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Hiking John Muir Trail, est 240 miles

Life has it's weird ways to send you messages, and sometimes I believe in fate for what it has created for me, and other times I believe in my own destiny for what I can achieve, but once in a while I do strange things to get out the cycle of what I considered both fate and destiny.  Lots of things happened in last couple of month, mostly what I've considered crappy things, bad things, or things I just didn't really want to deal with.  Relationship, jobs, friends, stress, health, trust, anything problems you can possibly think of as a human being, I've probably faced it at that time in it's worst form.  And funny part is that they all happened together, like an unavoidable storm, it was what I considered the worst part of my life for a little bit.  After a long jouney of being down, I've decided to take some actions and take my journey to yellowstone in June, I did it completely out of randomness and didn't really want a reason.  And that's where I began my love for nature and wilderness, after climbing the Grand Teton, I took a hike at Whitney, and realized that the only way to see the entire beauty of the High Sierra is by doing the entire John Muir Trail.  

After changing perspective, what I've considered to be worst part of my life has just became the best part of my life, a life without hassles and responsbilities, a life full of adventures and mysteries, a life that's worth living for.  On the trail I endured through pain that I have on my hips, knees and swollen feet.  I was testing my own will power, endurance, commitment and dedication. I was trying to find out who I really am, what I am built for, and why I am here. By the end of the trail I still couldn't answer those questions, but I got more than what I came here for, and I can be proudly say that I finished the entire John Muir Trail.  It felt like that song by U2, "I have climbed the highest mountain. I have run through the fields. Only to be with you, but I still havn't found what I m looking for."

The beauty of the scenary was unmatchable by anything I've seen, I had felt deeper connection with people I met on the trail than any other social gathering since TED, and I started to feel how John Muir felt about the connection between God and Nature.  During the trail I've got a taste of immortality, and after the trail my body just started to collapse, as I've headed to my massage therapist before going home, got bunch of herbs, and slowly rebuild my body through resting, different type of physical therapies and yoga.  If you ask me "Was it worth it?", I'd say

 

 

 

List of equipment:

Osprey kestrel 58 Liter bag

North Face Cat's Meow 20 degree sleeping bag

North Face Simple Bivy

1L Water bottle and 2L water bag that can be carried in the backpack

Columbia Convertible pants

Columbia rain jacket and rain paints

Merell waterproof hiking boot

Casio Pathfinder watch (includes temperature, compass and altitude meter)

Solo Bear Canister

Nikon D90 with 18-105mm lense

Puma polyester T shirt

A hat

Polarized sunglass

Steripen Adventure

Cell Phone

Keys

Cards and stuff

John Muir Map

Thermacrest pad

2 Poles that I bought cuz I forgot my Leki ski poles at home

Headlamp

A string

Roll of toilet paper

Sport Towel

Sunblock stick/toothbrush/toothpaste/feet relaxing cream/Lip protector/

 

Day 0 Thursday 7/26/2012, started at Happy Isle, ended at Little Yosemite Valley

Drove to Yosemite Valley, changed my pass from Friday to Thursday around 5PM, parked my car and ate dinner and left trail parking around 6PM.  Got to Little Yosemite Valley, met 2 guys at Nevada fall, Adam and Alex, and I ended up having campfire with them and slept in their camp.  Got a really good shot of Half Dome over Nevada Fall.  If I didn't get here tonight then I'd have to sleep in the car and rangers wouldn't really like that.  I've lost the lottery for half dome over a week straight, and what I've found out is that if you are doing John Muir Trail, then you don't need to enter the lottery, they'll just add it to your permit for $5 extra.

Day 1 Friday 7/27/2012 ended at Sunset campground

Got up at 6:30AM, and headed to Half Dome at 7AM.  I summited Half Dome and got back to the trail at 11AM, met Steve, Sophia and Lili on the way.  at 5:30PM my feet was super tired so I decided to stay at Sunset, met a group that's doing John Muir Trail and they were willing to share their whisky, this is where I found out I am suppose to drop my food at Muir Trail Ranch and there is a resort in the middle of the hike called VVR.

