But I know a few more things now than I did then and one of those is Google Docs. I figure that I could make it an even better list by using check boxes that when the prospective hiker clicks a "submit" button, it generates a list of what they selected only. This gear list can also be used for the American Discovery Trail in the Spring, Summer and Fall, but also anywhere that isn't impassable in the winter.
The North Country Trail is similar, except that with snowshoes, or cross country skis, the trail that is official now doesn't have much in the way of impassibilities. That might change when the trail opens up in the Adirondacks and Vermont. My gear list doesn't account for coats rated to handle the winters in Upper Peninsula Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. And that's because I don't have any experience with these conditions.
My list is hiking only. If I could team up with distance cyclist and equestrian, I would give credit to their them on the new check list (in the "by" lines). The cyclist list needs to be a standard all-terrain, multi-speed mountain bike with the capabilities of riding long distances on canal towpaths and former railroad right-of-ways that are now grass, bumpy and on relatively flat terrain. Under the conditions I just stated, it is unlikely that the path will ever be plowed in the winter and the cyclist might easily find that they'll be the first ones on it since it snowed. If there's too much, they'll have to by-pass on roads.
What I'd need them to do, is take out all of their gear and lay it out. Then write down all the pieces in their full inventory that must include the winter items as well. They should make note of their temperature ratings if they know them. And they shouldn't be concerned about redundancy with my list because at this point, I'm not sure how, or if I'll edit that?
Cincinnati is 250 miles
Charleston, WV is 105 miles
Chillicothe, OH is 138 miles
Clarksburg, WV is 65.9mi
Cleveland is 187 miles
Columbus, OH is 147 miles
Dayton, OH is 217
Toledo, OH is 287 miles
Wheeling, WV is 63.7 miles
I'm a little late, in getting some of my electrical gear out of the motorhome. But so far, it looks as if nothing's damaged.
The Robot's operating system needs to be freshly re-installed. Diagnostics on the Windows Update functions failed today. That's alright because it really doesn't take too much time to do that and there really isn't very much in way of software installed on it anyways. I don't think that Windows is going to wipe every hard disk drive, but just in case, I'll dismount the 4th one's data cable as the operating system is reinstalling. It contains documents, movies, music, videos, etc...
With the hard disks data cables being attached to an expansion SATA RAID card, I could all four hard disks to function as one and I believe that's called an "array." It distributes the load of the software evenly amongst the hard disks. But that would entail wiping the 4th hard disk. So lately, I've been performing a manual array. That means that I've been keeping track of what's to be, or is installed in the system and assigning each one to strategic locations. For instance, Google Earth, Picasa, and GPSBabel are installed on three separate hard disks. In the even that all 3 applications are running, they won't be using the same hard disk at the same time. Each disk can do one thing and run as optimally as possible. Switching to a true array is a possible future upgrade.
With all that being said, I have most of the applications and where they go already written down. So there's no need to stop, think and scratch my head over what I have to install next. At this rate, I can multi - task their installations and get it done much faster.
I believe I ran into trouble when I changed a key in the registry when I was altering the location of the user files (such as documents and videos). There were other problems, too. One was my expansion Wi-Fi card. It stopped being recognized by the operating system and nothing that I tried to do could do to affect it. That's just one that I could remember.
The Robot is having issues installing updates. But that's nothing new. It's The Robot being The Robot. I've got a system maintenance day scheduled for next week.
I've got an idea for somebody out there. This could be an opportunity for somebody with a lot of free time who's not as mobile. This is a "voluntarism from behind the desk" idea. As distance hiking trails go, they often times don't have the manpower to spare. But having a program on the trail might be a good thing. On low manpower, if someone could like, friend or subscribe on social media or e-mail to every community organization, convention and visitors bureau, they could listen in for relevant events and forward them to a master trail community calendar that others can subscribe to. It's a sign up for everything, stay at home and surf the web type of thing.
