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Everything posted by bigeddy

  1. As a Charter Member I am appalled at this decision. I have enjoyed the challenge of locating historical benchmarks while geocaching. It seemed a great fit. I simply don't understand the reasons given. Groundspeak keeps disappointing me.
  2. Same here with Safari on Mac OS X 10.12.6. The line breaks remain when displayed in the Android Geocaching app which I rarely use.
  3. When I send a message the Message Center deletes all the line returns which creates a big blob of text. Very hard to read. The behavior seems to have started this month. What's going on? Safari on Mac OS X 10.12.6. Thanks.
  4. I think you were right. CacheSense has risen to the top with regular updates. It has impressive capabilities using either the live API or stored databases that make the other apps look downright weak. The interface has become rather complex but that's okay given all its features.
  5. Yes, power trails have become a major annoyance to those of us disinterested in fast-food caching, to the point that I will have to quit the game if Groundspeak does not do something to effectively separate them out. Solutions have been discussed ad nauseam but none of the suggestions--GSAK, attribute, cache type, ignore list, etc.--work very well. At one time power trails were not even considered caching, and I think of them as more an event than a series of legitimate caches. They really need to become their own game, much like happened to virtual caches.
  6. This is a common question I hear from both traditional cachers and non-cachers alike. I asked the same question many years ago when "cache machines" first appeared. It quickly become a polarizing topic and remains so. By "legal" you probably mean "follows guidelines." Power trails stretch or break some of the long-standing guidelines but these are more advisory than hard rules. Where caches or cachers cause problems or when they deviate from Groundspeak's vision--whatever that may be--certain things are discouraged. Throw other cache listing services and GPS games into the mix, and situations can become messy. In some cases geocaching has been barred from large areas by agencies. A couple of aspects of geocaching may help to understand power trails and a cacher's find count. First, publishing caches is inconsistent and confusing. For example, at one time power trails were not even allowed by the reviewers. Later, the saturation guideline was reinterpreted to allow them. It can be argued that this is good or bad for geocaching, but there is no doubting the popularity of power trails among some cachers. The advice often given about power trails, "if you don't like them, don't do them," is much easier said than done because they dominate an area and make it difficult to isolate other caches. It would help if hiders used consistent attributes but they don't. At this point I will often filter out all micros or look for only specific cache types to generate a query of reasonable size. Groundspeak is constantly improving the publishing and search tools, so in time we may be better able to focus on the kind of hunts we like. Second, a cache belongs to the owner and it is between them and the finder as to whether a log is acceptable (within reason). It may seem wrong to you or me to invite, say, teams to pull off the road every tenth-mile with pre-signed, rotating caches but some competitive people like speed-caching. Whether this is actually geocaching or an event or even another activity that needs its own website is an interesting question. In any case, current logging practices have both expanded and diminished the game. The cache find total posted after our name represents something very different than it did when the game was young. My best advice is to met other cachers, get involved in events and your regional organization, try different things, and learn. Fascinating game.
  7. I have seen much worse. My favorites are the folks who can't be bothered with punctuation, and who type in ALL CAPS or in all lower case or use random caPitaliZatIon. Some cannot be bothered with any words and leave only smilies for their logs. I have even seen completely blank cache descriptions. Poor writing skills are sometimes to blame, but for most people it is laziness. Writing is work, and quality writing--even at the modest level of cache logs--is hard work. Too much bother. Sadly, this often extends to cache descriptions which are so muddled they might as well be puzzle caches. I am glad for the few geocachers who do take the time to create well-crafted logs and caches. They are a joy to read.
  8. What a fiasco. The hubris to construct a colossal cache series without bothering to get buy-in from the land agencies and tower owners is... unfortunate. That Groundspeak published the "power trail" and then took it down in 5 weeks is a black eye on the game. I trust the instigators are barred from pulling a stunt like this again. Of course, there's nothing inherently wrong with activities involving time and check-in points. Orienteering events and off-road rallies are two examples of roughly similar activities to a power-cache series. However, any resemblance between geocaching and speeding as fast as one dare from one transmission tower to the next--repeat hundreds of times--is incidental. People are free to pursue this type of activity but I don't think it should be done under the name of geocaching.
