Posts posted by caderoux
GSAK doesn't run on Macintosh or Linux computers nor are there any plans to make it do so.
I believe the plan previously stated here is to make a web service (ye olde XML over HTTP), which would be accessible from any platform (although someone would have to write software to use it for non-Windows OSes).
The ratings are already kind of difficult to use except as a rough guide.
Say you did have two ratings - what difference would it make? Most puzzles take significant time to solve and require preparation - so you'll know the puzzle's difficulty long before you have to attempt to find it. If it then takes much longer at the site, the owner should add another star or so.
Using clayjar's system, most puzzles rate a 3 difficulty to start with.
There are some caches which have multis with puzzles at stages. These rate high on clayjar's scale and that would be good enough - taking them to a 4 or 5.
There's always going to be a question of what does difficult really mean for any puzzle? Sudoku puzzles are rated at different difficulty levels based on humans solving them. But a computer can solve these kind of logical constraint problems trivially.
Even with ordinary caches, difficulty could be related to getting to the site (separate from terrain), finding the cache, getting the cache open, requiring special equipment, etc. All these are kind of taken into account with the difficulty rating and clayjar's system does it pretty well.
I figure anything over a 3 and cachers need to read the description before heading to the cache site or at least before stepping out of the car.
There are a lot of reasons for this. Sometimes, when I see a cache someone has logged - I want to see what other caches they hit in that area that day. Their finds will only show finds, but their notes and DNFs don't show up.
We've always got GSAK...
I would like to request the "Cache Size" field be made mandatory when submitting one of the physical cache types: traditional, multi, puzzle or letterbox hybrid. I use pocket queries to sort out caches I don't wish to hunt and unless I check "unknown" on the PQ I will miss a few caches I wish to hunt. On the other hand, when I do check "unknown" I get mostly caches that I do not want to find.
People usually leave it as unknown for a reason - so it is mandatory, but unknown is an option. Any evil, fake or novel cache will often use unknown. In our area, every unknown cache is that way for a reason.
So, I guess we should work instead to figure out how to solve your core problem - how to make lists of caches you wish to hunt:
Of the caches which people leave as unknown size, but which you've seen and would like to hunt, is there a clear reason they are leaving it as unknown size? If not, then there's not much you can do about that except to send them messages. If there is, then there must be something else in common about those caches which make them attractive to you.
What about the majority of the unknown size caches which you say you don't want to hunt? What makes them no fun to hunt?
Interesting that the TB logging problem (TBs are requested to be dropped during a log, but only the log works) appears to only happen during high load. No error notification of any type occurs during this operation when it happened to me (no database timeout, no application error).
I noticed someone had the problem today on one of my caches.
You could do something similar for any of these - I first thought of the technique and used a dowel in the cap of a match case. Then I modified that design to use a hollow tube as the spindle - that way a pencil actually goes inside the tube.
As an experiment, I took an inner capsule from one of those pill fobs, glue a rare earth magnet on one end, drilled a hole throught the cap and bonded a nail in the cap to serve as the spindle for a log scroll.
This could work on your nitro tube and other male-threaded caps, but you would have to drill down the center of the screw.
Hold a CITO event and donate the aluminum cans to charity!
BTW, for quick logging, just go directly to the log page by typing http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?wp=gcxxxx in your favorite browser. Obviously, replace the Xs with the cache's waypoint.
Workaround methods which are not specifically encouraged by the site through workflow design will not make a difference in load.
Just need Bluetooth (and support). I use a BT GPS with my Pocket PC - it's wonderful. GPS stays in a pocket in my bag.
The barrier to entry for competition is the installed-cache-base, not the site quality. Every site can improve their features, but only the customers can provide the caches.
Ultimately any company has to define and offer a product or service and people have to decide to buy it. Other companies can offer products or services which compete.
If people are not satisfied with the service, put in their suggestions and don't get satisfaction, they ultimately have no recourse but to take their business elsewhere.
The availability of the web site is part of the service. If it becomes less valuable to people, they will stop paying for the product.
Just let the market work.
Regarding volunteer-style events events, we are having a CITO event in New Orleans in conjunction with the Katrina Krewe on April 15 - i.e. it will be located where the Katrina Krewe designates that Saturday's cleanup.
I guess there's a consensus that no one will be offended by a CITO - but in some cases, I can see other kinds of non-soliciting volunteer events being denied which are not really that much different from CITO.
That's cool. A similar thing was used on the terracaching coin, which has a little red gem in it.
The major issue we have at the moment is SQL - we need an MSSQL developer that understands the inner workings of SQL - right down to the low level behind the scenes work that SQL is doing for each query. I'm sure we can knock off some of the inefficiencies in the queries right there but it will involve some specialized person to dive into it.
You want Kimberly Tripp - she specializes in high availability - from both a DR and performance perspective. If you've gone through all her online materials and haven't made an impact on your code, I'd be suprised. You've looked at your OS performance monitors like the disk queue length etc, too? And indexing using the profiler? Just looking at the execution plans of your top queries can usually spot the most egregious bottlenecks. You can get a lot of her papers and seminars online and she has also appeared on DNR podcasts, too.
There are people that simply find caches using maps. I've done a few night caches which use firetacks, too, and the GPS is not even useful.
As far as the letterbox thing, it isn't that popular in our area, so I always thought of it as kind of vestigial like virtuals, locationless and webcams.
He then warned me about the quality of the hunters. YIKES!!!!
Ok so, considering the "quality of the hunters" is it better to wear orange so they can see you or camo so you hope they don't?
