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Everything posted by debaere

  1. I would split. As a disclaimer I have never done any caching as a team. I have cached with others, but not as any sort of official team, but rather more as a group of individuals. To me this hobby is about the experience of the find - exploring new places and going on adventures. The number of finds is really just an interesting bit of information and doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. One benefit of having separate accounts is to keep track of caches one of you has found and the other hasn't. For example you mentioned you found 10 caches on your own. If your husband decides to cache on his own those caches will not come up in a search for unfound caches and he may miss out. Everyone plays the game differently so your reasons bay be different than mine, but if it was me I would have separate accounts.
  2. The negativity probably comes from several places, some of which is a perception problem, and some of which is real. First, Geocachers who frequent forums tend to be passionate about the subject, spend a lot of time here, and have seen countless posts about every topic, most of which come from good intentioned new (to the forum, if not the hobby) cachers who have a "great idea" (bring back virtuals for example). It is generally considered good form to search for posts related to your topic before posting to a forum you are not completely familiar with. This is a common problem amongst many mailing lists and forums, not just geocaching. Repeated duplicate posts can become quite annoying and lead to the negativity you may be seeing. Second cachers tend to be geeks, and many geeks like to discuss things, sometimes to a great and indepth degree. The back and forth can be seen by outsiders as bickering, nit picking, and fighting, but often it is done in good fun. A lot of people tend to be sarcastic when discussing things, so what appears negative is merely in jest. Finally some folks are just cranky curmudgeons, and anything said will be met with negative comments. These folks are best ignored All in all I don't see a great deal of negativity on this forum except for frequent "new ideas" which aren't.
  3. I haven't used the site so I cannot honestly say thanks, however I was just looking into a stats generator when I stumbled across this thread. I am about to write one for my own purposes. Please consider open sourcing your code so others can take advantage of all the hard work that so many folks seem to appreciate so much. Cheers!
  4. Doesn't look that interesting to me. Doesn't seem like a fun thing to have. The only use I can see is in some sort of security system, as in the box will only open when it arrives at its destination. However I bet the construction is such that it is not that hard to break open if required I also like the line "The first person to find it via GPS wins" - not exactly a ringing endorsement for the understanding of what geocaching is I am going to rate the idea as "meh".
  5. Stand where you want to put yours. Load up the closest existing cache on your GPS to where you are standing. It should tell you what the distance to the next cache is. If its > 528ft you are golden.
  6. I really don't understand this statement. I knew what TFTC was before I found my first cache I read logs, found an acronym I didn't know, Google'd it, and gained knowledge. Right from my first cache I could use TFTC knowing full well what it meant. This is true of most acronyms I come across . Well yeah, me too. I surfed around this site for a few days, and joined after coming home from finding my first cache. I actually used the term "Muggle" in my first geocache log that day. But you need to look no further than the original post in this thread to see not everyone does this. So what I'm saying is, massive coordinated international conspiracy by new geocachers to sit at computer's and lamely log "TFTC" for geocache finds, no. Uncoordinated international effort by new geocachers to press a couple of buttons on their smartphone gps to upload a lame "TFTC" log to Geocaching.com, yes. Ah gotcha! Global conspiracies are problematic.
  7. I really don't understand this statement. I knew what TFTC was before I found my first cache I read logs, found an acronym I didn't know, Google'd it, and gained knowledge. Right from my first cache I could use TFTC knowing full well what it meant. This is true of most acronyms I come across .
  8. I know you can download a pocket query of your finds and drag that over to Google Earth and it will be displayed. (True for any PQ). I don't know if it can be done on any other mapping software.
  9. I carry a small notepad in my geo-bag if I need paper, however since I cache with a smart phone I just use its notepad feature to take notes. I don't take that many notes (mainly for claiming earth/virtual caches) so I don't need to take that many, but it does work. I typically take rough notes in the field and massage them into proper english for the online log.
  10. Droid++ I use a Nexus One (Android) phone and it has some excellent free software for caching. I use GeoBeagle myself. Blackberry's also have some nice software - CacheBerry for one (tho its not free, it is $30 well spent).
  11. Indeed, If you are going for a one-time thing then sure. I didn't read the original post as just a counter for the first to find, but as a "been X days since last found. Your solution is the easiest way to accomplish that. You gave your credentials, and they sound impressive. I have some of my own, but I work on a really really large scale systems. On the scale I work at automation is critical, so I tend to go for the automated solutions. I love to think of complex systems and turn them into simple models. Granted this is not that complex, but it is fun as it deals with a constrained system and interesting signals. Different worlds and different experiences lead to different solutions Plus its fun to get my geek on:)
  12. See my response in post #8. The implementation that I created doesn't require any changes to the cache page one the img tag has been added. The src attribute url, rather than pointing to a static jpg, gif, or png image points to a simple php script which generates an image. The url never changes, but output of the php script will change depending on the current time. Modifying the script to achieve a "not found since" counter rather than the current time is simply a matter of setting a date for when the cache placed as a variable, get the current date, doing a little date math, and producing an image from that result. Of course, once the cache *is* found the cache page would have to be edited to remove the image. This is probably way outside the abilities of the original poster, but you could make this happen, and fairly easily, if you know how to program. The magic recipe is this: Find a way to email the log notification that Groundspeak sends to the cache owner to a script running on a web server. I would probably do this by setting up an email filter to forward geocaching emails to a gmail account, and use their GData API to read the email, but countless other options exist. Once the script has the ability to access the emailed logs, write something to parse the email to determine if its a "Found It" log. If its a found it log, write the timestamp to a file. This is probably 10 lines of code. Modify the image script that outputs the counter to read the timestamp from the file and modify the current date/time (basically current timestamp - last found timestamp). Voila - a current "not found since" time for your page that auto updates and is as current as the email delay + the last time the update script ran - which could be automated to run as often as you like - say every 5-10 minutes.
