Hong Kong Tech Phooey

a tech junkie from Hong Kong

Dine at Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate – Farewell to the Last Resettlement Public Rental Housing Exhibition


Despite its 40 years of history, Blocks 8 to 14 of the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate will cease to exist when the barriers are set up to encircle and block out this huge area of seven housing estate buildings for demolition. We shall no longer see the old folks sitting around in small groups on their well-worn stools, chatting idly in the long corridors, recalling their lives to each other; we shall no longer hear the ice cafe owner’s loud crying voice, perhaps hawking “$3 for a Pineapple Bun, Big and a Real Bargain”; and furthermore we shall no longer smell the odours wafting out from the distant old herbal medicine shop. All these in the near future can only be traced in memories. In a bustling city such as ours, it was Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate and its peers, their grassroot living style and their community spirit, which had edged out the personality and the essence of the city. And this was precisely the unique indigenous culture of Hong Kong.

Public Housing Old Estates – Their Culture and Spirit

In the early morning, as sunlight shone through the grille walls of the stairwell and fell on the building corridors, the old folks with white hair were already gathered on the open grounds. In tens and scores they lined up neatly, engaging in the same postures, striking a slow and even tempo; they were doing their tai-chi shadow boxing, the Luk Tung Kuen. The long corridors and the spaces around the stairs on each floor served well for group activities and acted as a playground for the kids. When there were days of sunshine, multi-coloured blanket-cases and woollen blankets would hang on the rails on the ground floors of the estates, forming beautiful patterns, as if they were public display items of installation art. If one had gone up the buildings to visit a resident, one could find that many units have different styles of metal gates on their doors, the patterns and designs nostalgically recalling the picture-frames of the old days. Painted in different bright colours, this is creative folk art, and home-decoration with a personal flair.

The short scenes outlined above will remind us of the TV show “Below the Lion Rock”. It may be possible to infinitely rebroadcast the show, but if we do not preserve the culture and spirit of the large old housing estates, these scenes will completely disappear as the buildings are torn down. When we came to a certain point in history, we might turn our heads, but unable to locate any trace of the old community culture – what a regrettable loss that would be. Without a past, how could a city look forward to its future.

A Collective Art Creation Instigated by the Private Sector Itself

We hope to use the opportunity of this final Resettlement Housing Estate, before it succumbs to being torn down, to document the rich and multi-faceted story of Hong Kong and its Public Housing development history. “Lower NTK Estate Dinner Bell – Resettlement Estate Farewell Exhibition” has gathered together 9 artists who deeply cherish local culture, and they will present the indigenous living style and spirit to the viewers through photographs, videos, illustrations, sounds, installation art and text, in a multimedia format to present an authentic culture and spirit of the estate. They will make use of the public gathering places of the local residents – Hing Kee Tea Restaurant, Yuen Fat Noodle Shop, an old-styled barber shop, and a traditional votive paper offerings shop – as their display venue. They have prepared a farewell “9-course banquet” to say goodbye to the days of the resettlement estates, and to share such memories with you.

The Starting Point for Public Outreach

Months and years went by, with their moving stories of how Hong Kong people arduously struggled through their hardships, and in these we have rediscovered the core values of the “Hong Kong Spirit”. We hope to use this exhibition to interview 69 persons who once lived in resettlement estates, to let them tell us their own touching stories. With their oral histories we will try to capture the Hong Kong living style and spirit.

A collective memory is not the only aim of this exhibition. The further goal is that there can be an exhibition started and organized by the common folk, the residents, the public and the community, and through the exhibition to link together more members of the public. The result is to reconstruct the facts of people and events so that they would not be obliterated, to show forth the energy of people and the magic of local culture. All good things must come to an end, they say. We sincerely invite you to respond the “Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate Dinner Bell”, to experience, or to re-tell, the story and culture of resettlement estates, and let it be preserved and be shared with the coming generations!

Iman Fok Curator

Date: From 1 March 2009 until “Going Out with a Bang”

Opening Ceremony: 13:00(Guests only) 15:30(Open to Public) on 1 March 2009, Play ground next to Hing Kee Tea Restaurant

Venue: Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate, Block 10, Ground Floor, Hing Kee Tea Restaurant, Yuen Fat Noodle Shop, and Ming Sing Co.

Curator: Iman Fok, Tin Man

Exhibitors: Juno Chan, Hang Siu, Da, Martin Chan, Patsy Chan, Terris Choi, Mon Chan, Simon Go, Stell So, Cally yu and Happy Action

Source – http://hkhulu.com.hk/NTKopenRice/index.htm

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Event, Hong Kong, Photography | , , , | 2 Comments

Amazon Kindle 2 Review

Image from Engadget

Image from Engadget

Great review on the new Kindle 2 out on Engadget. Their take on the Kindle 2, “The buy-in for the unit itself is $359 — not cheap — and everything you put on it is going to cost you a little bit more. After a while, that can start to add up, and we’re not convinced it makes sense for just anyone. Ultimately, it boils down to a question of needs, because — like the first Kindle — the Kindle 2 doesn’t represent such a sea change in technology that we think everyone should run out and buy it.”

