The name "BarryFish" originated when Barry took his new business partner to Hong Kong in 2002. (I often carry these cards and a small "space pen" with me to record the new thing of the moment -
The business partner had never been out of the country [at all] so he was somewhat exhausted after the trip.
When we arrived in HK I wanted to take him shopping in HK's electronics district "ShamShuiPo" -
he reluctantly agreed.
It's a wonderful place with many blocks of electronics stores side by side.
Every store has lot of cool (non-consumer) stuff like power supplies, chips, surface mount parts, LCDs,
specialty tools and just about everything else that you might want to build an electronic project of any kind.
If the stores arn't enough, in the afternoon they block the streets off and the electronically oriented street vendors set up.
The streets are filled with open flea matket style booths and tons of shoppers looking for cell phone repair and VCD's.
I wanted to find a SIMM card reader that would connect to my laptop so that I could manage all of my US, HK and China phone numbers (outside of the phone) -
remember that this was 2002 and the idea of a SIMM card was new to the US but HK was way ahead of us.
On this trip we were staying on Kowloon side near the park so we took the MTR a few miles over to the SSP exit.
Once we popped out on the street I paused for a moment to draw a pictorial version of what I wanted on a 3X5 index card.
I got that habit from my friend Clint - someone that has my respect for many of his behaviors - that being one..)
Once I had my Phone, SIMM card, the reader (that I wanted) and the PC drawn, we set out on our mission.
Diligently, we went store to store asking, showing the drawing, phone and arms waving. Each time we got looks like "you guys are from Mars"
After the better part of a day at this my partner wanted to go to the British pub and have a beer. I was not done yet..
We continued on and when we almost reached the end of the shops, when one guy said "GOLDEN !".
It did not make sense to me at the time but after finding another shop where the proprietor spoke better English,
we found that the guy meant the Golden Computer Mall in Moncock.
Off we go! -
There are several computer malls in various areas of HK.
The Golden Computer Center in Moncock is about 5 stories tall, spiraling upward and jammed with stores,
stalls really, most of which are 15 feet wide
and packed with all manner of computers, computer parts and accessories.
I whipped out my little card again and began the SIMM reader hunt.
The first two stores gave us the familiar "you crazy gringo" look so we continued on.
At the third store, the guy said wait!..so we waited while he sent a runner scurrying through the
1000's of people packed into the mall.
A few minutes later, his runner returns with exactly what I wanted. USB-SIMM card reader in a nice package and
a multi-language install CD. $25.
After all of the shopping, my partner wants to go get some dinner. My friend Denny had suggested that we go to Rainforest in Kowloon Tong,
so we hop back on the MTR for a modest ride north.
We get there and restaurant has two tall vertical cylindrical aquariums at the entrance.
Overhead, the two columns are bridged by a third which allows the fish to go from side to side. All of the fish are just leisurely swimming around, except for one little yellow guy - he is swimming around and around determined to find the passage to the other side.
That's when my partner says "look!!! a BarryFish !"
so it stuck.
Luckily I had the camera and was able to capture the little guy digitally.