Day 2 Saturday 7/28/2012 ended at Lyell Canyon right before Donahue Pass

Got up at 6:00AM and started heading to Tuolumne Meadows, went through Columbia Finger and Cathedral Peak, got there at around 11:30 and ate my first meal that's not in the wild, I've chatted with Ian King and he drove me through the area and told me how employees gets treated there.  After leaving TM I just realized that I should've ate at least 3 of those grilled chicken.  I took my first bath in the river in Lyell Canyon and washed my cloth, but I lost one of my convertible legs from my pants while washing it.  I hiked to the lake right before Donahue's pass and decided to call it a night

Day 3 Sunday 7/29/2012 ended at Shadow Lake

Got up around 6, went through Donahue's pass and first entered Ansel Adams wilderness, just like Ian said, this place looks like Dr. Seuss, it was beautiful in such an odd way, where trees meets tiny rocks over the mountainside.  After getting through Island Pass, I've realized Thousand Island Lake is a lot further than just 2.8 miles.  The lake was beautiful afar, and you get to see an awesome view of Mt Ritter and Banner Peak.  Upon reaching the lake I've found out it was too cold to jump in, I met 2 girls with a light pack and was curious where they hiked from, they started to give me attitude and it was really the last thing I needed after 4 days of sleeping in the wild.  I decide to head my way out.  Garnet Lake was another one that looked really pretty, and I've met a guy that looks like John Muir on the way.  I thought Shadow Lake was Swimable considering that its 1000 feet lower than Thousand Island Lake, but upon reaching it I found out it was too cold.  at 7PM my body was exhausted, although I wasn't suppose to camp at Shadow Lake but I was just too tired to go another up hill at this moment.  Put on my bivy and slept for the night, in the middle of the night I got bit by a spider and that was end of the day.

Day 4. Monday 7/30/2012, ended at Duck Creek

Woke up at 5 and started out at 6, hiked to a wood bridge and met Scott, Kelly and Eileen.  I was in Devil's postpile just earlier that month, so I really didn't want to see the same stuff agian.  Luckily the JMT didn't really go through Devil's postpile trail so I got a view of Devil's Postpile from afar.  When I got to Reds Meadow I've met Scott's team again, we ate a double burger and that tasted so good, I really wanted to have a second one but decided that I should be on my way.  The shop didn't have much that I can restock, so I moved on.  at Upper Crater Mdw I met Scott's team again, I told them I needed to get to VVR so I decided to finish the 5.5 stretch without water by end of the night.  I got to DUck Creek by 10PM at night, lucky found a really nice camping ground and stayed there for the night.  I did some star gazing and that was so relaxing.  This is when I started to apprciate everything in life, even if it's just laying down in the sleeping bag.

Day 5, Tuesday 7/31/2012, ended at Pocket Meadow.

Got up at 6:30AM and went towards Tully's Hole, knowing I would not get to VVR until 10PM, I've decided to go a little slower.  At Squaw Lake's entrance there was a stone chair, and that chair almost asks me to sit on it, so I sat on it for an hour and ate lunch.  Squaw Lake has it's own beauty, it felt like mountains were gods protecting it and I was in middle of it facing them, I asked the mountains for blessing and went on to the SIlver Pass.  I stopped at Pocket Meadow at around 6PM and started campfire for the first time since it's lower altitude, so I was happy.

Day 6, Wednesday 8/1/2012 ended at VVR.

This was a short day, went through mono creek trail to vermilion, the trail seemed a lot longer and the views just plainly sucked.  VVR water shuttle was off since the lake was out of water.  Over here I met the own Jim who was very helpful, Ravi from Stanford who carries a pressure cooker, and many other fellas.  And I've see Scott's group as well as Steve arriving after me.  I also met a guy name Richard Peterson who is doing high Sierras, suggested me to go to the top off seven gables and check out the bear lake.  I had a double burger for lunch and steak for dinner, this was the fullest meal I had for the entire trip, and I only wish if I had more.  It was such a luxary to take a foot bath in epsom salt water before dinner, and everybody here seemed to have an interesting story to tell.  For the first time in a while I felt I am on a same journey as everybody else, being independent journey but at the same time everybody else is there on the same journey.

