Think of this as Volume 12, Number 23 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
I am covering the CompuTex show in the capital of Taiwan, Taipei. You can read my coverage at ZDNet Open Source and at ZDNet's new blog, SmartPlanet, where I co-write the Smarter Tech blog and solo on their Smarter Health.
Here, however, I want to talk about what I have learned about Taiwan, about what differentiates it from Chengdu, and what that may say to the rest of us.
My first impressions of the place were dirty. The overpasses are older, the buildings all older, than on the mainland. Taipei has been a modern city for over half a century. This should not have been a shock. But after all the construction of new highways, office towers, and condominium complexes in Chengdu it was.
The Taipei air is also dirty. You can't get along on a bicycle here. You're either in a car or on a motorcycle. A motorcycle is better, because you can park it on the sidewalk. With a car you need to find a lot, which is expensive. Every light change is met by the roar of dozens of motorcycle engines. Many people wear masks against the soot, but that is of no help against the other pollutants they are making.