Mt. Meeker | First 13’er | DNF

I’d put off doing this one for two weeks, partially because the snow/ice hadn’t melted away reasonably enough to do this without special equipment (Ice Axe, Microspikes etc). The route I used was to approach the peak from the Southwest Ridge. I wasn’t sure how much food and water to carry since I intended to finish just after lunch time (just before it got very warm and I, very hungry). Turned out, I didn’t pack enough food or nearly enough water for that matter.

Things in my pack (besides essentials like compass, map, knife):

  1. 2 Fig Bars
  2. 1 Cliff Bar
  3. 2 Fruit Break Fruit Blends
  4. 600 ml of water
  5. Lifestraw
  6. 1 Fleece Jacket
  7. 1 Rain Jacket
  8. 1 thin pair of gloves
  9. 1 thick pair of gloves
  10. Hat

All the extra clothing turned out to be not useful. The temperature stayed between 15 to 28C. The hike from the Sand Beach Trail-head up to Hunter’s Creek Crossing was uneventful, it’s a well marked trail and there are a handful of campsites in between. There are some nice views, about half a mile to a mile in.

Allenspark, CO

The trail alongside Hunter’s Creek to Meeker Meadows although well defined, is strewn with fallen trees or the swelling creek covering it up and I consequently spent quite sometime off-trail but as long as you keep the trail to your left, you are going in the right direction. When you get close to Meeker Meadows, the trees start to clear up and offer a view of the peak.

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Mt. Meeker, first glimpse from Hunter’s Creek

Meeker Meadows is marshy with several small streams running in between. There are no visible trails to guide you, you will simply have to keep following the actual creek till you get to the rocky base of the mountain. From here the treeline starts to disappear and I was walking up loose gravel, rocks and moss that appeared to look like grass. As I kept going uphill, I started to lose track of the route to the ridge line. I was too far up to turn around and look for a better path and I kept going what seemed like a Class 2 to Class 3 scramble.

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Snow in July

I walked around the snow and also got across where it had melted down to a small stream. At this point,I had given up finding the original route  and decided that I’ll tackle the peak head on through the rocks and reach a section where the rocks merge with ridge line. This turned out to be more of a task than I expected it to be. I was running low on food, water and my lifestraw gave up filtering after only a couple of sips. I reserved little less than half of the water I had for the way back. The view on the other hand, was exhilarating to say the least and it kept me going.

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At around 12, 000 feet. Sandbeach Lake in the distance

The peak seemed within reach and I thought I’ll push through and summit. But sustaining this Class 3 scramble for 200 meters with noon approaching seemed foolhardy.

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Class 3 Scramble?

At what turned out to be 13, 120 feet ( Meeker stands at 13, 911 feet) I decided to turn around. It was quickly approaching noon time, and I could see the clouds starting to gather in the sky. At this altitude, the weather can be notoriously unpredictable at noon. Frequent thunderstorms are a given, and it is better to be under the tree line before it starts to rain lest you want to be struck be lightning. Also, I seemed to be  the only person attempting to climb Mt. Meeker at the time.

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Gathering Clouds fast approaching

The way down was slow, slippery and drudging with all the rock and gravel.  It took quite sometime to get under timberline. Parts of the Rocky Mountain National Park is remote and spectacular scenic even if you are not trying to climb a tall mountain. I was back in Meeker Meadows just when it started to drizzle.

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Hunter’s Creek

Needless to say, I will attempt to ascent this again and hopefully succeed after I find the damned route to the ridge line!

Strava Report [GPS pooped out at 8 miles, did 12 miles (20 kilometers) in all]

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Flickr Photostream

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Making that $5 MSP430 launchpad still count

Quite some time ago, TI sold the MSP430 Launchpad at $5 price. Needless to say, I bought one immediately. The kit came just with the board and a cheap USB cord. And right away, I was able to get the demo programs to work. An LED blink later, I grew weary to do anything more and the board has since been dormant. Life (and Work)  gets in the way when you are trying to figure out how to setup the right registers to run a simple hobby project.

