Tuesday, December 04, 2007

State of the Thru-hike Address

As many of you may know, I'm planning to start in Key West on January 1st, then hike nearly 1,800 miles to Springer Mountain. If all goes well, I will arrive on April 16th.

Carrying a computer on my back isn't going to happen, so making sure Atlas Quest stays up and running while I'm out of touch is something of a concern for me. What am I doing about this?

First, I've stopped all major development on the site. I'm working to get the site as stable and bug-free as possible. I've been tweaking queries to make them run faster.

Second, I've added two new webmasters and admins this year. Hopefully if something does go wrong, they'll be able to fix it without my help. If you need help from an admin or webmaster, be sure to contact them from the Contact Us page. The link is at the bottom of almost every page on AQ.

If you do contact me directly, it might be several days before I get the message, and may be weeks (or even months!) before I can do anything about it.

Third, I've started paying for an "Enhanced Monitoring Service" so if the site goes down, a 24/7 support group will jump into action within 15 minutes to get the website back up and running.

And finally, I've reactivated my PocketMail device. Some of you old timers might remember my using it while on the Appalachian Trail to write those detailed trail journals. Once again, I will be writing trail journals, but it'll be my link to the outside world.

I'll have my AQ mail forwarded to it so I can check mail from any phone I cross paths with, and I'll be able to reply to them. (I will not be able to log into AQ, however, so I won't be able to DO anything on AQ--just read and respond to AQ mail.)

I've also decided to post my adventures via Blogger. They have a nifty feature where I can post blogs by sending the blog entry to a special e-mail address. I should therefore be able to post much more regularly than I was able to on the AT. Later, when I have access to a computer, I will compile them and add photos into an official Great Adventure, but for the most up-to-date info about my travels, you'll find it on my blog. I hope to update that at least every couple of days.

What else? I have the entire AQ development machine on a flash drive that I'll be carrying with me. If something does go wrong, I can get off the trail and onto a computer--any computer-- to fix it.

Oh, the reason for this post... It's actually a test. I'm typing this on my PocketMail device, and I will e-mail it to my special blogger e-mail address, and it should (in theory) automatically post the message to the Letterboxing Is Fun blog. All without a computer. =)

There will be a new blog just for my hiking adventures at http://www.floridatrail2008.com

I'm still working on it so there's nothing to see at the moment. When it's ready to go live, I'll make it a default blog that everyone on AQ will automatically be subscribed to. (You can unsubscribe at any time if you're not interested in it, however.)

Okay, let's see if we can get this post to post!


Ryan said...

Well, the post went through, but drats! The paragraph breaks didn't work out so well. I wonder if *triple* spacing paragraphs would fix that.... Next post, I'll try that and see what happens. =)

Anonymous said...

It worked, seemingly like a charm. Gotta love technology! Though we will miss you around AQ, it sounds as if you will be leaving us in able hands.

Grumpy Grinch

Kaaren said...

House. Cable Access. Hot shower. Just a friendly reminder.

Unknown said...

Best of luck. Can't wait to read about your adventures.

P.S. Will you be email-posting to this blog or to your new floridatrail2008 blog?

Ryan said...

I'll be e-mail posting to the FloridaTrail2008.com domain. =) But if I have AQ specific announcements to make (gatherings, anyone?!), I'll e-mail post them to this blog.

Anonymous said...

will you be picking up any LB's along your journey?

<3 MayaRama

Anonymous said...

You have a safe journey. I'll actually be driving back from S. Florida on the 1st as you are starting your trip. I look forward to reading about your adventures