Another thing that this person might do is take over the agency's events page and convert it into a subscribable calendar as well. Over time, he, or she could ask that other components of the agency and other outside organizations convert to a similar public and live calendar. That way if the main calendar is subscribed to theirs and they update it, it will automatically update the main one with no further work needed of this new volunteer.
If this is done, the hiker, or prospective one could have access to information regarding an event they might like to attend, or one where they're already down trail and may be coming up on, or know what day to avoid something that's on, or near trail because they'd rather not get caught up in a crowd.
Aside from the base and maybe a completion patch, the ADT doesn't have any individual state ones yet. So, I'm purchasing mine 3rd party. 12 years ago I was in the Army and purchased an Ohio patch at the Pentagon City Mall. Today, I ordered a similarly shaped Kentucky patch.
On my primary convertible coat, I arranged my sleeve patches in a way that's Army inspired. On my left sleeve, my unit patch is my Buckeye Trail base patch with my section supervisor rockers on top and a "Whipple" banner below. Then my various base patches go down my sleeve. The right sleeve is empty. In the Army, that's reserved for combat patches. For me, I'm labeling them as "conquest patches." The Buckeye Trail circuit hike, both the Ohio and Kentucky patches will testify as ADT - OH & KY. Then my NCT Pa and Ohio will be placed there as well.
Moving on... I plan is to make my first payment on a Household Lifetime Membership from the Buckeye Trail Association this week. The last that I knew, it was a $600 purchase price. I plan to do it in 10 installments using money orders. Walmart is the only store that I know of that will allow me to purchase money orders on debit. So, I'm willing to stand in potentially long lines for it at the customer service desk.
That's done by purchasing the money order, making it out to the BTA right there on site, tearing off it's stub, putting it in the trash and walking away. At that point, the money order can't be returned and it's only going in one direction. I'm going with 10 installments in 10 months, the reason being is as follows:
- Money orders are only good for one year before the issuing company docks a monthly fee and devalues them.
- At the 10th month, it will take 2 - 3 business days to mail. I have a practice of generally disbursing funds 6 days after I'm paid. So, if I'm on the ball and do it the same day that I get the final installment, that will leave the treasurer at least 45 days to cash them.
Now for some of you out there, you might just be able to put those installments into a savings account and hold on to it. But what you could also do is if you don't make many on-line purchases, you could make those installments to your PayPal. That is not time dependent. But I'm not sure if it has a monthly fee. The BTA is on PayPal. I'm a little foggy, but I believe that it already takes membership dues, so it'd be just a matter of transferring the funds when you get the purchase price.
In any event, it's fair to mention that you should be prepared in case the purchase price increases while your making installments. You'll have to increase your contributions to meet the new price at that point.
When I was in the Binary Operating System, I had the external video card working, so I disabled all of the redundant hardware. They were things like video and sound card that had an external card inserted in the motherboard. Before I did that, I have 16GB of memory (RAM) on-board now and the Control Panel was reading it as 15.9GB. The redundant hardware was taking about 100MB of my RAM. When I shut them off, I got all 16 available.
Google Earth is now maxed out on cache memory. And the back-up for my maps is ready to be loaded. My documents and movies have been transferred over. My media is being added to the library.
The monitor is connected to the video card with a VGA (analog) cable. I might change that over to DVI (digital), but my monitor isn't all that great. My TV connects to it via HDMI and I usually set it to clone so that both displays show the same picture. I use this mostly watch Star Trek before I go to bed. Other than that, I use it with Google Earth when I need to get out from behind the computer, get something to eat and look at the map on something bigger.
This is it, this motherboard ought to last another 8 years. I can upgrade it's RAM and CPU once. I'm thinking about getting a projector for trail presentations. If I do, I have an 80 watt speaker and a 20 watt PA amp. With the projector, all I'll need is a wireless microphone and a presenter and I'll be good to go.