Day 7, Thursday 8/2/2012 ended at Marie Lake

got up at 7 and ate the PCT special at VVR.  hiked out of bear creek and got to Marie Lake at about 9:30PM, camped and slept.  Apart from the 3 people and 4 girls that came from VVR I came with on the shuttle, I didn't seem to see anybody else that day.

Day 8, Friday 8/3/2012 ended at the beginning of King's Canyon

The water from Marie Lake had little red things with atennas moving around, I decided not to drink that water.  This is around 10000, mosquitos still seems out of control.  I passed seldon pass in the morning and got to Muir Trail Ranch at about 12.  I've met Ian and Erika from the Grand Canyon, gave me some really good hints on what to hike from there.  Seems like I m gona be visiting Phantom Ranch, Cottonwood, and Indian Garden when I get there.  I restocked and ate some really nice hiker barrel food.  It took me a wile to find the hot spring but I stayed there for 2 hours and hiked out to King's Canyon, my knees started to hurt and I simply decided to camp down there.  Over here I met Steve again.

Day 9, Saturday 8/4/2012 ended at Muir Hut

Weather in the mountain is always unpredictable, and I've faced that here today.  I got up at 6 and found out Steve already left.  The group I met here last night gave me hot water to brew tea.  I had knee pain so I've decided to compress it with a piece of cloth.  The cloud started forming so I asked the ranger I saw on the way whether I can stay in the Muir Hut, he told me it's not recommanded but no accidents has happened there since it was built.  I went through Evolution Canynon with my knee pain, and this was one of the most beautiful place I've ever been to, Mt Spencer under sunlight where everything else was covered in cloud made it look like it was a blessing from god.  The Sapphire Lake was so blue that it feels being enchanted.  As I got to Muir Hut with intention of taking photos, thunder and lightning started.  Knowing that there isn't any lightning rod in the hut, at this point my life is truely depdned on the nature.  But another thought striked me, it feels like I am bound to be here by fate, that I am suppose to be in this hut on this particular day when there is a thunderstorm outside.  With that in mind, I felt like if God(nature) wants me to die, there is simply nothing I can do.  So there is no point of resisting, just submit to my fate for the day and accept whatever the outcome there is.

Day 10 Saturday 8/5/2012 ended at upper Palaside Lake

The morning felt good, after getting up at 5AM and saw Steve, he was impressed, and it seems that he has avoided the thunderstorm with his tarp.  On the way to Mather pass I met 2 girls from San Francisco who are drying their stuff from the thunderstorm.  My UV SteriRegina seem to have same shoes, same bag, same UV filter, same type of hat and sunglass, and she carries a 4 pound camera just like me, it seemed like that we have the same style, I wonder if she drives the same car and use a Macbook Air as well...  My end goal was Mather Pass, but the Golden Staircase really drained me out.  The Golden Staircase is worse than the 97 switchbacks on Whitney, since you have no idea when it's gona end.  Got to Palaside Lake at around 8:30PM and I've found Steve's tarp, I was too tired so I just camped for the night.

Day 11 Sunday 8/6/2012 ended at end of Woods Creek

Went through Mather and Pinchot Pass, I've seen almost no one for the entire day except at Pinchot I saw Steve again, with 2 guys fly fishing.  There are so many trouts around these lakes that it's possible just to catch them by hand.  Another day of alone in wilderness, I ended my trip at Woods Creek by Castle Dome. There are designated camping areas with bear boxes.  There was a bridge that only support 1 person, that was pretty cool.  Over here I met Ting and Chuck, Chuck gave me 2 pounds worth of trail mix and showed me how military prepares it's food, which just need water for to heat up the food.  Ting is the first Asian girl that I see that is soloing backcountry, she was doing Raes Lake loop, none the less very impressive to see an Asian girl soloing it.  we did some campfire had some chitchat and went to sleep.

Day 12 Monday 8/7/2012 ended right before Forester Pass

Got up around 6 and headed out towards Rae Lakes, the Find Dome and the Painted Lady was such an impressive view that I really wish I could camp here next time.  Due to the food shortage I had to keep going and finish the trail so I pushed on to Glen Pass.  At Vidette Meadow the cloud started forming and I was walking away from the cloud, and apparently after a while the thunderstorm started but I was already out.  I found a creek at around 11600 feet high and camped there for the night, it was cold and my knees, hips, feet were painful, I just pushed on and slept through.  I covered everything in case of rain, at 3AM in the morning Thunderstorm was right above my head and this time I really have no where to hide.  I just closed the bivy and test out it's water proof ability.

