On May 11th David Bard and Mike Jackman spilled their guts about the “high” point of their TechRepublic careers. If you couldn’t join us then, enjoy the transcript and we hope to see you on our next live Guild Meeting.

On May 11th David Bard and Mike Jackman spilled their guts about the “high” point of their TechRepublic careers. If you couldn’t join us then, enjoy the transcript and we hope to see you on our next live Guild Meeting.

Note: TechProGuild edits Guild Meeting transcripts for clarity.

Welcome to the meeting!
DAVID BARD: Greetings all. Or should I say… Namaste!


DAVID BARD: Namaste.

MODERATOR: For those of you who don’t know the background, David Bard and Mike Jackman are… editors extraordinaire at TechProGuild. The two have just returned from a three week trip climbing up Island Peak. They said they went to do high altitude testing… I think it was because they had a yen for Yak dumplings!

MIKE JACKMAN: I never did figure out why they called it Island Peak – it certainly wasn’t on an island.

DAVID BARD: Okay, let’s leave the yak moe-moes out of this.

MIKE JACKMAN: Oh, I thought it was high altitude tasting.

DAVID BARD: Actually, folks may want to know exactly what we tested.

MIKE JACKMAN: Hold on a sec – I have some yak steaks in the oven.

DAVID BARD: Does anyone have any questions? Or do you all just want to see pics of two beat up climbers?

Questions, anyone?
LHJP: Well how did you get this idea to do this?

MIKE JACKMAN: Very good question…

MIKE JACKMAN: Dave the visionary can take lhjp’s… we took satellite phone, 2 laptops, a Palm III by TRG pro, a Sony digital camera, batteries galore.

DAVID BARD:I like to climb. Colorado is my summer playground. So I thought…How can we (Mike and me) turn play into work? Or was that the other way around? Anyway, I know there are a lot of techies out there that like extreme activities. And there is a lot of tech gear out there that goes on expeditions. So… how could TechRepublic be involved in both? And so an idea was born.

MIKE JACKMAN: And very very carefully nurtured.

DAVID BARD: We would travel to the extreme location (Himalayas) and do the extreme climb, and report back on how the gear performed under the harsh conditions. Not bad, huh?

ONETECH: Was the Sony camera a Mavica?

LHJP: Well how did it go?

DAVID BARD: BTW: the Sony digital camera was the TRV10 Digital video.

MIKE JACKMAN:I think though, as we expected, the personal story was more interesting than the tech story – would we do better than the equipment, or worse?

DAVID BARD: The camera performed exceptionally well. We didn’t perform near as well.

MIKE JACKMAN: Although I think we did better than our normal operating specs.

DAVID BARD: The camera also was upgraded to hold the 64 MB memory stick as opposed to the standard 4 MB that it comes with. Which, if you buy one, I would highly rec you upgrading.

ONETECH: Any pics being posted?

Where are the pics?
DAVID BARD: If you couldn’t tell, I’m loving the camera! Yeah, there are pics with most of the articles.

MIKE JACKMAN: We have pics with our dispatches on the Web site, and we’ll have more to come.

DAVID BARD: Which are located in the Briefing Center on TR.

HAROLD66: You said ..You have a computer up there??

MIKE JACKMAN: Just getting warmed up, jmacaulay. Had. Two – Compaq armadas – a 500 Mh and a 300 Mh Celeron.

DAVID BARD: But only one made it back alive. Seems it didn’t like the yak’s back too much. Broken screen.

MIKKILUSA: Were Compaqs so no loss there.

DAVID BARD: Cracked case. Ha. But seriously.

MIKE JACKMAN:I would have agreed with you, mikkilusa – but the 500 MH did superb – even caked with dust and cold.

MIKKILUSA: Hmm I was serious, sorry.

DAVID BARD: The Armada held up wonderfully. Believe it or not.

HAROLD66: They were special…?? I mean the temp would not affect them??

DAVID BARD: No hardened laptops. Just normal Armadas.

MIKE JACKMAN: They weren’t the rugged models we had hoped for – but the only effects of cold & altitude were the batteries had the life sucked out of them.

The skinny on the goods
DAVID BARD: Yeah. The battery vampires were pretty evil.

MIKKILUSA: Did dbard pedal fast enough to get em recharged?

JMACAULAY: Isn’t altitude a factor with hard drives and their unique semi-sealed condition?

