Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Rocks and Sydney CBD at night

I went to several mobile phone stores in the Sydney CBD this afternoon. After then, I roamed to The Rocks, the northern end of George Street in the shade of the Harbour Bridge, and took the following photos there with my Canon IXUS 50, the compact digital cameras always with me.

Under the south end of Harbour Bridge (Dawes Point Park, The Rocks)
F/2.8, 4 secs, ISO 50, 18:45, 29 August 2006.

The west side of Opera House (from Dawes Point Reserve, The Rocks)
F/4, 4 secs, ISO 50, 18:52, 29 August 2006.

The north end of Sydney CBD area (from Dawes Point Reserve)
F/4, 4 secs, ISO 50, 18:54, 29 August 2006.

The wharf of Campbells Cove (from the east side of Park Hyatt)
F/2.8, 2.5 secs, ISO 50, 18:58, 29 August 2006.

The Waterfront Restaurant (from the east side of Park Hyatt)
F/4.5, 3.2 secs, ISO 50, 19:04, 29 August 2006.

The steps to the Elevated Road (from the Waterfront Restaurant)
F/2.8, 3.2 secs, ISO 50, 19:10, 29 August 2006.

The Waterfront Restaurant, one of the best restaurants in Australia
F/2.8 3.2 secs, ISO 50, 19:13, 29 August 2006.

Circular Quay West (from Overseas Passenger Terminal)
F/2.8 2 secs, ISO 50, 19:20, 29 August 2006.

Sydney CBD area and the wharfs of Circular Quay (from Overseas Passenger Terminal)
F/2.8 2 secs, ISO 50, 19:25, 29 August 2006.

The west side of Opera House (from Overseas Passenger Terminal)
F/4.9 10 secs, ISO 50, 19:29, 29 August 2006.

Sydney Harbour Bridge (from the Circular Quay Station)
F/4.9 6 secs, ISO 50, 20:07, 29 August 2006.

View more night-scene photos at:
1 September 2006: The heritage Post Office at Martin Place
24 August 2006: Harbour Bridge at night, Darling Harbour at night
23 August 2006: Inside the QVB

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stinky Bean Curd

Stinky Bean Curd (臭豆腐), is a kind of preserved bean curd with smelly odor and delicious taste, a kind of traditional Chinese snack since Qing Dynasty (Kang Xi), and one of my favorite Chinese foods. It also has a very graceful name, Royal Green Curd (御青方), given by Empress Dowager Cixi (慈禧太后), the de facto ruler of the late Manchu Qing Dynasty.

The picture at right shows the stinky bean curd that I have eaten in Sydney, Australia.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Two provincial governmental web sites

SD119Shandong Fireview (Shandong, China)
Fire Bureau of Shandong Province

NSWFBNSW Fire Brigades (New South Wales, Australia)
Australia's leading fire and rescue service

What's the key difference? It's not a language, technology or design issue. Purpose! They have different audiences and purposes.

As far as I know, in China, main audience of governmental sites is actually the officials themselves. The sites are chiefly for propagating their political achievements, not for serving the public though they all declare to do so.

Audience and purpose determine content and style.

Vista Build 5536.16385 is now available

---------- Forwarded message ----------Vista Logo
From: Microsoft Connect
Date: 26-Aug-2006 06:18
Subject: Build 5536.16385 is Now Available for Download
To: Bing Bao
Dear Bing,

We are pleased to announce the release of Pre-RC1 build 5536.16385! This build represents significant progress incorporating your Beta 2 and 5472 feedback. We ask that you please download, burn and install a copy of this build as soon as possible. Immediately afterwards we ask that you report any problems you encounter. Please note the following recommendations:


If you have the time, please install Windows XP Professional or Home and upgrade. This is the preferred test path for this build. If you cannot upgrade from XPSP2 then clean installs or upgrades from Beta 2 X86 are OK too. Upgrades from any other X86 build are not supported, not of interest to us, and should not be performed.

Note: Other languages and platforms will be available soon and we will send mail when these are available.

File bugs!

MBC version 1.20.2421 is now available via MBC's automatic update and the "How to Share Feedback" icon. Click here to download.

Please install and use this version of the MBC on the next Vista build when submitting bug reports. This build includes support for the updated build string and minor area/subarea updates.

In general, the order of importance is as follows:
  1. Install / upgrade blocking bugs
  2. Stability / Security / Reliability bugs
  3. "Self-host" blockers - issues that prevent you from using the system as a primary OS
  4. Leaks and critical app/device problems
  5. New problems you notice in this build
  6. Regressions / things marked as fixed, but are happening again
  7. ANYTHING with a bluescreen / memory dump!
Even if you aren't sure what you did - bug it anyway. Please title those bugs with the phrase Bugcheck: in front of your bug title.

Please focus on bugs that meet the above criteria until Tuesday, August 29th so that we can focus on these most critical issues first.

Post Mini-Reviews:

We will be starting a thread in the Microsoft.beta.longhorn.beta_program newsgroup asking for yosur feedback on this release. It is important you reply only to that thread for this - as we both read/compile all feedback underneath it. Do not start a new thread.