Even if you're wearing orange, better stay away from Cheney and his date.
Now, you also know what I'm talking about as to the "micro spew" there that (in my opinion, YMMV) got out of hand back in '04. I remember the day distinctly: It was June 19, 2004, and I made a day-long cache run over there (got my first YJTB too, as I recall!). I ran into AlexM and his wife (who, coincidentally, were also out and about town doing the same thing as me - it was a beautiful day) at a particularly unappealing micro cache hidden near a concrete signpost in an old light pole at an abandoned building (the old driving range...a Bamboozle hide, ironically) along Marconi just inside City Park, and we both stood there lamenting what had happened to our great game. At that moment, I was officially "broken".
Now while I wouldn't wish what happened to y'all over there, nor to us in So. Miss., on anyone, maybe Katrina will have an unexpected (and unimportant in the scheme of things, I know!) benefit: The opportunity to literally flush away a large number of often-uninspired caches, and have new (and old) hiders refresh them with caches of more thought and inspiration.
Yeah. I'm guilty myself. I placed two Katrina Hurricaches - they were film cans - in rather unoriginal hides (but not lampposts).
We've got a lot more participants in New Orleans now, and some of the old-timers have drifted off. And since we met at the 2004 event, 30/90 and Big Doggy became prolific hiders, with 30/90 having some quite ingenious "bottle rockets" and "submarines" and Big Doggy with a few innovations, too. The newer guys are pretty interesting, and some are starting to hide.
Mausdad and I were talking about it a while back and I think it's just too many caches. We met at the Christmas in the Oaks Run and he had tailed off himself. He's not a geoposter, so he probably won't post his own opinions, but I think he just got a little burnt out. Bamboozle will just go down 500 feet and place another one. I know, I was with him. ;-) We placed one 528 feet from one which had us sloshing through mud for a while after a nearby event. Bamboozle went into his cachemobile and got out a micro and we got a little revenge. You know there are different attitudes amongst locals about local caches vs. the tourist caches.
I guess that's really what it comes down to - when you reach high levels of local caches MORE effort needs to be made on the new caches AND potentially some caches need to be archived once local finders have had their fun if the cache doesn't deserve to be a longer-lived cache.
The problem isn't really micros, though. It's the impossible difficulty of making every new cache better than the last.
So if the question is, "did the numbers make the bad cache explosion?", then my answer is no. People made the bad cache explosion, because they wanted to hide and find more and more caches. People can only cache when there are caches, and people rarely repeat caches. Because people enjoyed caching so much they wanted to do it more and more. But the sheer numbers of caches result in this - it is not possible to have quality and quantity given the same amount of effort. This also explains why people lose interest and wander off, having been satiated, while the addicts are left feeding the addiction. It's kind of a fundamental irony, like you said.
Yes - with more caches placed, a fixed number you can do per day, and the distribution profile of caches unchanged, you will do more caches below your personal quality threshold per day, so your personal percentage of low quality caches will increase unless you have a way to only attempt caches above your personal quality threshold.
I have found that I am no longer keeping up with local caches as well as I was, and that has a lot to do with my free time (or lack thereof) as opposed to lack of fun. I do find myself in the forums a lot more and I told myself that that's not healthy to go back to geoposting - I just get myself worked up at all the stuff and have to hold myself back from posting - because posting isn't caching.
However, if I can get a FTF, I will rush out there to try to get it.
Amazon and Netflix have a ratings system working for their customers based on what they previously liked and what people like them liked and it drives Amazon's sales, too. Maybe if we could get something like that: "People like you liked rated this cache XXXXX stars". Maybe it's patented. D amn software patents - now I'm getting worked up again. I find this terrible cocktail of patnews, gc.com forums and NOLA bloggers just gets my pressure up.
Terracaching has a system, but it's not customer-experience oriented. No terracaches in LA anymore, though.
I don't really know any statmongers in New Orleans - Bamboozle is top in the state, he's a pretty prolific hider, but he's not even to 2000 caches yet. I think he just loves caching.
(EDIT NOTE) Apparently English words like d a m n are replaced with childish words like dadgum here.
Aren't these just the most satisfying when you finally find them?
However, as seen by my emphasis, he says you can KEEP IT. To me, that would mean if you are keeping it, you could also sell it.
And there are also plenty of cases where you are not allowed to re-sell items which are given away.
Not arguing for or against the sale, but some instructions on a web page are not a contract, and this is not a question of law.
I mean that i could just place a bid and not pay.......but then again the guy would just re-list the coin.
and he would file a non-paying bidder alert.
obviously some people place a very high value on some coins.
I think it's all kind of silly. They may be rare, but they're not that rare, more are being released and geocoins are now common signature items for caching dogs, too.
If this coin thing gets any further out of control, Groundspeak's going to spin it off into another site.
Fujitsu P1510D - mini tablet - got it last year. Basically an ultra small full-blown tablet PC. So small and light that it fits in my Camelbak while caching, and I've even used it on the trail to look up something which wasn't in my PDA for some reason. Bigger than Origami, but not by a lot.
Look forward to Origami, though probably will wait for 2nd or 3rd generation.
I made Markwell's textual change today. Thanks Markwell!
IMO, Points of Interest are better left on Waymarking.com though I can see there could be a use for a generic "other" waypoint type. Any suggestions?
Cool, will there be a way to add links to the waymarks which are relevent to a particular cache?
Spinning Coin Order Info
My coins arrived today - this will make a great FTF prize.