Posted this great video in-depth review on the difference of Kindle 1 and 2 from ZDNet Mobile Gadgeteer by Matthew Miller.  Interesting in knowing more? check out his other articles on the Kindle 2 at his blog, link here.

Source – Engadget, ZDNet

February 27, 2009 Posted by | eReader, Gadgets n Gizmos, Review, Video | , , , , | 2 Comments

Late Night Out in Wanchai

Met the legendary Expat@Large last night with Spike at Wanchai and had some real fine wine and tapas at Uno Mas, the old Klong down at Lockhart.  Great place serving excellent Spanish food and drinks.  According to Spike, this becomes his new home and he loves it especially when there are seats available out on the balcony.

Had some fine Spanish beer out of a 750ml bottle (forgot the name, will go back and check it out).  The waitress served it out of a champagne ice bucket and we drank it out of these real nifty small cups (reminds me of the Chinese bowls I drank beer out of  down at the food stalls in North Point Market).  Expat@Large actually took a pic of the cups, :).

Loving the place and definitely will be back for more.

February 27, 2009 Posted by | Bars & Clubs, Blogroll, Hong Kong, Nightlife | , , , | 2 Comments

Microsoft My Phone Beta is Up

[Updated: 25 February 2009]

[16 February 2009]
myphonelogoFinally, Microsoft have the My Phone beta up with the sign-in link.

For those of you not familiar with My Phone, it enables you to –

  • Back up and restore your phone’s information to a password-protected web site
  • Access and update your contacts and appointments through your web account
  • Share photos on your phone with family and friends

Pretty neat right? Well to enjoy the free service, you have to own a Windows Mobile 6.X mobile phone.

For more information and sign up, go to the following site, https://sn1-p1.myphone.microsoft.com/mkweb/Start.po?mkt=en-US

Source – Microsoft, Obviouslook

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Applications, Microsoft, Mobile Phone, Windows+Mobile | , , , | Leave a comment

First Look Video – PocketWizard Mini TT1 and Flex TT5

[Updated: 25 February 2009]

US$199 for the MiniTT1, US$219 for the FlexTT5

[19 February 2009]

According to Pocket Wizard’s website, the Canon version will be released 1 March 2009 and the Nikon version in quarter 2.  No news on Sony version for the time being, major bummer.

Source – pocketwizardvids

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Accessories, Camera, DSLR, Video | , , , , | 2 Comments

Palm Pre Live Demo

Just finished watching the whole 26+ minutes long video on the demo of the Palm Pre out of MWC 2009. Initial thoughts on the Palm Pre is that to me, it’s like a combo of the iPhone with the touch interface happily swapped in with a BlueBerry type keyboard.

Couple things that I found to be very neat are –

  • the mac-alike gestures incorporated into the phone is just absolutely genius (swipe left to go back a page; swipe up to bring up the applications launcher page and to close apps if under the cards view)(4:30)
  • the clean interface under contacts and the synergy effect that hooks up the contact’s info including their social networking profiles such as FaceBook…etc (13:00)
  • the cards interface which resembles the Mac Expose, allowing users to access and switch between multiple applications and the best part of it is allowing users to open new web page as a new card; very clever indeed (10:15)
  • the ability to send weblinks (11:05) on the run
  • the synergies on the calendar function, being able to pull public calendars off Google and integrate them all into your own calendar (16:20) and the ability to filter out different profiles, public calendars
  • instant messaging capabilities within the email application, WOW, this totally blows BlackBerry away (19:25), but limited to Google Talk it seems, hope they can expand on this and add in MSN, Skype and Facebook chat as well
  • smart search which allows you to goolge, wiki basically anything on the fly (22:00)
  • and lastly, the Palm Pre CAN copy and paste (23:45)

Well, the Palm Pre looks really neat and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one.  My only worry is with the procesor speed, whether it can run smoothly with the multi applications (cards) running all at the same time. Guess we’ll wait and see.

Source – SlashGear, Palm Pre Community

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Gadgets n Gizmos, Google, Mobile Phone, Palm, Video | , , , | 2 Comments

CNET Asia Community Blog Entry – Geekamania–solution to social networking?


My new entry over at CNET Asia Community Blog is up. This week’s entry, “Geekamania–solution to social networking?”. Click here for the full read.