The Robot is up and running using the motherboard's graphics unit. It's displaying an Intel Core i5 quad running 3.2GHz with 16GB of memory and 15.9GB of that is usable. I'm transferring my user files backup now. I just got done installing drivers and in a bit, I'll be on to applications.
Once everything is in place, I'll insert it's expansion video card in and turn off all of the redundant components on the motherboard (that saves on memory).
I got The Robots new motherboard replaced today, but have yet to install it. There isn't any scorching on the CPU, but that doesn't mean that there aren't any problems with it. Scorching marks would indicate that my heats ink wasn't making proper contact, which could ultimately cause the CPU to overheat and no longer work. But the clerk at the computer store told me that the chances for a new one to have those internal problems is very low.
The motherboard is an MSi and it only has two jumpers for the PWR LED. This is where the chassis power light's wires mount to the motherboard. My chassis has two wires in a three jumper harness where the middle port is empty. If I want to get it working, I'm going have to squeeze out one of the wires and it's metal connector and slide it in to that middle port.
I purchased a power supply tester today. There's nothing wrong with its power supply unit, in fact it powered the old motherboard. It got it to turn on today... somehow (???). Tomorrow, I plan to extract the new motherboard and perform a "post mortem."
If your a hiker and you come from another distance trail agency, what you should know is that they're all different non-profit (perhaps not for profits, too) corporations. Usually, they've been up and running for decades. And despite some of their connections to the Appalachian Trail, they've been mostly evolving on their own. Even the conditions on the ground can dictate how this is.
On the Buckeye Trail, some of you can expect there to be less navigational aides available. Also, a "section" is a defined unit and the Buckeye Trail Association's 26 map & guide combination documents are split and labeled by them. They also define the jurisdiction of their section supervisors and trail adopters.
On the map & guides, the latter portion might be a bit brief compared to what your use to. But Buckeye's trail alerts and map updates change frequently and those webpages must be consulted before every adventure. The good news is that these alerts and updates are a very active program and are generally well kept.
The North Country Trail Association is missing a several maps in its online store. For starters, since North Country is a National Scenic Trail, some of the reasons for this are political. And in the case of NW Ohio, I don't know what it's story is?
Now their GIS does a little better. It has NW Ohio. And their maps are 2003 edition the last time I checked. I know of three changes in Pennsylvania and Ohio since then.
American Discovery Trail doesn't have maps. It uses waypoints and a turn-by-turn guide. I'm working on drawing an amatur GPS track based on them. Unfortunately, I can't data generated by other users for some reservations because they're not publicly available for download somewhere else. And since I don't have it done, I don't know what GPS gaps I have? But I have nearly complete tracks for Delaware through Indiana, minus the Dolly Sods in West Virginia now.
This morning the re-built Robot booted up and while I while I was attempting to install Windows, I was prompted for a driver to help the system run the hard disks. Well, for the life of me, I can't find it. So, I downloaded them on to a flash drive.
In order to get it to recognize the newly inserted flash drive, I powered the system down. When I went to reboot it, there wasn't a single sign of life coming from the machine.
The old motherboard has its own power switch soddered to it, so I hooked it back up to the power supply and it wasn't turning on. This power supply unit was only purchased about 2 months or so ago. And while it has a warranty, the prospect of it's failure still bothers me.
The power LED light couldn't be connected to the motherboard. The motherboard uses 2 jumpers for that and the chassis has 2 wires, but it's plugged into a 3 jumper harness. I'm hoping that I can get a converter for it soon. The old mother board had a digital display that I could see through The Robot's transparent door. It read the CPU temperature, but also it sent me error codes if the computer wouldn't boot up. I regret that the new motherboard doesn't have this, but I might be able to get something aftermarket for it?
Right now, I'm working on the software end of things. To my surprise, Windows is actually working. But it's doing that with the previous 32-bit version. The Robot was upgraded today to a 64-bit system, so Windows has to be reinstalled after I make a back-up of my personal documents, map repository, TV shows and movies. It's a big transfer.
