Think Different, Think Switzerland

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in 8152blog.ch, Switzerland, Technology | No Comments
Think Different, Think Switzerland

I admit I sunk my teeth into the Mac very early on — in 1991, in Switzerland. In 1990, I was given a test drive on an old Apple (pre-Mac!) machine, where I completed this oddly-named course called Type to Learn. I was the first-ever student in the whole class to finish it in that year, which kind of made my Chinese parents happy (since the Chinese, Asians etc were supposed to be best in class, yotta yotta yotta…).

I remembered from very early on that this in essence gave me a “licence” to test-drive the Mac much earlier. I’m talking about the pre-Mac OS era: back in the day this was System 6.0.7. If you could imagine a compact, all-in-one Mac in greyish-platinum, capable of running only one app at a time in black and white, this was it.

The Swiss had some kind of nationwide obsession with the Mac, it seemed, even though Apple Switzerland (as in the office) wasn’t reality until 1995. It wasn’t like that made any difference, though: before the Wallisellen office was set up, the nation was already engulfed in Mac mania. I was invited in 1995 to an office which was completely run by Macs.

iConsumerism in Motion: Living through the iOS 8 Mania in London

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in Apple, Technology, United Kingdom | No Comments

Finally, expletive deleted hit the fan.

Tracy and I just got out of the Regent Street Apple Store as Apple was unleashing iOS 8 to all of us. Even those in the store knew: trying to update to the new OS at 18:00 BST would just be that — you’d have to wait ages.

Yes, I agree iOS 8 has some seriously cool features I’d give my right arm for. A smarter keyboard that’s smarter still per application, with app-sensitive auto-fill suggestions. A better design that allows you to literally fire back responses. The promise of Continuity (a major plus for me).

But the result will simply be the massive dumping of machines that can’t run the new system.

Linking Up on LinkedIn

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Social Media, Technology | No Comments

As of late I have really been putting a lot of work into building up my presence at LinkedIn — and having an updated resume, at least in English, was certainly a big part of that. Here’s more on this (plus the key pointers) in quickie bullets…

  • Who do I link up with? If we’ve talked online and / or offline, you’re in. BTW: I don’t go after random folks or people whom the last time I linked up was more than probably 5 years ago, unless we really worked together.
  • Who do I endorse? Anyone in my network whom I know is doing things. I endorse you for what I know you’re up to: I don’t endorse “at random”, so if you’re into the media, I probably won’t endorse you for fine cuisine unless you’re also a cook.
  • Who do I recommend? People I know who have worked together with me on one or more projects. And by that I mean we would have to have talked more than once per week whilst working on the project.

Giving the new China Central Place Apple Store a Look

Posted by on Feb 8, 2014 in Apple, Technology | No Comments
Giving the new China Central Place Apple Store a Look

The China Central Place Apple Store opened in late January — right when I was off to… I think it was Shandong again? Or was it Tianjin? Jeez, I always seem to miss these grand openings… not that I’ve been a fanboy of one: a rogue club in Beijing (apparently with “contacts in the store”) nixed any chances of the average commoner (or me) getting No. 1 at the Sanlitun store.

Still, the new China Central Place Apple Store was quite impressive — for a one-storey store, although the ceiling seemed to too tall. Whilst I’m not advocating for super-low ceilings, either, I supposed they could have used some of that huge, wide open space to store things — even a few iMacs would do.

The entrance to the store reminded me like the entrance to the Audi dealership by Wangfujing — well-designed. I was, in fact, quite happy to be served by an expat in town — apparently we tick much better in English.

Social Media Wants to Be Free. Let It Be.

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in David Feng Views, Technology | No Comments

I’d like to keep today’s post a brief one — I’m a firm believer that rational, legal debate on the Internet is one of the best things ever invented — or at least made possible. Social media is one of those places where we all are sharing voices freely. I love it when people from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and all over the place come together over a great variety of things.

Social media, like I argued in my PhD dissertation, should be a place where there remains both order and freedom — and one doesn’t have to feed on the other. Whilst we should ban criminal content — much is the case in “the real world” — we should also allow rational, legal debate plenty of space and time. I’m not one for shutting down accounts just because I share a different point of view than you do. To me that’s something that sounds like Pyongyang. It just shouldn’t happen.