DAVID BARD: Luckily, we had the gell-cell.

MIKE JACKMAN: Heh! Meanwhile, another group had IBMs – which seem to die easily. Hard drive problems – they started grinding.

HAROLD66: I read that batteries work better in cold….I guess that is wrong.

DAVID BARD: Way wrong. You could watch the power drain…

MIKE JACKMAN: Neither batteries nor people work better in cold!

DAVID BARD: With each keystroke.

MIKE JACKMAN: Hello tlsnc.

DAVID BARD: And contrary to some member’s thoughts… our Sherpas and porters did not throw us off of the mountain for making them carry excessive weight. The gell-cell weighed in at about 25 pounds.

MIKE JACKMAN: Has anyone been to Nepal or some such exotic place? I kept running into IT guys on the trail.
Our Guild Meetings feature top-flight professionals leading discussions on interesting and valuable IT issues. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail, or on the Guild Meeting calendar.
What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever been?
HAROLD66: The most exotic place I have ever been is France.

MIKE JACKMAN: I think they were all escaping dot com startups.

DAVID BARD: BTW, jmacaulay… I don’t think altitude was a factor regarding the hard disks.


MIKE JACKMAN: That can be pretty exotic! There were a bunch of French trekkers & French Canadian trekkers.

ONETECH: Do you have a Web site other than TR?

MIKE JACKMAN: Us personally, or the company? Hey, stormy!

ONETECH: You personally.

DAVID BARD: Cool. Welcome!

MIKE JACKMAN: I was going to say, without being flip, doesn’t everybody?

DAVID BARD: Of course, we can’t promote personal sites here… right? 🙂

STORMY: Yipes! Sorry bout the delay,.. Hi everybody, … was reading the stuff I missed.

MIKE JACKMAN: I have a science fiction writers site that is half-done, and ignored since the trip.

DAVID BARD: Welcome Stormy!

ONETECH: Well I’m looking for some of your pics, so far I only see text.

MIKE JACKMAN: Wait – I’ll give you a URL…

Check out our briefing centers!
DAVID BARD: Are you looking in the briefing center on TR? They should be there. Saw some today. Not as many as we sent, that’s for sure. Mike and I are doing something about that though. Should be more soon. Promise.

ONETECH: Yes in the briefing center.

DAVID BARD: Thanks. Anyone into hiking or climbing?

STORMY:I used to be,.. til I had to get a day job. 😉

JMACAULAY: Hiking si, climbing, no.

DAVID BARD: You know… there are ways to combine the two. 😉

TLSNC: I have hiked over the western continental divide, does that count?

DAVID BARD: You bet! Been there myself.

STORMY: *grins!* Well,.. the co I work for isn’t quite as ,… er,.. progressive,… caveman is about their speed. 😉

ONETECH: Found one pic, you walking across a suspension bridge.

DAVID BARD: Understand Stormy!

TLSNC: I was in Glacier Park.

DAVID BARD: Up there then. Some really nice scenery.

STORMY: Almost all of our tools are at least 2 years old, and my book collection is probably 10x what theirs is,… and I don’t have their budget,….

DAVID BARD: Sounds typical!

Those mountains rocked
TLSNC: I have great pictures of the Rocky Mountain sheep and one goat.

MIKE JACKMAN: Here’s a couple that have pics – click to view 1 and 2. Most that do are about 2 weeks or more ago.

TLSNC: The picture of the sheep was taken with a close up lens!


ONETECH: Thanks.

MIKE JACKMAN: Anytime, onetech – yeah, we loved those suspension bridges, didn’t we?

DAVID BARD: Believe it or not, there are several Internet startups -well, starting – here in Louisville. Stormy, I hear they’re progressive. 🙂

MIKE JACKMAN: Sounds like someone needs to relocate.

DAVID BARD: Mike REALLY loved them at first. 🙂 Especially the one I crossed while the 35 MPH wind gusts shook the bridge. Very special.

MIKE JACKMAN: Well, they made me nervous – when I had the energy. You have to ride them like a horse – at least that’s what David said.

STORMY: Mjackman -> who needs to relocate?

DAVID BARD: Really, you have to sort of develop sea legs.

MIKE JACKMAN: Bridge-legs. Stormy, sounds like you do.

DAVID BARD: Yeah. There’s a lot of bouncing. Especially when the yaks cross.