What we're especially looking for, in order of importance:
  1. Things that worked before but seem broken now.
  2. Things we marked as "fixed", but you still have a constant repro of
  3. Dislikes - Why wouldn't you run/purchase this?
  4. Likes - What do you absolutely love about Windows Vista versus Windows XP or prior?
Complete the Install Survey located here.

We have made a lot of progress since Beta 2 and 5472, and we think you will notice the quality improvements that we've been seeing in the daily builds. So please install the build, install your apps, invite your wife/kids/friends/etc. to play with it - and then respond to the Mini-Review post with your thoughts/feelings about it.

You may download this build here.

The Longhorn/Windows Vista Beta Team

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Harbour Bridge at night

Harbour Bridge - view from Circular Quay
Canon IXUS 50, F/4, 6 secs, ISO 50, 22:08, 24 August 2006.

Darling Harbour at night

Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour and Harbourside - view from Cockle Bay Wharf
Canon IXUS 50, F/3.5, 2 secs, ISO 50, 21:22, 24 August 2006.

The flag of Australia - view from the west end of the 104-year-old Pyrmont Bridge
Canon IXUS 50, F/2.8, 2.5 secs, ISO 50, 21:40, 24 August 2006.

Microsoft Tech.ED 2006 Australia

I was invited to visit the exhibition of Microsoft Tech.ED 2006 Australia held at Darling Harbour, Sydney this afternoon. It was a good chance for me to learn more about the local IT market in Australia.

At the Visual Studio booth at the exhibition, I eventually met the Australian MVP lead, Roseanne Stamell, who kindly arranged everything of my visit to the event. She also introduced me to other MVPs when we walked around the exhibition.

I also joined the Tech.ED party tonight, a crazy party at Homebar, the world famous nightclub opposite the Sydney Exhibition Centre at where the Tech.ED conference hosted.

The Xbox 360 gaming zone at the Tech.ED exhibition
Canon IXUS 50, ISO 50, F/2.8, 1/4 secs, 17:25 24 August 2006.

At the gaming zone, I tried one Xbox 360 game, FIFA 06 - Road to FIFA World Cup. It was fantastic and incredible. I was especially impressed by its detailed pictures, including facial expressions, puckers and hand gestures. But, after enjoying the exciting Xbox game, I lost my favorite mobile phone, Nokia 6310i, which had been with me for 5 years. :-(

The MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) booth at the Tech.ED exhibition
Canon IXUS 50, ISO 50, F/2.8, 1/2 secs, 18:30 24 August 2006.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Inside the QVB

The QVB, stands on Queen Victoria Building, "is a grand Victorian building located in the heart of Sydney's CBD. The elaborate neo-Byzantine architecture presents a glittering contrast to the more severe modern buildings around it. Measuring 190 metres long by 30 wide, it fills an entire city block, bounded by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets. It currently serves as a shopping centre."

Canon IXUS 50, F/2.8, 1/5 sec, ISO 50, 20:14, 23 August 2006.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A funny birthday girl

Yesterday evening, when I was waiting for a friend at the cross of York Street and Market Street in the heart of Sydney's CBD, while a continuous crowd of people was moving around me, a pretty girl (G) suddenly left her friends and ran barefoot up to me (M) then posed in front of me with shoes in her hands:

G: Happy birthday! (She looked at me earnestly with her bright smile)
M: Me...? (After looking around myself, I replied, hesitatingly)
G: Me!! (She simultaneously waved her arms in the air with the face full of happiness)
M: Oh! Haha... Happy birthday! (I looked at her with my greeting smile)
G: Thank you!
M: No worries!
G: ... (She instantly flew back to her friends waiting at the corner, like a bird)
M: 这疯妮子没事儿吧 (Is the chick OK)? (I kiddingly thought to myself, hehe)

I think she might be betting with her friends on giving such a surprise to a passer-by. Maybe, she has won a free birthday dinner last night, hehe. :-))

Regardless of the girl's dinner, this weekend night, my friends and I had a very nice BBQ dinner at our favorite Xinjiang restaurant in the largest Chinatown in Australia. I treated my friends, for earning my first buck in the country, hehe.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Old Chinese friend and new Australian MVP

Two things today:

1. I unexpectedly met a former client this morning. We hadn't met each other for almost 10 years! Never thought we could meet here in Sydney, 8,600 kilometres away from my hometown, Jinan, and his city, Zibo. He has lived in Australia for 3 years.

2. I have been advised that I have become an Australian MVP since today. I had been also told before that I would be the only Windows Security MVP in Sydney. Currently, There are two Windows Security MVPs in Australia, another one is based in Melbourne.

It was my great pleasure of being a Chinese MVP in the past two years. Many thanks to the Chinese MVP team, especially Sisley and Eddie, for their kind helps and excellent management on MVP affairs!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
MSMVP LOGOFrom: Roseanne Stamell
Date: 17-Aug-2006 17:11
Subject: RE: MVP lead
To: Bing Bao, Sisley Lin
Cc: Eddie Liu

Hello Bing,

Welcome to the Australian MVP Program. I look forward to hearing from you and to understand if you are attending Tech Ed next week because there will be opportunities to meet many of the other local MVPs there. ...

