I made it home. What a week. I posted before about what I did on the flight to China and that was the last you heard from me. Well, Saturday night, my laptop died. It suffered a complete hard drive failure. Even using Arun‘s system disk, it couldn’t find the hard drive controller. Hopefully, this means the drive itself is OK and I can get the first day of pictures and all the stuff I worked on on the flight there off.
But, that left me in a tough spot. I had no laptop, spotty access on my blackberry (which is OK for staying semi-connected and consuming small chunks of data, but doesn’t work very well as my primary connection to the “collective”), and I usually charge the blackberry with the laptop. Thankfully, I’d thrown a little USB power thing in my backpack just to see if it would work for charging the DS Lite.
So, I took notes in a W3C meeting longhand, on paper… yes, I stood out. Yes, my fellow nerds gave me a hard time about it (good-naturedly, of course). Yes, it sucked not to be able to upload photos, browse the web, read feeds and hack.
But, the worst part of the trip was my asthma. Beijing is extremely polluted, and I was affected by it. A couple times, I took a walk around the neighborhood (the hotel and conference center is right across the highway from most of the major olympic venues), and came back wheezing. The one free day I had, I took a “test” walk in the morning to see how I’d do, but had to cut my walk short and take multiple hits on my inhaler to stop the asthma attack that followed. So, I didn’t really go anywhere or see anything outside of a four or five block radius of the hotel. I didn’t want to get stuck somewhere having an asthma attack where I don’t speak the language and didn’t know where I was or how to get back to the hotel.
There was a great dinner, with entertainment provided by students from Baihong University, and I love hanging out with W3C folks. We even got a game of werewolf together. Doug Scheppers and I cleaned up the village as werewolves and won handily. It was only slightly unfair as Doug and I are both seasoned werewolves, and we “feasted” on a game full of first-time players.
Now, I’m home and it’s going to take me a few days to get back on schedule. A twelve hour time difference is crazy, and I don’t think I ever got quite adjusted to it, so maybe it’ll be easier coming back.
I’m off to bed, hopefully to sleep for many many hours. I’ll hopefully post pictures tomorrow once my laptop situation is taken care of.
Disclaimers and Stuff