Friday, June 10, 2011

Alaskapade Updates From the Road (Repeat post)

This is a repeat post of an entry from early April.  I've had several people inquire about getting on the update list and rather than continuing to cut and paste this repeatedly, I thought I'd just post it again.

One of the (many) electronic devices I will have on board with me on the Alaskapade is a GPS transponder unit which will uplink my location live via satellite and will allow me to send short updates from the road during the trip.  A great portion of this trip will be ridden through remote areas beyond the range of cellular service and this device will allow me to keep friends and family abreast of my location and my status via short messages. The messages will include a GPS latitude/longitude link to a map than can be scrolled, panned, and zoomed.  This map will illustrate my current location and will include a track line of my trip from its inception.  Viewers can move their cursor over the track line to see when I was at that location.  This device will also provide the source data for a similar map with the same features which will be placed above the movie poster atop my page.  Readers not receiving the messages from the road can still see my progress with this map. The Alaskapade blog homepage will be edited to include the map on Friday, June 17th as part of my final departure preparations.  Be aware that there will be no tracking data until I depart on the 18th.

The transponder unit does not receive messages and any attempts to reply to the messages sent from it will fail.  I will only receive text messages on my phone when I'm under cellular coverage or stopped at a location with internet services.  The transponder messages may come from an email account that includes "NoReply" in its address.  If have asked to be included and you find that you aren't receiving any messages, check to see that that were not dumped into your spam folder and if they were, allow that specific address.

These routine status messages can be sent to predetermined groups of recipients who can receive the information via text to their phones or via email. If you want to receive these updates, I need you to send me an email with the following information.

Your preference for contact - Text or Email (or both)
Email Address (if email  is your preference)
Cell Phone Number & Wireless Carrier (if text is your preference)

Email this information to me at

Please do so sooner than later because updating the network is a bit cumbersome and I expect to be really busy in the next few days.  If you already sent me your info and preference, there is no need to re-send.
Neither I nor the service provider will distribute or otherwise compromise your personal information.  I will send a test message a few days before I leave.  The location link for this message will be wherever I happen to be when I send it.  Routine messages will commence on June 18th and will cease when I return to Dallas, after which I will delete the recipient group and your information. I don't expect more than one or two messages per day unless something extraordinary happens.  Recipients can opt out at any time by sending me an email to the same address as you did to subscribe.  Understand that I will have to be in a location with internet access to receive your opt out message and edit the list, so you may receive a few messages after you opt out.

The transponder device also provides 911/SOS monitoring and emergency dispatch through the dedicated International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center (IERCC) based in Houston, Texas. If I happen to find myself in serious trouble, (assuming I'm physically capable) I can press a button that is behind a protective shield on the device and initiate the rescue process. While the safety/rescue feature is this device's primary purpose, I prefer to concentrate on the messaging capabilities and think of it as a means of keeping in touch with my friends and family back in the lower 48.

Finally, if you're into the geek speak for this stuff, you can find details on this device here.

One week and a wake-up to go!