Day 13 Tuesday 8/8/2012 ended at Guitar Lake

Woke up around 5 in the morning to clean up everything, nothing got wet, which was kinda lucky.  Hiked through Forrester Pass and saw Nathan for the second time at around 8AM.  There is a good side view of Whitney from far, but the cloud and thunderstorm seems to happen right there as well, so instead of walking out of storm, I am walking into the storm this time.  Passed through a ranger station where I got hot water to make my beef noddle ramen, I mixed in all the dehydrated vegetables with it, this was the first warm meal I had on the trail, and it tasted so good.  Got to guitar lake around 6:30PM and met Christine, Nathan was there to lend me his water filter.  So this is second time on the trail where I had more than 1L of water.  Slept in a very cold night.

Day 14 Wednesday 8/9/2012

Got up at 5 and ascend to the Crest, this reminded me of the 97 switchbacks on the other side, but this side is just as bad if not worse.  When I got to the Crest I sat down and ate my breakfast in a cold weather.  Steve said this was easiest part of the trail since I am suppose to be at least 25 pounds lighter after putting my backpack off.  But even after 14 days of accimlatation, I was still a little short of breath.  But at least this time I did not have any headaches, didn't feel like puking.  I just didn't really start sprinting like I thought I would.  After got on top of Whitney I saw someone doing mountaineering trail and was heading for Mt. Muir.  I decended and did the same.  My hiking shoe didn't seem to have as good of a sticky rubber as approach shoes, and started to slip while I was trying chimney.  I decided to give up for now.  Got down to Whitney Portal at around 4PM, and ate the best burger that was kept me going for past 3 days.  My journey was officialy over.  It was nice to see a group of Mormons who did Whitney in one day trip, the more impressive part is that 15 out of 16 summited.  They made me feel like I am out of shape again.  They were nice enough to give me a ride to Lone Pine and back to Yosemite Valley with Christine the second day.

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Hiking | Inspiration

I am on my computer 12 hours a day, what you on?

Just saw this video and found it very inspiring.

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Admob disabled, WTF?

Today my boss asks me about mobile advertising, so I was going to show him my admob account after like 6 month of not logging in, due to low activities and not having time to update my "soundboard" apps, I just stopped checking my account.  I haven't gotten any notifce whats so ever, or maybe it just because I havn't updated their latest sdk, but at least give me a warning message or something...

Here it is.

Your account has been disabled for invalid activity or repeated policy violations. Some examples include recurring manual clicks or impressions, violation of our content policies which can be found here, robots, automated click and impression generating tools, third-party services that generate clicks or impressions such as pay-to-click, pay-to-surf, autosurf, and click-exchange programs, or any deceptive software. If you have any questions or concerns about the actions we've taken, how you can appeal this decision, or invalid activity in general, you can find more information here.

I have not even logged into my admob account for 6 month, I have never made a single fraud click on admob, I don't even have the my "soundboard" apps with admob on my phone, And most important of all, I divert 50% of the ads as "in-house ads" to promote my other applicatiions.  I read through entire policy and could not find any violation of any of the apps I host out there, my ads are placed on top and my actions are always placed on bottom.  I am a little disappointed but at this point I really don't care due to the fact I have low activity rate on those apps anyway.  When I work on my new apps just to draw traffic, I am gona find some better ad network, admob proves to be very unprofessional.

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Android

Journey to 6 pack, starting with 4 hour body

I've been working out for 2 month now, I think I gained about 20 pounds of muscle, now I am roughly 180 pounds and trying to lean up.

After reading bunch of source of materials, this is my regular workout routine.