Extracts from the article……

“When I scrolled down the list of the so-called awarding-winning services that Geekamania provides, I just can’t stop wondering who would have come up with a such a whacky idea. Its services include:

  • Design, setup and maintenance of personalized profile pages on all the popular Web 2.0 “social-networking” sites, including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Tumblr, Flickr, and more.
  • Daily updates to your pages with smart, “hip” musings and status quotes, so you can focus on your real life, like paying bills, enjoying movies, playing with the kids, drinking heavily at work, and not having sex.
  • You give us all your personal information–your darkest secrets, weirdest fantasies, frequent medications, favorite foods, bitterest resentments, embarrassing musical tastes, sexual hangups, and so on–and we do the rest. No logging in, no passwords to remember, and best of all, no actual personality to worry about. Don’t have a personality? No problem. We can make one up for you.
  • Monthly reports of all account activity–funny messages, revealing pictures, and so on–printed out and mailed straight to your home via the trusty ol’ post office, because you hate your damn computer and can’t remember your AOL login and don’t even get you started on those f__king cell phones.
  • Hopeful Hookup Detection–Our proprietary algorithm scans all your incoming messages for suggestive keywords and flirty behavior, on the remote chance that you might actually get laid some time in the near future, but of course, you probably won’t because you’re too terrified to followup and/or appear naked in front of another human.
  • Ex-Lover SlutMaker–A special addon service where we casually befriend your ex-lover or spouse, and then start dropping nasty hints and posting ugly rumors about what a true bastard/bitch he/she really is, not to mention his/her secret obsession with bestiality and German fetish porn.
  • And so on…”

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Beyond Geekiness, Blogroll, CNET, Social Networking | , , | Leave a comment

First Look Video – HTC Magic Google Android Phone

While we are at it, let’s take a look at another Android Phone, the HTC Magic introduced at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona.

Source – phonedog

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Gadgets n Gizmos, HTC, Mobile Phone | , , | 1 Comment

First Look – Huawei Android Phone


Huawei Technologies just showcased its first Android-powered smart phone at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona two days ago. According to Huawei, this smart phone will be commercially available in the third quarter of 2009. No news on the specification yet but just telling from the looks, it sure resembles the Apple iPhone.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Gadgets n Gizmos, Mobile Phone | , | 1 Comment

MOD of the Day – AutoCAD Dimensioning Toolbar

Image from BME

Image from BME

If you’re familiar with AutoCAD, you probably recognize this, the AutoCAD dimensioning toolbar, a great cross-over between what I blog here and MODs.

Source – Geek Tattoo via BME

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Beyond Geekiness, Blogroll, MODs, Pics | , | Leave a comment

First Look Video – Tonium Pacemaker – Portable DJ Mixer

Saw the real thing at Twestival Hong Kong last night, thanks Andy.  The Tonium Pacemaker is a revolutionizing portable music player  equipped with an extensive range of professional audio manipulation features enabling limitless mixing between two independent channels. All mixes are saved to the 160GB hard drive (60GB version coming out soon).

The Pacemaker device lets you

  • Mix, play and perform – at home, work and play
  • Prepare and preview your sets on the go
  • Bring your entire music library in your pocket

Think this thing is gonna start putting a lot of DJs out of the job.

Source – RichardLai, ShinyMedia

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gadgets n Gizmos, Music, Review, Video | , | Leave a comment

Pic of the Day – Taliban Loves iPhone

Image from aljazeera.net

Image from aljazeera.net

Source – aljazeera.net via The Raw Feed

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Beyond Geekiness, Pics | , | Leave a comment

CNET Asia Community Blog Entry – Facebook = Openbook – 25 Random Facts About Me


My new entry over at CNET Asia Community Blog is up. This week’s entry, “Facebook = Openbook – 25 Random Facts About Me”. Click here for the read.

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, CNET, Facebook, Social Networking | , , | Leave a comment

Google Sync Beta for iPhone, WinMo and SyncML Phones is Out

The beta version of Google Sync for the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones as well as a contacts-only version for phones that support SyncML is launched by Google this week.

According to Google Mobile Blog, “Google Sync allows you to get your Gmail Contacts and Google Calendar events to your phone. Once you set up Sync on your phone, it will automatically begin synchronizing your address book and calendar in the background, over-the-air, so you can attend to other tasks. Sync uses push technology so any changes or additions to your calendar or contacts are reflected on your device in minutes. The connection is always on so you don’t have to manually sync your phone after Sync has been set up….

For devices that support the open SyncML protocol, Google Sync will allow for two-way contacts synchronization. If you’re a BlackBerry user, a version of Google Sync is already available.”

Sounds neat, who needs MobileMe now I wonder.

Source – Google Mobile Blog

February 10, 2009 Posted by | Applications, Google, iPhone, MobileMe, Software, Windows+Mobile | , , , , | Leave a comment