So this morning my taxi driver taking me to work got lost. I had given him instructions written in Chinese on how to get there but it still didn’t seem enough. He stopped multiple times to ask other drivers and even at one point did a U turn on a major road (an interesting experience on its own!). Added to this he didn’t speak a word of English. Eventually we got to the office but I can’t help but wonder if he was giving us the run around!

Some general observations about Beijing:

  • There is development going on everywhere on a massive scale
  • Everything outdoors is covered in a thin layer of dust – presumably blown down from the surrounding desert
  • The air is very dry and the pollution is sometimes visible
  • Nearly every time I touch something like a light switch I get a small electric shock, rather worrying!
  • I have never seen so many cars – if you think London is congested this is something else…
  • Whereas the UK starts to close down around 5pm, in Beijing this is the busiest time
  • You can buy Windows Vista here for 10 RMB (about 1$), legality questionable!

Comments

  1. curson says:

    1$ for Windows VISTA is still too much.
    Actually, it's a product that should be banned from selling in the first point 😉

  2. Tom says:

    What's your beef with Vista, curson? Don't tell me – you're an Apple or Linux smartarse 🙂

  3. Tom says:

    Or to put it another way, no operating system is perfect, and Windows works for 95% of the world for 95% of the time. No need to bash them just for being successful. Let's rejoice in the good that they've done

  4. David says:

    For my 10 RMB I wouldn't buy Vista either! Mac OS X/Linux all the way for me 🙂

    Ushi – I'm about 40-60mins away from the office by taxi, it's too far so I'll probably move somewhere closer next week.

  5. Jessie says:

    Hehe~ Since it's winter and the air in Beijing is rather dry, getting a small electric shock is a commom thing. Don't worry it too much. You can buy a humidifier to put it in your room~

  6. curson says:

    No operating system is perfect.
    Still, there are stupid operative systems (with thousands of security bugs, spyware, DRMs, virus, operational bus) paid hundreds of dollars in licensing and there are reliable working secure operative systems, some of them even free.
    It's of course up to you to choose what to get.
    -end of the flame-

  7. Tom says:

    I don't mind using a bit of linux now and then, but it doesn't do everything I want it to and I don't want to run more than one operating system – waste of my time.

    The only way to get security is to run a CD version of an operating system, and thats pretty crappy too.

    DRM-wise Apple are a huge proponent of DRM, and DRM may not be that much of a problem in the future anyway.

    License fee-wise I think most computers come bundled with a license anyway.

    You can't get around the fact that most software is written for Windows, most people use it, and for the vast majority of people it is stable enough, cheap enough, secure enough. The emphasis here being “enough”. If i find an interesting bit of software on the web 9 times out of 10 I can run it. If it was linux 9 times out of 10 I'd be disappointed. Plus there's still the problem of finding drivers for all your linux kit.

    Sure you can opt for a bit more security, a bit less cost, but what do you lose out on?

  8. Tom says:

    Hey David, don't forget to tell your readers that you run Windows on your Mac 🙂

  9. David says:

    Hehe, well the comment was made in jest so I hope I'm not in trouble! Frankly buying property in London just seems like a pipe-dream for anyone of our generation.

  10. Alison says:

    'renting with a bunch of randoms' !!! you cheeky monkey!
    depressing situion I agree on the house purchasing front but at least you are still a nipper and not almost 30, see how worse it feels living with 'randoms' then!

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