When I installed the Blu-Ray drive, I removed a DVD-RW drive so it could take it's place. So far, the Blu-Ray isn't working, but that's because I forgot to connect power to it. I then took the DVD-RW drive and tried to connect it to my external kit and connect it to my laptop. It's getting power as I can open and close the drawer, but the IDE data connection isn't reading and I haven't got a sound from the operating system indicating that it knows it's there, but won't install the device's driver.
What The Robot got today was what I'd refer to as a "re-build." Some people can field strip Chevy's. I do computers.
But I also have a new motherboard and 16GB of memory now. The only things that aren't making this a new computer are several expansion cards, the 4 hard disks and 1 of the DVD drives. Those are minor expenses compared to the motherboard, RAM and CPU. It's like it's getting a new heart, but the brain stays the same.
This was all brought to me by old hardware and a Windows 10 upgrade. If all goes well, maybe later this week, I'll get to see how Google Earth runs. I want to see how much cache memory it allots and how the NCTA GIS Repository performs.
When it comes to CPU's, there's AMD and Intel. AMD's are cheaper, but when I had them, they'd lag sometimes. Gamer's like them, but I'm more clerical. My laptop has ran AMD for years and there hasn't been a problem with how it runs. My information on that lag could be years out of date, so I'm at the very least, I'm just an Intel guy out of loyalty.
About that Windows 10 upgrade on old hardware, recently, the operating system has been reporting my available RAM, or memory as being much lower than what's physically installed. As per the diagnostic method, my conclusion just came to be that the motherboard can no longer process it's memory under the new operating system. And my previous Windows Vista was no longer supporting certain things. That's what caused that reluctant upgrade.
The bright side of this is that I'm also upgrading from a 32 to a 64bit system. In theory, that should speed things up. With that, my current CPU is an Intel Core 2 Quad on the old LGA 775 pin. That socket was used for some of the Pentium 4 CPU's. So, 8 years ago, I purchased the slow quad core. Now Intel i5 quad core is mid grade and the motherboard can upgrade to the faster i7. Whereas my current motherboard was "locked in," as in it was the fastest CPU that it could handle.
If I can get by 8 years and not had to upgrade these until now... well, it's not exactly the 90's where something goes obsolete the moment you buy a part. But, I was a computer repairman and I've kept this machine running really well, despite it's bloated and former Windows Vista operating system. But it's also has one whole hard disk almost committed exclusively to it.
"Bloated" refers to the file sizes in the Windows directory of the main hard disk. If they're bigger, then those larger file sizes would have to come off the drive (a lesser limited resource), through the memory (a limited resource) and into the CPU (also a limited resource). Windows XP came out at about 1.5GB. It's Service Pack 2 is somewhere over 3GB. Vista was about 6Gb. When Vista came out, the price of RAM sticks skyrocketed. Windows 8 and 10 are supposed to have a lesser footprint because first, they finally answered their critics and second, they're based on Microsoft's smartphone operating system.
Around here, The Robot has been notoriously difficult to configure. I'd say it's a real fight sometimes and that end of it never lets up. But once settled, it's been a stable machine. I've been satisfied with the current motherboard and CPU. But after 8 years, the current CPU is reaching it's 10 year estimated end of life anyways.
Geauga County's northern border looks like a set of stairs. Imagine that you have a pencil and ruler and draw a line across the outer edges of those stairs. That's the Lake Effect Ridge. Lake Erie is 568ft above sea level. The ridge runs about 1000ft and is about 10 miles from the lake. Right there on the apex is where progression of the weather fronts (ie snow storms) will nearly stall out over.
Now, most people in NEO will say that's it, but it doesn't end there. From the edge of that west stair, a secondary effect of this will extend through Mayfield of Cuyahoga County and south to Downtown Akron of Summit County.