Monday: Workout (chest or back), sitting on balance ball all day, sometimes yoga at 8pm

Tuesday: 2 hours of Jeet Kune Do class at 7:30PM

Wednesday: Workout (chest or legs), abs, swim for an hour and half, sometimes yoga after that

Thursday: Workout, (arms or legs)

Friday: Tennis, abs, sometimes workout

Saturday: Rest day, sometimes I go dancing

Sunday: Jeet Kune Do sparring, Workout (whatever is not sore)

This is what I've been doing, I cut my diet to no simple carbs whats so ever, occasionally taking shots of Acai or orange juice, shots of it.  And my body craves for sugar when I look at juices.

Regular diet, fat free greek yogart, fat free milk, whey protein powder, casein poweder before sleep, eat every 15 minute or so at very small portion, nuts, salmon, salad, chicken breasts, oat meals.  (this is usually it, I eat same stuff everyday)  I intake around 2000 to 2500 calories a day.  I take chill works and cold showers everyday to help reduce fat.

I am currently 27 years old, 178 pound, 6 feet, at 15.4% bodyfat (did it with Withings Scale), I've been doing the same workout for the past month, switch it up a little bit here and there so body don't get use to it, but generally it's same body mass, same fat percentage.

Just read 4 hour body by Timothy Ferris, and I am going to eat PAGG from now on, let's see what happens.  This will be my journey to 6 pack that I've been looking for ever since I was in high school.

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Health | Peter Ma

Releasing a new app, Tweetxplode

So I've manage to build this new app using low level apis connecting with Twittter, it basically reads all the tweets coming from twitter.  When it reaches the phone's maximum CPU and memory capacity, it launches a new class I write called "Self Destruction", which just makes the phone explode.  This is available on iPhone, Android, WebOS and Windows Phone 7.  I am planning to open source this soon, so people can use these classes for other type of usage to protect against their information.

I already put a disclaimer on the app, I hold no legal in case of phone being malfunction after using this application

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Android | Facebook | iOS | Twitter | WebOS

Technology, Awareness, Soul Searching

I've been very confused and maybe even lost for the month, havn't really done a lot of coding other than for work.  So I've been doing a lot of soul searching and trying to get back to my normal efficient state.  So this is what I have gone through for past 3 month.

January, 100% efficient.  I was coding for almost 14 to 15 hours a day, right after work I was coding Pickup Sports,  I was able to release highly polished app I Journal on iPhone and Android for my work.  After work, I was able to finish web, android, iPhone, WebOS revamp in matter of 2 to 3 weeks

Feburary, pushing for the limit.  One of the side open source project TEDxApps got interest of my employer, which they want me to spend my full time job working on it.  This became interesting because I was working on it without being paid anyway.  Pushing other projects from full time job and Pickup Sports aside, I was able to heavily improve the TEDxApp engine, making it database indepdent, running purely on Google Fusion Table and made it complete transparent.  Now I am putting almost 15 hours per day just on this open source project.  Right before TED Conference, we pushed both iPhone and Android into App Market and my boss Steve Brown was very happy with it.

March, burnout.  I went to Android Developer Camp on the very first weekend, and compete in a 3 day Hack-A-Thon.  My team was awesome and we worked 12hrs/day on the weekend and we were able to snach 2 awards by the award ceremony.  Right after the event, I was finally able to have a good night sleep.  After waking up, I just didn't want to touch my computer anymore...  My friends from East Coast and Los Angeles were nice enough to come up and visit me,  so I just kept going to Lake Tahoe and Ski every weekend, and throughout this period I have not even turned on my computer.  A new problem has arrived, now I am both mentally and physically exhausted, on top of it I got addicted to ski, looking at weather channel to see whether mother gaia would pour more snow down.

After not touching my computer on the weekend, this morning I was walking to work and start being aware of other things around me.  I saw 2 Indian resturant on the way to work, the word "trinet" on on the road blocks, 3 breakfast place, chase's "Save Money" campaign, along with other thigns that I have missed despite walking through the same block 3 to 4 times a week.  I've been using yelp so much that I have completely ignored anything in my presense, google navigation literally eliminated my way of looking around.  Even during my walks to work, my mind has been filled with past and future, figuring how to do things more efficiently, possibly what will be said on techcrunch.  I have completely lost my sense of awareness.