  13. This town has a lot of micros, which I don't enjoy hunting for so I ignore them. The closest one to my house is <400ft. Of the caches I care about, the closest is one I hid (2.3 miles away) and the closest I haven't found is 3.8 miles away. I have cached all over the place at this point. I have 11 states, and 3 countries. Most of the distance caches are opportunistic (i.e. I was gong anyway) but its not uncommon for me to pack the wife and kid into the car after church on Sunday and drive for an hour or so to do some picnicking and caching. I am an adventurer at heart (tho I am not the most physically active person) and I love to drive and explore new areas, so I often combine my itch to check out new places with my itch to cache. Works out well. I'd rather drive an hour to find an interesting cache then walk the 400ft to find a cache I don't care about
  14. I carry a litre of water and some trail bars in my geo-bag. If I am going to be out for a long time, and away from restaurants, I'll pack some sandwiches - normally Peanut Butter as I don't have to worry about the contents going bad in the heat of the day (like with egg salad or lunch meat).
  15. This is a great suggestion, and I approve of it 100%, but I fear it will not lead anywhere. We may get better traction getting Waymarking.com better integrated into geocaching.com (at least a unified stats system - come on guys, you are the same company, this should not be hard). Ideally I see Waymarking.com (an improved version, not the horrid mess that is there now) superceding geocaching.com. If it had a much better way to navigate categories and to set preferences it could be a one stop shop for all sorts of GPS related activities and destinations. Want to geocache only, set your prefs to only show the caching categories. Want historical, geological, scientific, pop-culture (etc.) sites to visit without having caches, then set your prefs for that. All the features of PQ's, searching, stats, logs, forumns etc should be easily reusable for all of these. (My volunteer services are available if anyone from Groundspeak wants to talk about these ideas - hint hint). Groundspeak should learn to think bigger, and they will capture a much wider audience, make more casholine, and give users what they want. It could all be awesome. Be awesome Groundspeak. Be awesome.
  16. I, my wife, and most of my friends have the Canon SD Powershot series of cameras. They are small (about the side of a deck of cards), tough, and take great photos. I have personally had several models of this line over the past 5-6 years, and I have never been disappointed. I currently have the SD1000, my wife just upgraded to the SD1400. Both are fantasic. Although for its size it is a great camera, and has decent zoom capabilites, it is not the best choice if you want to take long distance shots. However for a great "capture the moment" camera, with the ability to take excellent short/medium range photos, you can't beat this camera. I am sure there are other excellent cameras of this type, but this one has proven itself over time, and I wouldn't buy another one without some serious convincing. Cheers Dave
  17. wow - double post without a double click/page reload. I must be special today.
  18. I put velcro on my dash to mount my GPS in a sane manner. Does that count?
  19. ++ Extra points for allowing premium members direct remote access to the database so we can write apps that directly query caches on the go. This is mostly forbidden by the TOS, but I would glady play extra for the option.
  20. These are the types of caches I prefer to find. I really enjoy going to interesting locations, the cache is just there to give me enough motivation to get off the couch and go out into the field.
  21. I normally claim the find anyway with a note saying I tried to pass along the answers required, but was unable to, and will be happy to provide the answers should the owner ask for them. Never had a problem with it (probably because no one noticed).
  22. If it passes the "does anyone else care" test, then I log, otherwise I don't. I go with the thought that if I reached GZ (i.e. I had a chance to search for it, even if its just briefly), or I was thwarted in my attempts to reach GZ for whatever reason (muggles, not comfortable with area, closed park etc.). I will log a DNF. This information is relevant to other cachers. If I didn't reach GZ because of my own actions or situation (normally because I ran out of energy/time), I don't log a DNF. This information is not relevant to other cachers seeking this cache. Basically if I feel my not finding the cache could be useful information to anyone else seeking the cache, then I log a DNF. if I don't have such information, I don't log anything. Some folks say "if you type the coords into your GPS, you should log something" But I disagree with this. As an example, I type in coords to a cache into my GPS and I start the 20 mile drive. One mile down the road my wife calls me saying her car broke down and wants me to go help her, which I do. One thing leads to another and I never end up resuming my quest for that cache. Does any other cacher care? My story is not relevant to that cache, so I may blog about it, or mention it on the forums/irc, but its not log worthy.
  23. A lot depends on experience, but sometimes its just luck. The last time I went out I hunted 5, found 2. Time before that I got 4 out of 5.
  24. You might want to load up some maps, but the GPSr will work no problem. I've used oa 60CSx in Belgium/France without a hitch. The "global" part of GPS is not just a marketing ploy The only GPS issue I had in Europe/Ireland was the GPS on my blackberry not working. I believe it has something to do with how it uses cell towers to provide hints to the GPS, which it doesn't get over there, so it never locks onto the satellites (i.e. bad engineering on RIMs part) It doesn't sound like you have this problem tho
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