  9. Thanks for posting your perspective. I met you once at the 2004 Portland Cache Machine and even took your photo during a rare moment you were standing still. That's the only power caching I have done--all I'll say on the topic here!--but as a student of all things geocaching I had to read this thread. Interesting to look back 6 years ago and to see how the game has grown and branched out in different directions. I'm also well acquainted with the Mojave during the 70s and 80s. A great place to visit the right time of year. Maybe I'll run into you at GeoWoodstock or on the trail somewhere. I'll have my camera ready. Sorry to hear about the injury on the other team. Sometimes I feel like I carry too much first-aid gear, other times too little!
  10. Nine months later and after some major interface revisions the ignore list still stymies searches. Queries do not display them either, and I am unaware of any other methods. We really need an option to display the ignore list when desired. Please. Recently I wanted to look at my own ignore list but the search came up empty because, of course, it ignored those caches. Then I had an area in mind to place a new cache and so checked proximity of active caches, but the search missed some because they were on my ignore list--foiled again! What workaround do you suggest?
  11. Tracks don't need to be turned on to view them in the Track Manager. Something else is going on with the OP. I'd first try saving a new track. If it displays, then the previous files were corrupted. If it does not display, I'd try transferring the track files to my computer to see if they can be displayed there, and resetting the Oregon.
  12. Saved tracks show on my 400t after the update. Are your files still there and do they appear in the Track Manager?
  13. Enjoy your Android phone! What did you get? For nearly a year there was only the T-Mobile G1 phone available but now they are popping up all over with interesting variations in the OS. I've tested a half dozen geocaching apps and they all have their strengths although I like CacheMate best. However, I can't keep up with all the recent new apps. Here's a list I have as of today: Cache 'n' Go (Beta) CacheKing ($0.99, no longer available) CacheMate ($10) Cachepoint (Free) Fly-With-Me (Free) GCDroid (Beta) GeoBeagle (Beta, successor to GeoBrowse) Geocacher ($14.99) Geodroid ($9.99) GeoFun ($6.99) GeOrg (€4.99) LocA (Free) OpenGPX (Beta) Simple GPS ($1.99) Many choices, some of which are frequently updated. One nice thing about the Android Market is that you can take a paid app for a test drive and return it within 24 hours if you don't like it. I bet many people are going with one of the free apps until Groundspeak comes out with their own app for Android. My experience is that the paid apps have an advantage over the free apps in more or better designed features.
  14. As I said, the Android apps can do geocaching searches based on your current location via the web browser, no pq involved. The browser brings up the search results, you select a cache, and you import the coords by simply clicking on Google Maps on the cache page of interest. Of course, you can do only one cache at a time this way and the detailed info is not imported like with a GPX file. As I understand it, you can't download a GPX file directly from the cache page because of a bug in the Android browser. What Android device did you order? There seem to be a lot of them coming out this fall. Let us know how it works for geocaching when you get a chance.
  15. The iPhone Geocaching interface is relatively simple and looks nice--there is an advantage to designing an app for a single type of hardware using an OS that has been around for several years. Plus, it doesn't have to do very much. The app is limited to real-time searches of what is around you because of "network limitations" (a bogus reason but that's the official line). A real-time search works for spur-of-the-moment hunts where you are doing one cache at a time, but it is not for planning trips or for power caching (you can, of course, use additional apps that can import GPX files). The Android geocaching apps have different needs. They must run on several phones and do not not have direct access to Groundspeak's data. These apps rely heavily on Pocket Queries to populate the database, although live search is available via the browser. Fortunately, pocket queries can be created and imported wirelessly, which provides a rich data set with many more options than a real-time search. The slow part is not the wireless connection but rather the limited processing power of the phone to convert the GPX files. There are several Android apps for geocaching. GeoBeagle is the free, open source app and indeed looks amateurish although it works. The paid apps I'm familiar with--CacheMate, Geocacher and Geodroid--take somewhat different approaches to the interface but seem reasonably attractive to my eye. For comparison, the compass screens are shown below. Of the bunch, I find Geocaching's the hardest to read. In general, I like Geodroid's tabbed interface the best. Geocacher can show graphics in the cache description. CacheMate has the most features. Take your pick.