Thankfully, we had the Arduino’s and they made things so much simpler and more importantly fun. Sure, there is a pleasure in looking up 50 page datasheet to setup a bunch of ports as inputs or outputs, but applications are sometimes more closer to your heart than anything else. Anyway, more recently a brilliant bloke at TI whom I can’t thank enough, ported the wiring framework to TI’s development kits. Not just the launchpad, but even the CortexM4 boards (TIVA/Stellaris). I find this very important for technology education and I hope more chip manufacturers follow this trend. Being able to teach or learn embedded programming with a more affordable board and a much simper ecosystem is pure bliss. The project is also on github .

Visit http://energia.nu/ and revel like I did.

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Night | Lincoln Memorial

Night | Lincoln Memorial

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WiFi for gesture recongition

Most gesture recognition systems are based on line of sight and thus limits their capabilities despite recent advances (Xbox Kinect). A few folks at the University of Washington have realised a gesture recognition system from what could’ve only stemmed from science fiction or stupendously imaginative mind. The concept is pretty straight forward, and I ‘d wager that it would very unlikely be feasible in the near future. Still, just the fact that something like this is possible is amazing (while the rest of the world still hungers for needlessly large smartphones or monstrously high resolution screens) and stands out  in what has become a stagnant age for technology where people would rather battle for ridiculous patents.

The simplest analogy that I can provide as to how the system works, is to think of radar with an extrapolation of patterns and time. Just with disturbances in radio frequency signals on the WiFi spectrum, it is possible to recognize gestures.

From: http://wisee.cs.washington.edu/

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Checking Library Dependencies in Linux for cross-compiled Applications

ldd not working for you? Frustrated that you don’t know the dependencies for your cross-compiled application? Trying to find out what libraries your GUI needs without installing everything? Compiled your ARM application on an X86 machine?

For all of the above annoyances, try readelf. It works across platforms. It will list every single dependency your application needs. It will not however deploy them for you, you’d have to figure that out yourself.

readelf -d [ApplicationName] | grep NEEDED

You’re welcome.

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Night | Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam

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Interesting Things – Foo (and Kilroy)

Just as Alice and Bob are commonly associated with communication/cryptography lingo, we have Foo and Bar for programming. The origin for the word “Foo” goes back to a 1930s comic Smokey Stover by Bill Holman. But here’s where it gets interesting, Foo also links with the popular phrase/ graffiti Kilroy was here. The origins for Kilroy was here is disputed. But the Australian Equivalent was Foo was here. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foobar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilroy_was_here

Foo Filter? 

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Dusk | New York, New York

nyc_1200x800

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Elon Musk deserves better

I’ve been closely following an interesting set of events that followed a review of the Tesla Model S by a New York Times reporter and I’m sure enough people know about it. The issue by large lies with the electric car technology, it simply is not yet ready for a fair comparison with it’s engine powered counterpart. The technology is young, and Tesla in my opinion has exceeded  expectations of what an electric car can do at such an  early stage. There are two fundamental short comings that is holding it from being the new Model T.

1. Batteries and Charging, that will lost a little longer than 200 miles given all scenarios
2. Sustainable source of power for charging the car so it is carbon neutral

But I can understand what Elon Musk is doing, he is preparing for the future which is what the rest of the auto-mobile industry should be doing. Even the best engines are never going to achieve the efficiency that modern electric motors have (which is nearly 100%).  They can also not easily eliminate emissions. The electric car is also in fact one the best incentives we have  to build more wind farms and solar power stations. I watched a documentary today called Page One , which talked about how the New York Times is loosing relevance with new readers and struggling to maintain because of how quickly technology is changing. Given incidents like this, I think it is only making it worse for them. Reporters need to be better informed of how the technology works  before jumping into unfair conclusions.

Watch this video, where he faced criticism for SpaceX. Fast forward to 11m 05s. 

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