A Tronkie Travellogue
Day 17: Beijing, China
A Dairy Queen (DQ) at the Oriental Plaza Mall in downtown Beijing.
Click on any image to enlarge.
Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:
- March, 2005: Sat 05 Mar 2005, Sun 27 Mar 2005
- April, 2005: Sat 16 Apr 2005, Sat 29 Apr 2005
- May, 2005: Sun 15 May 2005, Sat 28 May 2005
- June, 2005: Sat 11 Jun 2005, Sat 25 Jun 2005
- July, 2005: Sat 09 Jul 2005
- August, 2005: Sat 13 Aug 2005, Sat 20 Aug 2005
- September, 2005: Sat 03 Sep 2005, Sat 17 Sep 2005
- October, 2005: Mon 03 Oct 2005, Sat 15 Oct 2005, Sat 29 Oct 2005
- November, 2005: Sat 12 Nov 2005, Sat 26 Nov 2005
- December, 2005: Sat 10 Dec 2005, Sat 24 Dec 2005
- January, 2006: Sat 07 Jan 2006, Sat 21 Jan 2006
- February, 2006: Sat 04 Feb 2006, Sat 18 Feb 2006
- March, 2006: Sat 04 Mar 2006, Sat 18 Mar 2006
- April, 2006: Sat 01 Apr 2006, Sat 15 Apr 2006, Sat 29 Apr 2006
- May, 2006: Sat 13 May 2006, Sat 27 May 2006
- Jun, 2006: Sat 10 Jun 2006
Here's my fortnightly update:
- 1. Corruption in WinXP MSDN-AA images: I haven't found a solution to this problem, but please see below for a related question.
- 2. Good replacement power supplies for Dell Dimension desktop PCs: I'll look around on eBay when I get home, but I'd still like a brand and wattage recommendation.
- 3. A better way to reboot a VOIP box: I've found no alternative method yet.
Now for the new questions...
Desperately Seeking Drivers
Any idea what file or files on a WinXP install image contain the default drivers, and what I can do to restore them? Any way to restore the entire DRIVER.CAB? How about individual drivers? When I download the Intellimouse driver from Microsoft, it doesn't work; neither does the Wacom driver that comes with my tablet. The sound drivers sometimes work, and the video drivers almost always work.
Burned DVD-Rs failing data validation
When I use Nero Express (in Nero 6 or Nero 7 Premium), I often get "data validation failed" even though th file seems to be perfectly intact. What kind of checksum is it using, and why might it have false positives? Is there some way to reduce the risk of false positives?
Crashes on shutdown
Is there some kind of patch I can download and install to reduce the number of:
- system crashes (bluescreens) on system shutdown?
- system crashes (bluescreens) on application shutdown?
- application crashes on application shutdown?
Early this morning, Jon and Michelle went to the airport and flew back to the USA, from whence Jon will be going to Guatemala on assignment. Grandmother will be next, returning to Taipei early on the same day (28 Jun 2006) that we fly back to the USA. Second Aunt and Fourth Aunt will be staying a few more days with their husbands.
We still have one member of the family who's trying to get to the reunion: my cousin San (Shang-Sen Kai), who's had a passport-related delay and just got clearance to fly to Beijing.
The Legend of Barbecque Pork
Lunch is at South Beauty, a Sichuanese restaurant located in a nice shopping mall. We aren't sure they thought things entirely through when they named it. You see, it can be a tad bit less than work-safe to put South Beauty on a reimbursement form for a company.
There's an interesting story surrouding this pork roast; according to local legend, it's based on a recipe that the first Ming Emperor loved so much that he commuted the death sentence that the inventor had incurred for political reasons.
Left: The front entrance to the Oriental Plaza Mall. A matinee movie ticket costs 40 RMB ($5 USD) here, which is still exorbitant by Chinese prices despite the past and present economic boom.
Right: Yes, it's a DQ and Orange Julius stand! All that's missing are the teenaged boys in baggy pants (no, dear reader, I don't mean myself) and talkative teenaged girls in flip-flops, milling about. Oh, wait, they have those, too.
Left: This is what a KFC looks like in China. What, did you expect a Red Army colonel? The three characters spell out Kentucky phonetically, as ken3 da4 ji1.
Right: My family, strolling past a Megabite. "Megabite" just sounds a touch cyberpunkish. You half expect a pizza samurai a la Stephenson's Snow Crash to come stalking out of one.
Left: The chef of South Beauty, about to fry some meat right in our dining room.
Right: I see gondhir's dire wolf skulls and raise him a rack of white wines.
Left: At Mister Pizza, which is venerable by present-day Chinese standards (it opened over five years ago in Beijing), you can get Hawaiian pizzas or calamari-and-imitation crab pizzas, both with sweet yam-stuffed crusts. By the way: is it just me, or does "Worldcup for Women" sound like some kind of feminine hygiene product? (You bloggers who caused me to think of this: I won't name names, but you know who you are. ;-))
Right: Downtown Beijing sometimes reminds me of Washington, D.C. The pace of life here is bustling and seldom unhurried, but it is not as cosmopolitan and frenetic as NYC's, which I hear Shanghai resembles more.
Left: The gate guard looks less than enthused to see me snapping a photo out of the open window of the minibus. Well, he should! There are a couple of movie stars who live in Jiangzhuanghu; if I'd been a real paparazzo, he's looking at a Brangelina in Namibia scenario right there. Perhaps he recognized the minibus, though it's only being rented for the month.
Right: A CEO's a person in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood, in your neigh-bor-hooood...