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Posts posted by caderoux

  1. At an event I hosted, there was a 5-part multi with prizes - but they were expected to do it before the event (or they could pick up some laminated printouts and do it and come back).


    I laid out mind-teaser puzzle games on tables which were also a hit.


    Other than that, we kept it real informal, so people could mix and drink and eat.


    I find that something too structured will put people off, especially if they are just popping in for a limited time. If you over-think it or try to put in too many games, you'll run out of time to fit in every activity.



  2. This has happened to a cache in our area (it doesn't have to be an event). I start with a friendly email to the cache owner. If I see no response, I enter an SBA. The approver will generally then also send a friendly email to the owner, and archive it in a few weeks (giving them time to respond) if they don't respond. If the approver doesn't handle it themselves (rare), then I follow up to the approver.


    But I only do this on caches in my own 25mi area so that our area remains attractive to visiting cachers. I don't go policing other areas - they have their own local cachers who should do the same. The problem is just people who lose interest in the game/sport/hobby/activity - it's pretty obvious when they don't sign on to the site and don't reply to repeated emails - we just have to clean up a little after them to keep the neighborhood nice.


    I agree that auto-archiving events after a month is a good feature, but IMHO development time doesn't need to be prioritized on this while tons more people are still waiting for the new locationless game.

  3. In short, No.


    I WILL DO multis and puzzle caches when I am out of town (unlike 99.9% of cachers - we obviously have a lot of tourists in New Orleans, and only ONE multi here - View Carre - really gets hits, and it's spectacular, not really a multi, and has an international reputation).


    However, with 51 legs, no out-of-towner is going to do your cache unless they have a full day or two days to dedicate to it. Two dozen caches in a day is a lot if there's a lot of driving in between. Records notwithstanding, unless you're pushing yourself or the caches are extremely easy and in a simple route, it's hard to do 51 in a day. If the caches are that easy and in that simple of a pattern, why would I would enjoy doing 51 of them more than 51 distinctive hides over a longer period.


    We have a great 6-leg multi here called School Days which is truly a masterpiece. The hides are distinctive, the location is compact, the route is well chosen, and the creativity is excellent. You just get a tremendous sense of fun after completing the cache. I think it took half an hour from first find to last, if you add a fifteen minutes for parking and searching on the first find - 45 minutes for six - 51 would take like six/seven hours - that's going to be a lot of work - is it goin to give me a lot of satisfaction?


    If it was within 25 miles of my house, I might go and attempt it in a day. If a stage was missing, I'd probably come back to complete it, but I wouldn't be in a hurry. And if you didn't keep it up, you'd probably get an SBA by any hardcore locals pretty quick. As I've said before in the threads about power trails - which this may or may not be an extreme version of - multis don't work for this because of the maintenance - they don't degrade gracefully in the face of cache deterioration.

  4. What about adding a BCC--and the resulting change to the TOU--and allow users to send other authorized users a PQ.  I could set up a PQ to send every PM in SC a list of all caches in SC eliminating the need for every other user in SC to do it on their own.  All you have to do is add the addtional field and account checking routines so non-PMs would not be put on the list.  The administration of the list would be on the shoulders the PQ "owner " That query would run only once versus many times.  The only thing I'm thinking would stay the same is the mail server would still be sending out the same number of emails.

    Cool idea - just a note, though: PQs do contain a flag indicating whether the cache was found by you already, so this kind of GPX would probably want to be one without any user-dependent data.

  5. There is a caches by state listing which shows them in descending order by date hidden. I find that useful, but its usefulness depends how many caches are hidden in your state and where.


    Premium members can preview their PQs and it's pretty easy to get only new caches using that technique, too.

  6. No one would write 40° 07.xyz - you can't mix constant notation with variables that way; .....


    My objection was against that claim - such a notation provided that x, y and z are digits is common practice in mathematics.

    You are right - the example I gave in my earlier post was trying to combine two concepts and it didn't do a very good job:


    it isn't even valid mathematical notation no matter what your interpretation. No one would write 40° 07.xyz - you can't mix constant notation with variables that way; the valid scalar expression would be 40 + (7 + x * 10 ^ -1 + y * 10 ^ -2 + z * 10 ^ -3) / 60 - or as some might have it: 40 + (7 + x * y * z * 10 ^ -3) / 60 or 40 + (7 + x * y * z * 10 ^ -1) / 60.


    I was trying to show use xyz as a substitution for the parenthesized expression, and show how you might want to write it as a single expression which didn't have any of the degree, parentheses and decimal point issues.

  7. Do you still claim that no mathematician would use a notation like

    0.a_1a_2a_3.... with a_i being variables? (Do you really want to say that this

    would be written all the time as infinite series??)

    I'm claiming no mathematician would use the notation:


    N 40° 07.(A+D)(D+1)D

    W 020° 20.(B+A)A(C+D)


    As I said, single digit substitution is fine, but it wouldn't be mixed up with the arithmetic like this, because it is ambiguous whether a_1 is (A+D) or a_1 is (A+D)(D+1)D or even (A+D)(D+1)




    N 40° 07.a_1a_2a_3

    W 020° 20.b_1b_2b_3



    a_1 = A + D

    a_2 = D + 1

    a_3 = D


    b_1 = B + A

    b_2 = A

    b_3 = C + D


    would be a suitable notation.

