. <script language="JavaScript"> TagStart() Technorati("China") Technorati("IDF") TagEnd() </script>

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