Sunday, February 11, 2007

blogging from the Great Wall of China

Having made it to the Great Wall of China I was somewhat overwhelmed by its beauty and mystique. The drive leading up to it is wild in that cars just travel in any direction they like. There appears to be a magical “middle lane” that opens up for Taxi drivers only and it can leave you often looking at oncoming traffic straight in the eye!

As fellow MVP James McCutcheon, Microsoft Product Manager Nicholas White and I arrived we could see the wall stretch from left to right and back again. It was ominously looking down on us and almost daring us to arrive. The parking lot saw many “peddlers” and street merchants, all illegal and all playing cat and mouse with local police. Our tour guide, Ricky Lee, pointed us to the top and said I’ll meet you back here.

As we passed through the turnstile we looked up at the 60 degree angle facing us and started to take the first steps. It wasn't long before breathlessness, the cold, and burning thighs started to affect our thinking. As we rose through the mountain we peered back and felt queasy, and nocuous, about the vertical staircase we had left behind.

As we peaked at one point, another opened up. And as we crossed a land mark, it seemed that the journey was endless. Knowing that we were walking on a structure that had claimed so many lives during the Ming Dynasty, and dates as far back as 1640 in some areas, all three of us seemed touched by the history strewn beneath our feet. We all reached for our mobile phones and started dialing friends and family. First I talked with my beautiful wife (that helped me take time out to be here) and then with my son, which by huge contrast had to be called out of our swimming pool to answer the phone. He was so excited that he dragged his friend out (another five year old) and made me say hello too. “Cool, waow!” is how he put it I believe!

I proceeded to pull out the famous Hugo Ortega camera, and remote control, and started Vlogging for you guys. First I screamed, then I jeered, then I shared my breathless tale of the steep ascent on this infamous marble staircase. It seems however that in all my excitement I became a little lightheaded and distracted. As we arrived at the parking lot and made our way to the Ming Tombs I realized that my camera had been either left behind or stolen! Ouch! So now I have no video to show you. All I have is this one coincidental (yet lifeless) shot of me on the Vista enabled Q1B, on top of the Great Wall!

If you get the chance you should make your way here. It is truly special.

Blogging from the Great Wall of China


HG said...

Hugo that is ashame you lost your camera. =( I also have been enjoying my Q1P running Vista seems to be running with no problems for the last week and half Still testing programs that I need for my job and so far everything is ok except Acrobat Pro which gives me a error but works, very strange. Are you running Vista fully on your Q1B? I still have the tablet Edition because wanted to make sure everything would work. Some say that the WMD to sync is very slow, I haven't sync my PPC-6700 yet. Maybe I will do that today Saturday here California. Good luck

Anonymous said...

can you tell me if it is possible to up load information from a umpc running on xp to a vista lap top and vis versa ps sorry about your camera

Kornel said...

Lol, the keyboard is unplugged in that picture ;)

Anonymous said...


btw, hugo, have you tried this? can u review this?

Hugo Ortega said...

HAHA Kornel! And the Q1B is turned off too! Truth be told I shut the machine down after making some brief notes and packed herup...I then realised that a still photo of me on the wall would be neat as it is higher resolution than video.

Because I had shot so much video up there I wasn't planning on using this at all (you may note that I call it lifeless in the post). Since my camera was lost/stolen I ended up posting this one shot as a token gesture. I have since found a better one that will go up soon.

PS. thanks for catching me out on this! LOL. At least I got a chance to explain myself.

Hugo Ortega said...

Hi Anonymous,

I look ed at the thread and find it very exciting. I will look at it closely and probably post something soon.

I am at Sungapore airlines going home so it may be 48hrs before I look at it...thanks.

Veronica said...

I am based in NZ but am travelling to Sydney next week. I am keen to purchase a tablet / Hybrid but would liek to talk to someone about them and their capabilites etc - Can you suggest a retailer in either NZ or Aus that would be able to help? - email me at - cheers

Hugo Ortega said...

Hi Veronica,

Thanks for the email. I will drop you an email and see if we do coffee while you're in town!

Talk soon...

Nikooo said...

Hi Hugo,

a practical question... would you really use the keyboard to post something? Wouldn't inking be faster?


Hugo Ortega said...

Hi Nikoo,

You guys shouldn't get so caught up on the per my previous answer, the phot was a set up. We were on our way back down the mountain when I decided to pul the Q1 out and get this photo. It was never going to be used on the blog...but when my camera got stolen...anyway, you know the stroy!

LOL. Thanks for the thought, you're right...the pen is mightier than the keyboard!

DoYouShark said...

If you loose your camera its just a camera... but the pictures, thoose memories?

There is a webservice for you to sign up and see if someone have found your camera at