  8. Up to 30 minutes on a visit (your brain starts to get in a rut) if you know that the cache is really likely to be there.


    On subsequent visits, I might try to clear my mind and open new avenues.


    I will eventually keep returning until it is found or archived, although perhaps with diminishing frequency.


    I think the most attempts on a single stage would be 4 or 5 for me.

  9. In your explanation you used division by 60 which is a second mistake in your previous posting since if the minutes are giving as decimal minutes as it was the case in the given example you need to convert with 10 and 100.

    You should re-read the expression given for understanding the purpose of the 60.

  10. You are wrong. 07.xyz is of course a correct mathematical notation provided that x,y and z are digits and not objects that could not be placed behind the decimal point without prior definition (like trees, matrices, integrals whatever).


    In mathematical notation constants and variables are mixed all the time - this is daily routine (also with an infinite number of digits behind the decimal point as this is needed to represent fractions which do not have a finite expansion in the chosen number system).

    With all due respect, that's simply not true. Arithmetic operations are not regularly combined with string-rewriting in the mish-mash you suggest. Yes constants are added together with expressions, and string rewriting systems exist which are designed to carry out logical operations (which is how you prove many of the advanced theorems of logic like Godel's theorem), but when they are combined, there are combined in an unambiguous notation with definitions.


    And yes, parentheses are used for a lot of different things in mathematics, from functions to grouping to bracketing. There are plenty of notations for many different branches of mathematics, but there is none which does as you suggest and simply lumps several together higgledy piggledy.


    That is not to say you can't make up a notation or operators, but the question the OP had was about expectations, implicit meaning and conventions. I think it's polite that if you are implying that a problem is a straight mathematical problem, to use only conventional notations. If you want to make it a mystery or obfuscate it in that way, that's fine too, but don't pass it off as a straightforward puzzle.

  11. Instead of using the radius, someone here told me you can just select all states - this will give you your locationless caches, too (even though they have no state).


    So the radius limit can be gotten around.

  12. Simple digit substitution can in some cases allow finders to work out some math quicker through the process of elimination, but never leaves room for confusion.


    e.g. in N AB° CD.EFG: You know that A * 10 + B <= 90. You know that C * 10 + D <= 59. Stuff like that.


    It can still be made interesting - for instance this cache: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...1c-1388a65afdb8 based on this image http://img.Groundspeak.com/cache/9345d93f-...25fb03927c4.jpg which works the cacher's handle into the digits - way cool.


    When you look at something like:


    N 40° 07.(A+D)(D+1)D

    W 020° 20.(B+A)A(C+D)


    it isn't even valid mathematical notation no matter what your interpretation. No one would write 40° 07.xyz - you can't mix constant notation with variables that way; the valid scalar expression would be 40 + (7 + x * 10 ^ -1 + y * 10 ^ -2 + z * 10 ^ -3) / 60 - or as some might have it: 40 + (7 + x * y * z * 10 ^ -3) / 60 or 40 + (7 + x * y * z * 10 ^ -1) / 60.


    I think if you are giving the user the expectation that it is really a math-based puzzle, you need to meet their expectations and not expect them to try to re-interpret some "new" math, but conform to traditional mathematical notation. There are lots of ways to make the users think and do research. The digits could come from a binomial expansion, coefficients of a power series, digits of pi, digits of e, etc. But using brackets as delimiters instead of operational grouping can be misleading. Or if the longitude is supposed to be .008 or .8 or whatever, you can probably make a way to spell it out with substitution or whatever.


    Maybe I'll give the coordinates to my next cache in radians - it would be so much cleaner than all these degrees and minutes!

  13. Precisely for this confusion about the meanings or whether any operations are intended, in my puzzle and multi-cache, I've only used letters as a single digit substitutions and put any math in terms of those single digits.


    Anything more complicated, I think I would spell out explicitly.

  14. When people here say GPX, they generally mean a GPX with Groundspeak namespace extension elements targeted towards geocaching.


    However, a GPX file is really any XML document which conforms to the GPX schema (at http://www.topografix.com/gpx/1/1/).


    GPX would still be the most appropriate schema to use from a technical point of view as it is a living and supported schema, while LOC seems to be dying out; however, end users without an understanding of GPX vs. GPX files from Groundspeak would be terribly confused.


    XML meets userland and doesn't handle it terribly gracefully.

  15. Then again, FTFers are "Cache Beta Testers". Are the coordinates correct, is the cache  placed according to guidelines, is the area scary at night, are there mean dogs around? FTFers get to answer those questions for the other local cachers. Plus there aren't any "geo-trails" to follow.  :o

    Yup - all that too!

  16. We have a good local caching community, but I've even seen it where an out-of-towner gets a FTF if the rest of us just don't get to it.