Both the Burton and Bedford Sections have segments that occur in Geauga County. On Bedford as it clips the NW corner of Chester Township, it's in a lesser affected portion of it, but it's still Geauga. As for Burton Section, the Buckeye Trail (as an entire circuit) is only impassable for 6 days a year in a bad winter. And Burton is responsible for most of these. White out conditions occur there 3 - 4 times a year on average. Geauga County still uses the snow emergency level system. When a level 3 is declared, everybody must get off the roads, including pedestrians.
I'm a native of this area. So, lets say that you went hiking on Burton Section and on your drive home, you got caught in a Lake Effect snow storm in Geauga County. In my opinion, there's never been much of an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) presence there. Every highway in the county will probably be bad to drive on... except OH-44. It won't be great, but it's usually the best highway in the county.
In Lake County, I-90 is higher up along the side of the ridge. In a lake effect snow storm, it's likely to be more affected. But the OH-2 freeway that parallels it to the north is lower in elevation and isn't usually as bad. But sometimes in an odd storm, such as a blizzard, the reverse can be true and lower areas in Lake County are more affected.
Getting those four drives unplugged from the motherboard and into the new SATA RAID did nothing for my RAM (memory) problem. The new hardware with the drives plugged in it should have allieviated the system's RAM usage. It needed a new RAID anyways, but the next step is to take each memory stick out their sockets and firmly re-insert them one at a time. When I go to boot up the machine, that might do the trick.
The drawer is just for storage. The Robot's chassis is tall and has three CD/DVD drive bays that I'll never use. Two of them already have storage drawers and I currently have the upgrade to install the final one.
My graphics are running off of what's soldered on the motherboard. Unfortunately, to run it, that's also using memory. I don't have the money yet to get another expansion graphics processing unit, but I think I can tell what made the prior one that I had go bad. These days, graphics cards come with their own down facing cooling fans. Well there wasn't much space between it and the card below it, so it's airflow was being blocked. When I was playing movies, it would crash The Robot. My theory was that the card was overheating and had done that so much that it damaged the graphics processing unit (GPU).
Not all of the lower cards are the same size and shape. So, I think that if I reorder the cards from top to bottom, with the thinest being at the top, I can create a space for better air flow should I insert another expansion graphics card into The Robot.
Doing these things might help to allocate more cache memory to Google Earth. And this is essential to working with the North Country Trail Association's GIS Repository. Even when just working with Michigan's tracks as I've recently modified it to do.
From what I do know of it is that it's gravel roads are steep and that there's multiple primitive fords back there. My 2008 Chevy HHR LS barely made it through there. But the Wrangler would do in it's sleep. My original plan for that area was to use a 49cc motor on a bicycle.
But, I might sit back and wait a few months on buying another vehicle so I can get a bigger down payment. I might go for one of the newer, fuel efficient cargo vans. The trouble is that some of the subcompact ones don't have enough depth in their cargo holds. I might build a custom camper out of one? If I do, I'm 6'6, or 78 - 1/3in tall. The cargo hold has to be at least 80in deep to install a bed frame.
I have a new means to backup The Robot and laptop. But right now, one of my hard disk drives on The Robot isn't reading. I think that's because I attached it's data cable to a port on my SATA RAID expansion card that isn't working. So, in order to get a full back-up, I purchased a new 4 port SATA RAID expansion card from Micro Center.
I had to clean out and vacate Storage B. So everything from there is here in my living space. When I can finally get to The Robot, I'll have it installed. Right now, running the drives on the motherboard is taking a lot of RAM (memory) that Google Earth very much needs.
I also recently purchased a new ink jet all-in-one printer/scanner with a document feeder on top. When I get around to it, that should make backing up the obsolete Hutchinson Guide Books for the North Country Trail (NCT) easier. I'd like to destroy those because they're taking up space. But at the same time, I'd like to use them to track the historical route of the NCT.