This brought me to one big question, I havn't seen one technology that helps us to improve our instinctual awareness.  Most of the technology out there are simply sorting out data according to our needs, communicate with people in similar interest, tracking our records to help us improve memory.  But none of us has been able to optimize our "mind, body, and spirit".  

When I am on a ski slope or having a hike, I want to feel the breeze of the wind, have a view of the beautiful lake, slide down and avoiding falls,  it destroys the purpose if I have to turn on my phone and make sure record how much calories I have burned.  When I am in a concert, I want to enjoy the music of the singer, sing and enjoy the "now" moment, it totally defeats the purpose if I take out my camera and looking for that perfect shot because I will miss the experience.  When I am sky diving, I want to feel the thrill of defeating the enviroment, I don't want to check in on my facebook that I am in middle of the sky.  When I am driving at 120 miles an hour and feeling dangerous about the speed, I have no intention of twittering that because I will get into an accident.

Those are the moments I rememer in life, moments that gives me a high.  I enjoy it when my mind and body are optimzed, I feel the "me" inside, I feel that I am pushing my limit, and I feel happy.  I don't even have a startup idea that can create more experiences like those, maybe this is not web or mobile, or maybe we just havn't found a good way of solving that.  The 3D TVs very good at giving the mind the experience, but it still havn't sold the body problem yet.  I just can't wait to day technology is able to solve this problem.

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Facebook | Twitter | Peter Ma

Android Dev Camp Hack-A-Thon Weekend, Nutrition Calculator, Coolest App

 

This is first time I have entered Android Dev Camp, and my goal was to work on an Android Tablet Honeycomb App.  After not seeing any pitches about making a Tablet App, I've decided to pitch about an App myself so I can learn how to work with Honeycomb.  With a Motorola Zoom in my hand, it would not make sense not to build an app since Emulator is virtually unusable.

Day 1:Team forming

There were around 50 teams forming, so it was extremely hard to grab anybody.  Some team seems to be already formed, but I virtually did not know "anybody" other than the organizer, and just standing there were not really a good idea.  At some point I was just join the other teams.  But fortune seems to flow with those who are courageous, I went into the audience and were able to meet up with 2 developers.  Charles Xie of Oracle, and Waleed Adbulla from Networked Blogs.  I've emailed the distribution of tasks and we decided to meet on the second day.  We met a designer at end of the night but she said she might not be able to make it for the weekend.

Day 2: Planning and Coding

After putting out the layouts and sharing them on github, we were able to collaborate.  Charles was working on Paypal API, which we were using for freemium service.  This is Waleed first Android App, so Waleed was browsing through the documentation and trying to get a sense of what I was trying to do.  After going through guides of finding out Drag and Drop and with some help from @michaelg of ebay, we were able to get drag and drop part working at night, Waleed was able to make my code a lot more efficient.  

While Charles working on the PayPal API, I was busy with forming up calculation result and display page.  Around afternoon, Waleed wanted to do sliding on Android, I didn't really recommended it because I have tried to do that before and I couldn't find any answers from stackoverflow or anybody blogging about it.  Waleed went through documentation and by around 11:00PM, we had page sliding/scrolling working where user can slide food to the next page.  Everybody we've demoed to was very impressed with this piece of user Action, since nobody else other than Android Home screen is able to implement it as nicely as what Waleed has done.

Around 10:00PM Tara Kelly, a designer from another group, decided to help us with our visual design.  within an hour of half she has designed what you see above, which made our app from an amature app into a fine tuned designed application.

Day 3: Putting pieces together and present

I received an email from Charles 3:15AM telling me Paypal integration is working.  The team met up around 11:00AM at the round table at Paypal and we've starting to putting pieces together.  And when the time comes, we presented.  Since this is a hackathon, we think using presentation slides would not be good.  I mistakenly placed the tablet sideways, but I was able to correct that afterwards.  Nervous as I was, I was able to present our core features of drag and drop, calculation, sliding screens, and premium nutrition modal during the presentation.  Every judge has made some positive comments on our application, which was quiet impressive.  After that, we were finally able to enjoy rest of the presentations.

Award ceremony,

Organizers' Award, Best UI Design, we were the first being called onto the stage.  That was quiet happy moment to be called first on the stage.