  16. Where did you hear that from? From what I've heard they don't care much about us Android-users... (In my opinion they should open up their database for everyone to use). Link? From Jeremy Irish's Facebook page on 10/14/09: "Yes. We're working on an Android version." Of course, that could mean almost anything. They have been working on an updated Wherigo for a couple of years!
  17. What Android geocaching apps have you tried? I believe all of them (CacheMate, GeGeo, GeoBeagle, Geocacher, Geodroid) can do live searches based on your location. Of course, these are all web-based searches. Groudspeak will eventually release an Android app with direct database access. There are other apps in the works as well. CacheMate has by far the most functionality of any existing smartphone geocaching app.
  18. Absolutely it would be useful. Sometimes I want to see every cache in an area in the simplest way possible. The PQ system is not a reasonable substitute for cache searches and map browsing--different ways of working. Plus, the 40 PQ limit and clumsy interface are barriers. I would like to see a checkbox for including caches (at least the active ones) on my Ignore List in searches and on the map. Also, there appears to be a bug in searches where items on my Ignore List result in records found but no caches listed. This happens when using the PQ interface, too (with "Are not on my ignore list" unchecked). With so many caches out there, an efficient and predictable search system is essential. If this is not a medium-high priority, I can't imagine what is.
  19. It is my receiver of choice. Most everything about it is more modern than older Garmins. The touch display is my favorite feature, followed by GPX import. The interface and waypoint management take getting used to, though. The worst thing: battery life sucks, even with high-capacity rechargeables. Also check out Groundspeak's GPS Devices and Reviews section. The Oregon 400t has over 1100 reviews. If money is no object, the 550t may be of interest.
  20. I've been seeing the strange characters at the end of the occasional Short Description but didn't think much of it until it happen to one of my pages. Maybe a coincidence but I also noticed that every time I edited the short description a couple of characters were added by the system and the system miscalculated the total number of characters (hidden characters perhaps?). The <br/> trick seems to work, although I don't understand why because I do not use the <br> tag.
  21. Interesting perspective. I don't play video games so I don't know the context in which a radar display is used but I would guess it is trying to simulate what people think a combat plane display looks like--the real one is far more complicated, of course. Or maybe it mimics the handheld gizmos that the movie actors clutch when the alien is coming for them in a cramped passageway. Despite the glamour of tracking targets with electronics, modern ground navigation is still basic map and compass. It uses file servers instead of paper maps and the GPS to give a more accurate location. We still talk in terms of position, distance and bearing (plus altitude in mountains). Those things have to be presented as clearly as possible. The traditional compass is hard to beat for clarity and ease of use when we are walking around in the field. I see that the recent GeoBeagle update has added a small radar on the main screen with a compass overlay. That helps but there is still the annoying pulsing of the radar "signal" and the display is far too small for accurate readings. Radar is a gimmick that may look cool but is a poor choice for a navigation tool. OTOH, radar may suit some geocachers who are more interested in the hunt than navigation techniques. They may never do caches with stages, offsets, projections and coordinate systems. Geocaching has become a game of choices.
  22. Go to the Market on your G1. Search for "geocaching" which should bring up several apps including GeoBeagle. Select the app and Install. Unlike the apps that have an integrated compass, GeoBeagle uses another app called Radar to show (poorly IMO) the distance and bearing. Search for "radar" in the Market and install. Have fun.
  23. With the introduction of CacheMate for Android this week you should be very happy. I know I am. It sets the bar much higher for geocaching apps on the G1.
  24. Good job! I had used the Palm version for many years and was looking forward to having it on Android. At first glance it appears the only area where some of the other apps beat it is mapping but I'm sure you'll get there in a future update. Until then the search/filter/sort and other features are vastly superior. My only misgiving is that the G1's memory is so small that I wish data were stored on the SD card. I'll have to try it out today. Thanks!
  25. Not in my opinion. There is a world of difference between hunting a film can and a blinky. For one thing, a blinky is 1/40 the size of a film can whereas all the the other categories are around 1/6 difference to the next smaller size. I think it is good to keep bringing it up. Micros have become the dominant size in many areas and need another category to be useful.
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