STORMY: mjackman -> been trying… nobody wants a programmer from Canada I guess. 😉

MIKE JACKMAN: Speak Java or just French?

What language are you speaking?
STORMY: LOL! er,… I slept thru French,… know a little, enough to know when our secretary is swearin at me. 🙂 My Java’s much better than my French. 😉

MIKE JACKMAN: Well, let’s see – there we were – in Nepal – just the 13 of us – it snowed, it was cold, it was high up, one morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How it got in my pajamas I’ll never know.


MIKE JACKMAN: Sorry about the Groucho. I’m just wondering if you all have any more questions?

JMACAULAY: Can you guys tell us: did you run into any of those Internet cafes in the Himalayas? I’ve seen pictures of some-the only access point for miles and miles.

DAVID BARD: Yep. In Katmandu. Alice’s Internet Cafe. Actually, there were several. Mike, what was that cost again?

MIKE JACKMAN: Yeah, more like five per block. And Hotmail was the home page. 60 rupees per hour – about 95 cents –

JMACAULAY: Another reason to break up MS…



MODERATOR: Human clock — tick, tick, tick. Only 20 minutes left.

DAVID BARD: Can I get that clock on my laptop?

STORMY: I only got to read a little,.. I think I saw that dbard was havin some trouble acclimatizing,… how’d it go after that?

Alice in www.wonderland.com
MIKE JACKMAN: You could e-mail at Alice’s Restaurant and listen to Bob Marley…which seemed to be a favorite all over the trails. Actually, I was the first to get sick – but I got better, mostly.

DAVID BARD: Actually, there was a large expat population of Deadheads in Kathmandu. Go figure.

MIKE JACKMAN: Then Dave ate the garlic soup…I mean, had trouble with the altitude.

DAVID BARD: I started getting sick at about 16K feet.

JMACAULAY: You would think they’d be Bob Seeger fans…

DAVID BARD: Heard that song when I got home and had to laugh.

STORMY: Oops! Sorry,.. Ram must be faulty,… mmm,… garlic soup,.. That’ll do it -everytime-!! 😉

DAVID BARD: And not just ANY garlic soup.

STORMY: 16k,.. That’s not too bad,.. About the 3/4 mark eh?

DAVID BARD: There was enough garlic in there to keep a hoard of vampires at bay! Actually, I went up a little more (about 17K) then turned around. Had I not, then my trip would have been over. The next stage of AMS would have been much worse.

STORMY: *grins!* works better than a garlic T-shirt I bet. 😉

TLSNC: Now that you are back, what would you change if you were to do it again?

MIKE JACKMAN: And fellow climbers at bay…actually, the group was split into two – those who liked garlic soup (Bruce & Gerry) and those who didn’t – same with the Yak moe moes. Ooohh – great question!

DAVID BARD: Excellent question. I’d leave Mike at home.

JMACAULAY: Is it true that your next endeavor involves the Andes and some Apple G-4’s?

MIKE JACKMAN: Hmmm…. market… hey!

DAVID BARD: It does now. I was kidding. Mike was a terrific trekking partner.

MIKE JACKMAN: Yeah, so was Dave – except he ate all my trail snacks.

DAVID BARD: What would I change? Well, having the knowledge that we do, I’d not go with a U.S. based guide company.

MIKE JACKMAN:I would leave more time in the itinerary for rest and for coming down the trail.

JMACAULAY: Tell us about those sultry Sherpa women…

DAVID BARD: Hey. Any woman that can drive a yak train has my respect! But, yes. Mike. Tell us about those nice Sherpa women in Namche.

STORMY: LOL!! Ok,.. On the flip side then,… how about the Sherpa men??

MIKE JACKMAN: They all smoke. Nothing like watching the guy who took over your pack run up the trail to 17,000 feet and light up a cig.

STORMY: The men or the women? 😉

DAVID BARD: Huuum. Nice Sherpa men. True. They smoke. And you know. It doesn’t seem to bother them at altitude! We hate them.

Who didn’t know that Stormy was a girl?
STORMY: Oooh…. it just occurred to me,… no one knew I was female til now eh?


MIKE JACKMAN: I did, too.


DAVID BARD: You’ve been in the meetings before… we haf vays…

MIKE JACKMAN: You von a tee shirt vonce.

STORMY: Really? Darn! There goes my cover,…

HAROLD66: Yes.

