All posts by Josh Bancroft

Snowpocalypse 2008

Starting about last Sunday, December 13, 2008, we’ve seen an unprecendented amount of snow here in the Portland area. I’ve lived here for about 10 years, and have never seen this much. It usually snows at least once a year here, but it never sticks around for more than a day or so. Since snowstorms are so infrequent here, there aren’t enough snowplows, sanders, and other road equipment, and people aren’t used to driving safely in the snow (go slow, easy on the brakes, etc.), so the roads get WAY more hazardous than a few inches of snow should make them. That means everything shuts down – school was cancelled all week. I worked from home (though I could have gone in if I want to – Intel never closes for weather). Church was cancelled. It’s kind of crazy. :-)

I finally got out today and snapped some pictures with my “big boy” camera (Nikon D40), instead of the lousy iPhone shots I’ve been posting to Flickr all week. You can see all of the photos in this set. Here are a few, to give you an idea of what’s been keeping up cooped up inside for a week. :-)

The beginning of the Snowpocalypse:

Snowpocalypse Continues in Aloha (10:55AM 12/17)

Meltpocalypse on Thursday 12/18 (my birthday!)

Meltpocalypse in Aloha (11:20 AM 12/18)

Our backyard on Sunday 12/21:

Back Porch

View from the front porch:

View from the Front Porch

8 inches on the Garbage Can:

Snow Accumulation on Garbage Can

Our car was clear yesterday – we ventured out. This is 1 day’s snow and ice accumulation:

24 Hours of Le Snow

We’re safe and warm in our house, got lots of supplies, and enjoying the Christmas tree, etc. Our biggest problem is a little cabin fever, so we’re pretty grateful. It’s looking like we’ll get a White Christmas this year. We’re planning on traveling to southern Oregon after Christmas, so I hope this stuff melts eventually! :-)

What The Kids Were Doing Instead Of Sleeping

I watched, unnoticed, in their doorway for several minutes, long after their bed time. They were supposed to be in bed. They obviously were not.

But the sunset was so beautiful tonight, and the view from that window so gorgeous, I can’t really blame them.

I still closed the window and made them lay down. I’m a mean dad. ;-)


What is it about sunglasses that makes kids so cute in them?


Taken at our favorite Dairy Queen, the one on Brookwood and TV Hwy in Hillsboro, where the food is NOT the same as every other DQ in the world. They have their own burgers – Super King, Super Queen, the Hillsburger, etc. They’re served on real glass plates with real silverware. Good stuff, and of course, a nice ice cream treat on the hottest day of the year so far. :-)

Photos: Shanghai’s PC Mall – 5 Stories of Computer and Electronic Goodness

I’m starting to get through processing and uploading the hundreds of photos that I’ve taken since I’ve been in Shanghai. Here are some from the “PC Mall” that Richard and Welles took me to the first day I was here. It’s a huge 5 story mall, like you’re probably thinking of. Except that every store, every kiosk, every nook, and every cranny is crammed full of computers, computer parts, cameras, media players, games and consoles, phones, monitors, and every other kind of electronics you can think of. It is a gadget lover’s paradise.

The best way I can sum it up, to people in the US, is that it’s like Fry’s on crack. :-)

Anyway, here are some photos. As always, I love it when you leave comments. Let me know what you think, if you have any questions, etc. You can see all 34 photos in this set on Flickr, and view them as a slideshow.

Enjoy! :-)

Buy Now PC Mall, Shanghai
Shanghai PC Mall
Richard and a MacBook Air
iPod Shuffle knockoff
iPod Nano knockoffs
Shanghai PC Mall
Dopod Windows Mobile phones, and iPhones
Shanghai PC Mall
Shanghai PC Mall at night

On Top of Shanghai – View from the Tallest Hotel in the World

I shot 350 plus photos this afternoon and evening, walking around Shanghai and the Huangpu riverfront. And I’ll put all of the good ones on Flickr, eventually, but I just HAD to share this one immediately:

Shanghai from the Cloud 9 Bar, 87th Floor of the Hyatt

Click it to view the photo on Flickr, then check out some of the larger sizes. I snapped this about an hour ago from the bar on the 87th floor of the Shanghai Hyatt, the “tallest hotel in the world”. It occupies the 50th through 87th floors of the building that houses the Shanghai stock exchange. And the view is astounding.

