Friday, September 07, 2007

Mattel CEO has some reporting to do

Mattel CEO has to face Congress in the coming week. Wall Street Journal reports that Mattel's Chief Executive will have to testify for their procedures for hazardous toys and their recent recalls. On the other side of the globe in the APEC, the presidents of the two countries were fighting on the same topic. Chinese president insist that this issue will not be overlooked by Beijing, the country's capital. New Zealand also jumped onto the bandwagon and accused China of poisonous toothpaste and fire hazardous pajamas. Later reports shows that New Zealand's jumped the gun on these issues, third party report shows that these products are still within the safety limits. Chinese merchants went on further to say that most of these products are designed in the US, they should share some of the responsibility in their end product.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Chinese Merchant Suicide on Mattel's recall

The head of the factory who supply toys to Mattel had hung himself after receiving the news that nearly 1 million of his toy is returned. I just think this is a sad story. Zhang Shuhong of Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd cannot carry the financial burden, thus, decided to take his own life. Not only is Mattel heavily affected, so is the Chinese export industry, along with the suppliers of the Lee Der Industrial Co. Ltd. This will have a chain of effects in the Hong Kong and China's toy manufacturer.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Panda Virus in China


The recent Panda Virus (熊猫烧香) is creating quite a stir in China. Our factory is heavily hit by this virus and it is very costly for us. A portion of our ERP is down and cleaning is very complicated. A source code of the virus can be found in akykia's blog. The virus was originally started in mid Feburary before the Chinese New Year, and it has spread very quickly around China. Some reported that the virus has undergone mutation to an even more deadly virus. It is believed that the virus will expand itself from the port 139/145 on the same network. Therefore please block those ports appropriately. There are independent fix for this virus on most of the big china anti virus websites. However, make sure to disconnect your computer before trying to fix it.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Installation of SugarCRM on cPanel

Recently I was looking at different ERP services for our company, and I came across this open Source CRM program, as many of you know SugarCRM is a powerful Open Source CRM. So I took the chance to try to set it up on public hosting services with cPanel. It is actually quite simple, I am not an internet GURU, but it took me less than an hour to install it. Here are the steps

1. Download SugarCRM from SugarCRM. Make sure to download the full installation package (not the one with the bitRock Installer).

2. Goto your cPanel setup screen. If you want your sugar to be a subdomain (e.g. then you can first add a subdomain. Goto your cPanel login screen, and click on "subdomains" under "Domain". I have one setup under sugar, so I type in
"sugar" in the empty box where you can add subdomains, and select the domain where you want to add this under. Click on the add button and you will see a successful message.

3. When that is done you need to setup a MySQL account, go back to the login screen for cPanel, and goto "MySQL" under "database". goto the empty box where it says "Db:________Add Db" and add the database, for this you might want to use something like sugarCRM. After that you will need to Add user, type in the username and password you want to use for your database, this is the master password for the MySQL database(we call it the Database_username, and Database_password). Hold on, we are not done yet, we need one more step, we need to add that user to that specific database you have just recently created. Look under the under the "Database" label and local "User:_____ Db:_____", select the user and database name that you have just created and click on the "Add user to DB" button. Remember that the way cPanel labels the database is yourdomain.com_yourDBName, in this case it is yourdomain.com_sugarCRM. Now you are ready for installation.

4. The reason we download the SugarOS without the installer is cPanel already has MySQL installed, so we can just create it there. Now we need to upload the Sugar to the FTP server onto cPanel, there is a few ways to do this. You can either setup a user account for the site's FTP and upload with an FTP agent, or you can upload with the built in Java FTP agent. I went with the second option, which was quick and easy. Goto "Ftp Manager" under "Site Management" and choose "UnlimitedFTP". Now you can upload the unpacked content to the FTP server. Adding the subdomain should create a default directory under your "public_html" directory, go there and unload all your content. For my installation, I used, so I just uploaded all the content to public_html/sugar/

5. After the long wait of the upload, goto The installation is now more than half way. Skip the default welcome page and The system will perform a system check, if they are all green then you can just click next. On the next page (step:3) you will be quizzed of the recent names that you just made up. Let's first start with the questions:

Host name : localhost
Database Name : yourdomain.com_sugarCRM
Username for SugarCRM: Yourdoma_sugarcr
The user name only takes the first 8 char and the last 7 char for database username. You should always verify the user name and database name in the "MySQL" menu under "Database", make sure to include the full name, a copy and paste can ensure that you got the full name with the _ in between.
Password for SugarCRM: Database_Password

These are nothing more than the names that you have created before. Next is a few clicks on if you needed demo data. I wanted a clean install, so I went with only the privileged user choice.

6. The next page asks you of more question, you need to type the URL of the subdomain to make this work. The URL should be Then you have to decide an administrative password. Type that twice and click on next to goto the confirm page. Make sure everything is typed correctly and you can wrap up the installation with the "finish" button. Installation will start and will only take a mater of seconds. After the installation finish you are asked if you want to register. Answer all questions and you will be redirected to the default login page.

Congratulations! you have just installed SugarCRM on your domain!

Friday, February 09, 2007

ERP decision on our Factory

We manufacture PCBs, for those of you that doesn't know what this stands for, it's Printed Circuit Board. It is basically the piece of board that you see, usually green, when you open any electronic device. We have a factory in China and Office in Hong Kong. And recently we want to improve our efficiency by installing ERP (or catch up with the 20th century). And we are going thru the decision phase, there is the good old famour Oracle, SAP and the PCB industry favorite Paradigm. All the big shots knows how to make a good ERP, but they might not fit our industry. Paradigm is famous, but the user feedback from our buddies in the industry doesn't seem promising. There's a great gap between what you want and what they are offering, they are rather big, thus doesn't give you much support if you are a small company. Changes has to be made by their headquarter, and you have to pay a premium to get that service. That's why we search for other local sources. To our surprises, one of the local ERP makers has a solution for PCB ERP. And we are thrilled to see that they have a very flexible system, plus they are of a similar size to us, which probably means that we are one of their bigger customer. They also have consultants that knows the PCB industry, their software is designed specifically for the PCB industry. They are also offering to Consultant services for our PCB production. These guys at Welcome ERP 迎新集团 are showing that they know what they are doing. Their references seem to respond well to their product. They do have very competitive pricing, and they know businesses that spreads across the boarder like us, so it should be a good fit. I will update more on the decision process.