Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Blog Work....

As most of you know, my last long walk was the Florida Trail. One of the
major reasons I chose that particular trail was because it was relatively
accessible from populated areas. There would be very frequent trail towns,
many road crossings, yadda, yadda, yadda. If something went wrong with Atlas
Quest, I'd probably know about it within a few days in most cases, and
getting off the trail to a computer to fix problems would be relatively

The Pacific Crest Trail, however, is far more remote. I might go for a week
or more without any contact with the outside world. Getting on or off the
trail to handle problems would be considerably more difficult. I'm
considerably more confident leaving AQ unattended this time around, however.
Wassa--despite his reputation--does a remarkable job of getting AQ back up
when things go wrong. Atlas Quest is also a lot more stable than it was when
I hiked the Florida Trail. I remember that first week when I was hiking and
AQ suddenly kept hanging for unknown reasons. (It would be well over a year
before I finally figured out that issue.) Oh, I worried. I worried a lot.
Wassa was smart, but he was still fairly new to how AQ was set up. I
definitely didn't want to be more than a day or two out of touch--at least
early on in my hike.

This accessibility affected my blog as well. I was usually able to post blog
entries every two or three days--if not daily along certain sections. That
won't be the case along most of the PCT. There will likely be times when I
won't be able to post blog entries for a week or more at a time. Unless I
did something, you'll wind up reading an avalanche of a dozen or more blog
entries in one or two days, then hear nothing from me for a week or more
until the next avalanche when I get back into town again.

So I've been thinking about how to space out the blog entries into a more
regular posting schedule. =) I'm working on that system now.

This is how it works: Each of my blog entries, which I type in on a
PocketMail device, will be e-mailed to a special e-mail address I created on
Atlas Quest. I've set up Atlas Quest to automatically check this e-mail
address periodically, and pull the messages into a special table in the
database for storage. Then, once each day, Atlas Quest will check from this
pool of blog entries, pick up the oldest one, and forward it on to my blog
for all you readers. Basically, it gives some of my blog posts a "time
delay" of sorts, to even out the posting schedule.

And the reason I'm telling you about all this.... is because I needed a post
to test the system. =) Yes, this long post is a test. Nothing but a test.

My expectation is that once I get into my hike, the blog entries will likely
get posted to my blog about one to two weeks after I originally write them.
On average. But you could expect to consistently get a new blog entry every
single day (or pretty darned close to it). They'll post shortly after
midnight, Pacific time, giving you something new to look forward to reading
every morning while drinking your morning coffee. =) Or save it for later in
the day.

Anyhow, I'm still hard at work preparing for my hike--which also includes
preparing my blogging system for you all to enjoy! =)


Ryan said...

Sweet! It worked! =) This blog post made it through two different e-mail systems before arriving here!

-- Ryan

veganf said...

What a sweet setup! So cool that it worked. I look forward to reading about your adventure.

Anonymous said...

Boy, talk about an up and down feeling, you really know how to do it to us, Ryan. Ha, with the third paragraph I was down, with the fourth I was up, .....Sounds great, and look forward to regularity. ha ha.
Okie Dog

Anonymous said...

As I was reading your 3rd paragraph, I started thinking, "too bad there isn't way..." and "ooh, take detailed notes, so we still hear about everything!"

Then I read about your solution! Amazing and thank you!


Anonymous said...

When you hiked the AT, we used to read your posts at the dinner table with the kids. Those days there wasn't an entry were painful! We're empty nesters now but we'll look forward to reading your blog each day. The bad part is we won't know exactly where you are on a given day to bring 'trail magic'.
~~Doublesaj & Old Blue~~

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Nothing better than being 'regular'.

Sweet set-up, even for those of us reading a year later ;)

~Twinville Trekkers