    I've also cleared out everything except a few special local caches, so when I get out caching it IS ONLY for new caches, probably placed by someone who won't be competing against me for the FTF! - Just looking back, I got 1 on 6/12 (no one else has found it since), 1 on 6/22, 1 on 6/25, I got 3 on 7/2, 3 on 7/3, 5 on 7/10 - of course a lot of people were staying in since we were feeling a little bit of hurricane Dennis.


    No idea how many FTFs I have total.


    What I like about FTFs is that you have the highest likelihood that the cache is placed exactly as the hider planned the hunt to be - no worries about container not being properly closed, camo not being exactly the same, container in the open, etc.

  17. I doubt that you'd find my Earthcache exciting.  I've just finished it and it's being reviewed by some friends before it's submitted.  Please don't come to New Orleans to check it out; much less, log your find.

    Hey BillsBayou - what were you planning your earthcache around? - I was think of doing one based on the Davis Crevasse/Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion Project between Ama and Luling - one of the largest army corps of engineers projects ever. Wasn't sure it would qualify, though. Figure I'd ask before I did any work on it.

  18. Apparently the dancing Elmo looks like a bomb. We brought one to my nephew through airport security last Christmas, and he got the anal probe and explosive residue wipe down.


    The package wasn't wrapped, but he was still attached into his cardboard backing.


    Still, that did not deter the fine TSA staffers.


    I do wonder how many actual bombs have ever been caught by these reports before going off.

  19. It's a chicken and egg thing. geocaching.com has a huge head start on all the other sites.


    I have done 2 terracaches (one in AZ, one in LA) - both were above average quality (compared to all caches I have done), but neither were they the greatest caches I have ever done. I believe that TC's self-policing system does have certain attributes which make it a better experience for some cachers. I do expect to keep an eye on caches there just like on all the other sites; and hunt them and find them.


    There's no rule that says you can't use every site to get listings to hunt or have listings on multiple sites (cross-listing doesn't make any sense, though, since logs might be spread out across sites and make maintenance difficult), and geocaching isn't the only GPS-based game/sport/hobby/activity around. I even include dashpoints from geodashing in my GSAK database.


    From all indications, it looks like the new locationless game/sport/hobby/activity here on geocaching.com is really going to be separate from what we call "caching", which I'm sure will appeal to the camp that insists that log-less caches (virtuals, locationless, etc) are not really caches.

  20. There's always the possibility of improving the design of the layout and summarizing the display of many different types of coins into a smaller graphic and numerical format (similar to the cache size icon system) - maybe with an expandable section (like a tree view) to see even more details.


    Like it could say Geocoins 3/10 (or however many geocoin types there are) and then 1/0/0/1/0/0/0/0/0/1/0.

  21. I have the old Wave (New Wave is similar to the Charge). I'm sure the New Wave is just as good.


    I also have the Charge, which is better with the all-locking tools and the bit system (New Wave has this same system). I have the Charge with the scissors, because I find that to be an essential tool I would have missed from my Wave. Anyway, since I wear it every day, I would call this my favorite.


    I even used to carry my Wave on the plane until the recent security changes.


    I also have a little Radio Shack-branded Leatherman Squirt which is great for electronics with its wire-strippers.


    I have a USB Swiss Army knife which has a pen, LED light and storage - definitely caching-friendly.


    I don't think you can really go wrong with any Leatherman.

  22. I think that for the immediate future everyone needs to come to grips with the idea that  this division of labor and technology is not changing anytime soon.

    You've probably read about the strain the PQ system is under. It's been mentioned there that the number of caches is a major factor.


    We were told that extracting the list of caches is the thin side and extracting all the details and logs is the fat side of the 80/20 rule on this process. That's why the preview runs so quickly, yet a daily PQ will often not be handled on a busy Friday.


    I've already been told in another thread that getting less caches will always be more efficient, and the solution they recommended WAS a more complex PQ definition (all individual states I'd found caches in, plus the None state). Now in SQL, I know that processing a WHERE IN clause is much slower than most other regular WHERE clauses, so I know this PQ has to be slower in theory to get the list of caches, but since it produces less caches, it is actually more efficient overall. It's like starting your car. If your car took 5 minutes to start up every time, and you only took long trips, you don't care.


    If we're talking about division of labor, then reducing the number of caches through a better selection criteria MAY help. It all depends on whether the act of selecting the caches according to more complex criteria can be done efficiently. So the question is which process is one we want to be aiming towards: 5 (or more) PQs each returning 500 caches (to give you 2500 caches where you find 335 along a route) vs. 1 more complex PQ only returning the 335 caches.


    I think it is a little silly to say "we won't build anything to accomodate the caches-along-a-route people until we can follow a highway route exactly and guarantee that no caches are left off and the route is always the perfect route that this cacher wants to drive" and at the same time say "we don't want people caching with stale data", "we have to limit PQs to 5/500 caches because of system strain", "people shouldn't be maintaining offline databases", when there are a few workable approaches (rectangles, lines, etc) to give people a few more PQ options which mitigate all those - they aren't perfect, but at least they are an incremental improvement (less strain on PQ system, less complaints here).

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