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[at-l] New book review, Memories (delayed) and Being Booted (yea well)



First and apology for the delay in part 2 of the Memories series.  With
all that's happening it appears it's needed more than ever. Anyway it's
all that usual Christmas stuff. Too much food - now I have to starve --
, work and a new present. 

The present is a new Thru-hiker book. "Along the Pacific Crest Trail"
with photos by Bart Smith and text by Karen Berger and Daniel Smith.
Bart Smith, a thru-hiker, came back to the trail again and again over a
period of 6 years to take some stunning photos of the scenery along the
PCT. Capturing the best of the trail in the different seasons.

Text for the book is provided by AT and CDT thru-hiker Karen Berger. A
writer, whose articles have appeared in Backpacker Magazine, Karen
recounts her 1997 PCT Thru-hike. She is accompanied by her husband, Dan
Smith, - a 5 time AT thru-hiker who has also done both the PCT and CDT.

Laid out in large format, the book provides the best of a coffee table
photo book with a travel log. I know in this family it'll be years
before our copy leaves the coffee table to find it's way into our stack
of trail books. Until then it will get numerous reads. Now all I have to
figure out is how to install a nearby sink to wash my hands so as not to
smear the amazing photos.

Now many of you may be wondering why I'm posting a review about a PCT
book to an AT list. Well a great book about any trail is worth the read
regardless of your trail of choice. Plus it may inspire a few of you to
come on out and give it a try.  At $45 bucks, it's not cheap, but well
worth the bucks. If you've still got a few Christmas dollars left, I'd
pick one up.


Now for a thought or two on the Trailplace dilemma. First, I'd like to
congratulate Wingfoot on the effort he's put forth in trying to pull it
all off. It's difficult enough if you've got a staff of programmers,
complete understanding of different operating systems and a mired of
different and rapidly evolving internet technologies. Let alone without
all that and on a budget that's virtually non existent and for no pay.  

I've spent a few hundred hours putting together the ALDHA-West Web site
over the last year, plus a few hundred more over the years on my own
site. That is combined with countless hours dealing with different email
servers, routers, and different Internet servers running on everything
from Linux to Microsoft NT. And I've got almost 20 years background in
computers.

So I can understand the frustration when the best laid intentions go
astray. The fact is, it's extremely difficult to pull this all off
without some sort of commercial backing.  Even automated systems take
hours to configure and debug properly. When you attempt mix different
technologies anything is possible. 

As a programmer who's seen a project fall apart under the weight of
increasing complexity, I know it's almost impossible not to it
personally when the criticism begins rolling in. 

Hopefully this is just a quick bump in the Internet highway that'll soon
be leveled out.

Just for the record, I to was bumped off ATML. Not for being too
controversial - although I have been known for slinging a barb or two -
but because my somewhat anemic Internet pipe (that's internet connection
to my server, for the uninitiated) occasionally causes mail to bounce if
there's too much traffic. 

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak

All barbs should be sent to: ronm@fallingwater.com 
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