Thanks to Kelly, Tammy, and Jay, who I ran into on my way back to my room, for “shanghai’ing” me into going back out with them. The view alone would have been SO worth it, but the company and conversation were great, too. :-)

More Video from Shanghai: Josh’s IDF Video Diary

Here’s another collection of video clips from the two days of IDF Shanghai. Highlights include a look around the IDF venue (Shanghai International Convention Center), the Huangpu riverfront at night (gorgeous!), a peek at Chinese TV in my hotel room, a look at what websites are blocked in China and which aren’t, some “man on the street” video with Intel’s new Mobile Internet Devices, a look at the terrifying chaos that is pedestrian and vehicle traffic in Shanghai, and a cameo appearance by Celene Dion. :-)

Like the walkabout video I posted before, these little clips were all shot in HD on my little Aiptek Go-HD video camera, then pieced together in Quicktime Pro and rendered down to 640×360 on my Elgato Turbo.264. And then converted to low quality Flash by YouTube. :-) The video is about 10 minutes long, and I’ll probably post a higher quality version than what I can get from YouTube when I get home.

I’ll probably keep shooting and posting these while I’m in Shanghai. I’m here until next week – going to spend a few days working with some of the Intel Software Network team here at Intel Shanghai. And I kind of like the style/technique of these videos. I’ve had lots of people ask me how I’m doing this. It’s very simple: I turn the screen on the camera so I can see myself, then hold it out at arm’s length, pointed at me, and pivot around in place to show what’s around me, while keeping myself on screen. Kind of fun to shoot, and I like the results.

You know the drill – leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Want to see more like this? Hate it? Have something about Shanghai that you want me to shoot? Drop me a line, and let me know. And thanks for watching! :-)

A few iPhone photos from Shanghai

It’s been a whirlwind two days. IDF just got over, and for the last two days, I’ve been shooting video of keynotes, sessions, demos, and other interesting stuff. Since all my video gear is kinda heavy to lug around, I haven’t bothered taking my Nikon D40 DSLR with my, to take many photos. Now that I’m done with the heavy duty video stuff, I’ll have my camera with me much more while I’m here in Shanghai, and will take and post some more photos.

In the mean time, here are a few that I’ve managed to shoot with my iPhone. Some of these turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself. As always, I love it when you comment on my stuff, so let me know what you think, and enjoy! :-)

Shanghai Promenade
Super Brand Mall, Shanghai
Super Brand Mall, interior
My first meal in Shanghai: McDonald's
Intel Developer Forum 2008 Shanghai

You can, as always, see all of the photos I share on Flickr.

Video: Josh’s Shanghai Walkabout

I’ve been in Shanghai for about a day and a half now, for the Spring 2008 Intel Developer Forum conference. I’m here to shoot video of stuff that’s interesting and useful for software developers and generally cover the event for Intel Software Network.

Yesterday was “Day 0″ of the event – badge pickup, etc., but no real events scheduled. I took the opportunity to escape my hotel, and do a little walkabout exploration of my surroundings in Shanghai. I’ve been shooting tons of pictures and video, and I could write thousands and thousands of words about how cool Shanghai is. For now, enjoy this little video I put together of my “walkabout” in Shanghai.

Features include: about 100 people offering to sell me a “Rolex”, some of the great Shanghai architecture, exploration of the “Super Brand Mall”, including the Chinese versions of McDonalds and Toys R Us, a supermarket, and more.

Later that evening, my ISN China colleagues (and Shanghai natives) Richard and Welles basically showed me the town. They took me to PC Mall, which is a 5 story mall full of nothing but computers, electronics, cameras, and games. It’s like Fry’s on crack, and I’m DEFINITELY going back there before I come home. :-) There’s a bonus clip of PC Mall at the end of the video.

I also ran into my first “blocked in China” site while trying to upload this video – I love Blip, for lots of reason – video quality being one of the top. So I was bummed to not be able to use it for this video. Instead, it’s on YouTube (strange that Blip is blocked but YouTube isn’t – what’s up with that?), with the accompanying quality loss. But at least you can see it. And the quality isn’t super high anyway – it was all shot handheld in HD on my Aiptek Go-HD, then reencoded to 640×360 on my trusty Elgato Turbo.264. I’ll put up a high quality version when I get home.

Here’s the video – enjoy! :-)