Roseanne Stamell
Microsoft MVP Program Manager, Australia & New Zealand

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sisley Lin
Date: 17-Aug-2006 17:07
Subject: MVP lead
To: Bing Bao
Cc: Roseanne Stamell, Eddie Liu

Dear Bing,

Per your request, as you've moved to Syndey since earlier this year we'll move your MVP lead to Roseanne Stamell.

... Please let me know anytime if I could be of your assistance in the future.
Both Roseannae and myself are willing to help you in every way.

Wish you all the best in Sydney

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sydney .NET Users Group

Today, I attended the monthly meeting of Sydney .NET Users Group hosted at Microsoft Australia. The subject was Optimizing indexes with SQL Server 2005.

Nice people, nice speakers, nice topics, nice discussions and, of course, nice sushi. ;-))

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Strange weathers in Sydney

ABOMClear, sunny, cloudy and overcast, then rain, heavy rain, hail and showers. These were today's weathers in Sydney, from the morning to the moment.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why loopback having so long range?

I talked about this issue with a friend today. It is an interesting topic, though most professionals usually never think about it.

I actually answered the exact same question a few years ago, at Experts-Exchange. I just re-post the original question and my answer as follows. Loopback's Wikipedia article also explains this a bit.

Question asked by xqzme_plz - Date: 12/03/2003 06:54PM EST

I have a question in mind hope anybody will answer. The question is why Loopback testing is being assigned a big range of IP addresses 127.x.y.z? As we can do this testing with the single IP address then what could be the reason to assign this big range?

Comment from bbao - Date: 12/03/2003 09:26PM EST

Good question. Quoted from RFC 1166:

"The class A network number 127 is assigned the 'loopback' function, that is, a datagram sent by a higher level protocol to a network 127 address should loop back inside the host. No datagram 'sent' to a network 127 address should ever appear on any network anywhere."

As for the reasons of why use a class A network number, IMO, 3 reasons:

1. Historical limitation
2. Easy implementation
3. Reserved for future use

Hope it helps,

Accepted Answer from bbao - Date: 12/05/2003 03:42AM EST

Hi, let me try explaining more for my first post. Again, as I said it is IMO, which means, it is my personal viewpoint:

1. Historical limitation: There was NO mask in the first implementation of TCP/IP, which meant, network nodes used the first number to distinguish network size and host ID. Moreover, since class A is determined by its first octet, the higher-order bit is 0, so 127.x.x.x (01111111.x.x.x) is the latest segment of class A addresses. People often use all zero or all one numbers for special usages, reserving a class A segment is for maximum flexibility. Hmm, so we can not see a class B loopback segment nowadays, hehe. ;-)

2. Easy implementation: As what I said above, there was no mask concept in early days, segment address 01111111.00000000.00000000.00000000 was easy to be determined by AND/XOR operations quickly and easily. Even nowadays, such pattern is still easy for matching subnets by applying XOR operation.

3. Reserved for future use: Class A has 1,677,216 hosts, so it allows people have more space to divide it into a lot of reasonable zones for specific usages, different devices, systems and applications.

4. Another reason: Maybe those people used TCP/IP early never thought that TCP/IP based network could span all over the world, and the addressing space would be so limited for today's applications. Hmm, it sounds that this point should be one of historical limitations too. :)

Hope it helps,

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Blogspot.com is accessible from China now!

This blog is eventually accessible from China now.

A friend of mine in China said only one word, "amazing!", after hearing about the unblocking news. All the blogs hosted at Blogger (blogspot.com) are unblocked as well. However, how long it will last and why it can happen is still questionable.

Moreover, technorati.com is still blocked now.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Sydney Fresh Food Market

SFFM"The Sydney Fresh Food Market™ is Sydney's largest weekly food market, with over 500 stands selling fresh produce including fruit and vegetables, farm eggs, seafood, honey, deli meats, bread, nuts, legumes, condiments, herbs and spices and a whole lot more!

Located in Building D at Sydney Markets™, off Parramatta Road, Flemington. The markets are located at Flemington in the heart of Sydney opposite Homebush Bay Olympic site. Click here to view the Flemington Site Map.

All food comes directly from the farms to the market so you just can't buy anything fresher! Food may be bought in small quantities or in bulk."

Building D, Sydney Markets
Inside the Building D, at 13:38 on 5 August 2006

"Open every Saturday 6am to 2pm. ENTRY IS FREE!"

In my opinion, the market is large and mess, the things are good and cheap. :-)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Little Red Flowers & Crazy Stone

I watched two Chinese movies today, Little Red Flowers and Crazy Stone. All the two movies are now showing in China. All the scenarios in the movies are so familiar to me because they seem to be the stories happened in either my childhood or the yesterdays just before I left there. I enjoyed the two films.

In my understanding, Little Red Flowers actually refracts the vulnerabilities of the current education system in China though its story seems to be happened in the early 1960's. Crazy Stone hilariously reflects the awkward, real side of today's China along with its comedic storyline narrated in varied Chinese dialects.

KSQHM看上去很美》 (Little Red Flowers)

疯狂的石头》 (Crazy Stone)