People's Choice, Coolest App, we were first being called onto the stage again, and being the first being called on the stage twice.  This was ackward moment, we didn't know we were suppose to go up or something.

Investor's Award, we didn't really get anything, despite all the investors were giving us good comments.  But there is one fundamental flaw about making it on Honeycomb, the entire Android Tablet platform is still new, so there are about less than 10,000 of these Xooms being sold out there.  Having 16 "Honeycomb App" out in the market doesn't really help either.  So I don't really blame the investors not giving us anything, since more trends needs to be seen to determine whether this is even a growing market.

Overall Experience

I had a really good time during the Android Dev Camp, met some really cool group.  And this time my team really carried their weight, everybody had specific tasks and we were able to distribute the work evenly.  Everybody did their part and we had a very nice app in the end.  Food was awesome and Paypal were super helpful on helping us with integration.

 

What can be improved

There are couple of things that was quiet confusing.

After initial pitch round, we had to stand on the stage shamelessly.  I was feeling very uncomfortable and odd since we had like 50 people trying to grab users.  I think we should just leave our twitter name/email and just open an open network session.  For those who wants to join our teams they can tweet against our twitter, and for those who wants others to join the team they can simply go around during network session.

Flickr Photos, there were bunch of photographers around and taking a lot of our photos, but until now I can't even find a photo of my team, or photo of any team for that matter.  When they post it I'll update the blog.  I think there should be some photostream so that we can at least leave some memories of our good times =)

Trademark check, Coupal was a really cool idea and won the grand prize, after checking out coupal.com I found out Coupal is actually trademarked entity.  Not only they didn't have the .com as domain, they can't even use Coupal as a brand, or they can sued for trademark infringement.  I think the VC Judge panels should be more aware of these things before giving out grand prize awards.  Otherwise next time I can name my project Groupon or Twitter for that matter if I am not worried about trademark/copyright infringement.

Final Word

Thanks all the Organizers, Volunteers, Sponsors, Judges, and Attendees for watching our demo.  Paypal did an amazing job to keep all the hackers happy.  Thanks even more if you voted for Team 24: Nutrition Calculator.  I will try my best to improve the app in the future, stay tuned and follow @pickupsports

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Ashton Kutcher Twitter Account Hacked!

So apprently Ashton Kutcher's twitter was hacked at 3/2/2011 4:25PM PST.

Duno what this means, but he either reused his password for something else or twitter's security is pretty weak.

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Funny | Twitter

Android Honeycomb Emulator Too Slow, Unusable

There are all these hypes about Honeycomb, I finally got sometime to play with the it.  After 3 minutes of booting, I got following screen.

And it literally took me more than 30 seconds to be able to just click "Force close".  After emulator being able to access the Operation System, all the commands seem to have a 5 to 10 seconds delay.  I am running this on a pretty fast computer, but programming on Honeycomb Emulator is virtually impossible.  I made a screen cast on the emulator shows as following.

 

 

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Android | Google

TEDx iPhone App and TEDx Android App Open Sourced

This post is a little late since I haven't had much time blogging about it lately.  After request of making Apps for bunch of TEDx events, I've decided to open source iPhone and Android apps.  The database is still using Microsoft SQL Server 2008, once that's switched to Google Docs and becomes a more open platform I'll open source it as well.

Michael May has revamped the entire iPhone App which made the code a lot cleaner.

Folks at TEDxPSU is helping to polishing up the website which currently can be previewed at http://www.tedxapps.com

While working at my full time job at Catch.com, the team here were able to help me further improve the app which turned into unofficial TED App for TED2011 on both iPhone and Android.  After few weeks of hard work, we were able to push them into the market for TED2011 attendees.  You can search for "TED2011" on iTune or Android Market to download the application.

Following TEDx events were part of the feature suggestion for the project

  • TEDxTransmedia
  • TEDxAsheville/TEDxNextGenerationAsheville
  • TEDxOrlando
  • TEDxFullerton
  • TEDxAlcatraz
  • TEDxBasqueCountry
  • TEDxPSU
  • TEDxDubai

Source code for the project can be found on gitHub TEDx iPhone App TEDx Android App

If you need any help on these applications feel free to contact me.

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Android | iOS | TEDx