Tag Archives: tips

10 Tech tips on your next outdoor adventure: Montana and Glacier National Park

“I’ll make the acquaintance of the wild gardens and the glaciers and get as near to the heart of this world as I could.” – John Muir  It’s wonderful to know that there are so many places for me to quietly escape the masses, stroll for miles on a trail without seeing a soul, and sit up high to gaze across the range. Montana is magnificent, majestic and I sit at awe at its boundless beauty.  I immediately fall in peaks, creeks, brooks and meadows of The Crown Jewel of America, Glacier National Park. While exploring Montana, the land is vast and technology is sparse.  I was happy with was the limited cellphone coverage since that allowed me to unplug, unwind and fully be present in the moment. However, I’m such a digerati I had to still rely on some technology especially when it comes to having accessible maps and charged up batteries. Before heading on your next adventure here are some recommended tech tools you might want to download or prepare prior to leaving on your next adventure:

  1.  Solar charger – Always be ready with a handy solar charger, if you have one of the weatherproof models, its even better since it has been knowing to rain randomly. Goal Zero has a range of products that are very lifestyle friendly, it’s also the brand I use and would recommend.
  2. Two smartphone map apps - Google Maps (free) – make maps available offline. Must be done prior to tripand. Tom Tom – Offline maps.
  3. Back up your mobile phone prior to leaving and each time your have reliable internet connection to protect your priceless memories. iCloud is wonderful for times link these.
  4. Verify you have enough storage for your expected future usage on all memories cards and mobile devices. Your don’t want to miss a kodak moment or erase photos and videos that haven’t been backed-up. I tend to erase all the videos first since that frees up the most room for me.
  5. Save on mobile device’s battery life. Turn off auto-updates if your device has that setting, especially iPhone users. Lower the screen brightness, restarting your phone and completely closing apps that aren’t being used also help.
  6. Personal locator beacon- I use the highly rated ResQLink brand which lucky we have never had to truly use it, so I cannot attest to it’s true effectiveness. However, the tester button does work by sending your list of contacts an SMS. I verified it several times when from varying elevations and distances (from my contacts). * I highly recommend membership to and mountain insurance from the nonprofit American Alpine Club gives you great benefits for what could be a life-saving rescue.
  7. MountainAR – Fully enjoy the view you are taking in. Know the names of the mountains you are looking at and even its elevation. This only required me to have 1 bar of 4G cell coverage which just randomly happened to show up when I was on a vista overlook.
  8. Spotify – Pay for a membership, it will allow you to make your music playlists accessible offline. Very helpful when there is no or low cell coverage… Pandora doesn’t work and Montana radio coverage could be really spotty in rural areas.
  9. USB Multi-cable with FireWire – compact and handy, saves me a bit of mess without the excess cables. everything is in one place, which keeps me from misplacing various products. Works with my iPhone, camera and laptop.
  10. Camera Rentals - Rent photography equipment and test products such as lens that you were thinking of buying before you commit. I found Borrow Lens to be a great online resource for those who know exactly what they want to rent. Easy online ordering, delivery or local pick up . For those of who are novice, I recommend going to calling your favorite camera shop to see if they do rentals so you can go down and discuss your options.  Buying the rental insurance also helps which they could recommend also.

What didn’t work :

FireChat – I was very hopeful this “new way to chat: off-the-grid– even if there is no Internet connection or mobile phone.” However, when I had no cellphone reception, I tried FireChat. I couldn’t log on because my phone had an auto-update for that app. And I needed connectivity to log in. Since the app logged out and I couldn’t remember my log in info. I had to wait until we found reception to figure it out.  I was also in low-density area with few people around so that required to get this to work. I am hopeful this future versions will work out some of these kinks since it’s a great technology.

Low tech tips:

  • Vibram – these five finger toe shoes were perfect for the water activities I did such as white water rafting and swimming in the glacier lake.

800 Birds – Seed Funding Tips, Traps & Jumps

It’s highly recommended that tech startup founders join 800 Birds, especially if one has interest in gaming. 800 Birds, previously known as ERT (Entrepreneurs RoundTable), an organically grown and over 1000 members strong startup/geek community.  Shirley Lin is the organizer of 800 Birds. She is very friendly, knowledgeable and a super networker in the SF startup community connecting one to a very valuable network. 800 Birds meetings are filled geeks, founders, industry leaders, investors, angels and many more. In the first meeting alone, I met one of each listed.

Here’s the event details: We have a VC and serial entrepreneur,  a seasoned corporate VC, a young startup founder and a legal expert on board to look into every aspect involved in the practice of seeking your seed round.  Your first seed round is the hardest to push through.  Learn the tips, traps and the jumps that can help you avoid making lot of mistakes.

Our speakers on the deck:
:: Jim Li,  one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in the Valley, a Venture Partner at Emergence Capital.  Geek at his heart, entrepreneurship in his blood, an MIT grad, Jim founded Halloo Communications, Flying Packets Communications, Whistle Communications, Tribe Computer Works, and Mytek with serial successful exits.
:: Thorsten Claus, Investment Managergr at T-Ventures of Amerca.  Thorsten has deep expertise in corporate investment, founded FundStorm, worked at Deutch Telecom.  Also a great friend to 800 Birds founder community.

On the deck, we also have:
::Justin Hovey, Partner at Pillsbury Law Firm, and long time staunch supporter for our startup community, can give you all the legal tips and traps when you are out seeking your first round with your co-founders or lack of.
:: Dan Dascalescu, co-founder/CIO, BlueSeed, a project backed by Peter Thiel to build the largest coworking space and startup incubator on a ship anchored 30 minutes from the coast of Silicon Valley. Located in international waters, it allows entrepreneurs from around the world to start/scale their ventures without the need for US work visa, while traveling to the mainland using easier to obtain business/tourist visas.  Dan is an ex-Yahoo! s/w engineer and co-author and translate a number of  IT books.