I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. This quote from Evelyn Beatrice Hall (often misattributed to Voltaire) forms the centrepiece of my views on social media. As long as it’s legit and rational, we should allow all comments people hold to be aired freely. The Internet and social media wants to be free. I say — let it be.

iPhone 5 and the Social Problems in China

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in Apple, Technology | No Comments

You know, I’m on no account bashing the iPhone 5. It’s got a fair bit of technical improvements, and that’s always good when something neat gets better. But there’s a problem: the consumerism.

I mean, seriously, go into any mall in and around Beijing — it’s now more European than a Swiss mall — like the country’s largest, the Glatt Centre just outside of Zurich. I know it has a few weird-looking bars or cafés, but oh well…

When you take a look at it, Chinese consumers — Chinsumers — are just totally mad on every last new thing. Look at the extents folks will go just get their paws on an iPhone — kidneys on sale, tyres swapped for hard, solid cash — and I’m sure we’ve not even seen the tip of the iceberg yet. This is just outright outrageous crass consumerism that makes the US go green with envy. It’s capitalism on steroids. It’s getting out of control.

China’s Problem with Touts

Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in Apple, Beijing, Technology | No Comments

It happened again: total hell broke out as the iPhone 4S went on sale. Angered touts who didn’t get their phone pelted eggs at the Apple Store.

The problem: The whole system.

As of late, the world’s largest “migration” of sorts — the Spring Travel Peak Travel Season — is in full swing. Thankfully, photo ID is required to get a ticket. This means that those with legitimate needs can get around with a valid ticket. High speed rail has been doing exceptionally well this year, helping get riders to destinations faster and packing in far more riders than regular rail.

Apple needs a similar “real ID” system for at least select new products such as the iPhone. It needs to set up a blacklist (similar to that at the railways) of touts, and deny iPhones to them. It needs to give iPhones out to end users, not touts. Only a “real ID” system would work here.

Foursquare Day in Beijing

Posted by on Apr 30, 2010 in Beijing, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

I was just featured a few days ago on the Southern Weekly (in Chinese), after having taken part in Foursquare Day in Beijing, which incidentally took place on “4 squared” day (“4 squared” would mean the 16th day of April 2010). The usual hideout would, of course, be at Sanlitun Village.

I’m one of the more active users of Foursquare, and am usually the second most active in terms of mayorships. I’ve a lot of railway and Beijing Subway stations under my “mayorship” for the simple reason that driving simply makes no more sense these days (especially after they opened up Line 4 to the Beijing South Railway Station). I also own a few toll gates on Beijing expressways, just for when I make a more distant trip.

Facebook Life Behind the Great Firewall

Posted by on Aug 7, 2009 in China, Social Media, Technology | No Comments

Fact of life is that Facebook has now been firewalled in China.

  • at least once a day, if only for Status updates
  • often, to message friends
  • automatically as soon as a flickr image comes through

    Ah, life in China. A blessing and a curse. Sole curse comes from the Firewall. Everything else are blessings…

  • 2008: A Look Back — Big David Feng Things

    When seven Mac revolutionaries started this thing called the Beijing Macintosh User Group about six years ago, one of the first thing we were dying for: an Apple Store. The US was getting them by the boatload, and one of those stores hit home pretty close — in Japan, that is.

    This thing called the East China Sea was all that separated the People’s Republic from an Apple Store. (And, of course, Supreme Command it seemed — from 1 Infinite Loop.)

    Back in the day, an Apple Store seemed a remote paradise. Then came the iPod. The iPhone. The whole Mac-shebang. BootCamp. YouNameIt.

    Suddenly, the Mac became “something”.

    It became a very big “something” on July 19, 2008, when the Apple Store was about to open in Sanlitun. Oh my God. The crowds. The overnight waiting. I was number six, but that meant nothing not being number one. What made the whole thing really worthwhile was not the mass tweeting, but to be part of Beijing Mac history with the Mac community.

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