STORMY: LOL! Nope. No tee shirt… big book… or so I hear…. 😉

MIKE JACKMAN: Book? Oh, did we send you the wrong prize? You’ll have to return it. So it turned out that even though we didn’t summit Island Peak, neither did the rest of our team.

DAVID BARD: Actually… if anyone has any suggestions for the next great adventure… please send the ideas our way.

MIKE JACKMAN: They finally got sick higher up, unfortunately.

STORMY: *grins!* nope,… never won a tee shirt. 😉

MIKE JACKMAN: Meanwhile, a couple named Eugene and Kemenna kind of trekked in, said hi, and summated Island Peak, then walked down for two days and met us in the last town before we flew back to Katmandu.

DAVID BARD: Plus, no one was summiting anything while we were there. The weather was really bad and snow was piling up on the mountains.

Let it snow…let it snow
MIKE JACKMAN: And, after a while, on us.

STORMY: You guys would probably really like the Alberta Rockies. World class hiking and skiing… not sure how a laptop would fair if ya took a spill whilst skiing though….

JMACAULAY: How did the locals react to your computers?

MIKE JACKMAN: They were absolutely amazed – they stood around and watched us send our dispatches, even though all they could see was the blue progress bar in Outlook Express.

DAVID BARD: It was the next greatest thing since fire. Blue bar good.

MIKE JACKMAN: Rudra, who led the Nepal staff, actually has an e-mail account. The rest were from the small towns and were unfamiliar.

MIKE JACKMAN: But the point for us was that we were able to communicate thanks to this gear (and the willingness of the porters to carry it) – it was some scene when they offered Bruce and Gerry to call their loved ones.

JMACAULAY: How about this guys: Undersea with Windows 2000!

MIKE JACKMAN: We could feed it to the sharks.

DAVID BARD: Do you mean just sending all W2K copies beneath the sea? Seems we have the same ideas here.

MIKE JACKMAN: Yes, but I type faster.

JMACAULAY: Yeah, like AOL and their disks…

TLSNC: I’ll go along with that one!

DAVID BARD: Make pretty sun catchers if you hang them from the ceiling close to a window.

TLSNC: There is a computer shop in the area that uses them as wallpaper.

What do you think of this wallpaper?
JMACAULAY: This has been fun!

STORMY: Argh! Blue bar stuck!

DAVID BARD: Cheap wallpaper.

MODERATOR: Well, it’s that time…Time to name the prize winners and thank our speakers.

DAVID BARD: NO! Blue bar no stick!

MODERATOR: I have two shirts to give away tonight — jmcauley gets one…

MIKE JACKMAN: Way to go, jmacaulay.

DAVID BARD: Awesome.

MODERATOR: And, Stormy, yes, you came in the last few furlongs and passed the rest of the pack.

MODERATOR: Send those snail mail addresses to tpgedit@techrepublic.com.

STORMY: Wow! Hey thanks!! More clothes fer work! 😉

DAVID BARD: No kidding.

MODERATOR: And special thanks to Dave and Mike. We really appreciate their time tonight.

MIKE JACKMAN: Yeah, cool, we love when you advertise our company at your company.

DAVID BARD: Not a problem. It’s been fun.

MIKE JACKMAN: Enjoyed it.

Good night, all!
MODERATOR: The boys (sorry, Mike) will be doing a repeat tomorrow at 2 P.M. EDT. Please join us if you can.

DAVID BARD: If you all have any questions. Please feel free to e-mail me personally. dbard@techrepublic.com

STORMY: *grins!* Yeah,.. I point, and go,,.. ya know,… we could learn a lot from them,…

MIKE JACKMAN: Yes, if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail dbard@techrepublic personally.

DAVID BARD: I’ll answer any and all.

MIKE JACKMAN: Actually, mjackman@techrepublic.com, available as well.

MODERATOR: Thanks everyone. We really appreciate your turning out for these Guild Meetings.

MIKE JACKMAN: And thanks to our moderator, for getting the messages through.

DAVID BARD: Thanks to all. Maybe see some of you tomorrow? Until then.. Namaste.

MIKE JACKMAN: And for doing all our work for us while we were in Nepal -there was that small detail.

MODERATOR: Don’t forget, if you have any topics you’d like to see us cover, send them to tpgedit@techrepublic.com. We aim to please.
Our Guild Meetings feature top-flight professionals leading discussions on interesting and valuable IT issues. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail, or on the Guild Meeting calendar.