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Everything posted by Shadowrhen

  1. I was able to download points last weekend via Chrome. Today I had to update the Garmin Communicator Plugin and use IE11 for downloads.
  2. I agree with previous sentiment that simple, quick, and obvious puzzles may not need a geochecker. Those can be fun and are a good introduction to those new to geopuzzles. For more challenging home solved ones, a geochecker is helpful. Field puzzles are another animal that require a different mindset to hunt. I've worked different types and don't have a preference. I'll try them all. I'm surprised there was no mention of using Google Earth for an initial estimate. I've spent considerable time in GE solving puzzles. I'll plot my solution, and if it clearly lands somewhere unreasonable or outside the distance limit, I'll go back and redo my work. If there's a geochecker, I'll check solutions that appear reasonable by GE and the context of the puzzle. Streetview can be very valuable at times. This has saved a lot of wasted trips. I'll try to solve on my own then ask for assistance. I prefer to not bother a CO, but when I do email, I detail my understanding of the puzzle, what I've done so far to solve it, then ask for guidance. I started taking this approach after seeing a puzzle in which the CO requested an email to "show your work for another hint". I consider it a fair exchange. I'm working the puzzle. The CO isn't giving away the solution. Also, the CO gets feedback on how well others understand the puzzle, which gives them the opportunity to improve it. Ask the cacher to show their work to date. If they don't, you don't have to offer additional hints if you don't want to.
  3. I've solved several puzzle caches in my area. I've spent anywhere from a few minutes to a month working them, either alone or with my caching partner or co-workers. I attempt them because I enjoy the challenge, ciphers, and learning new techniques. Some puzzles are awesome and a thrill to solve! There are common problems with puzzle caches that deter geocachers new to them and may cause veteran geopuzzlers to give up on them or overshare them. They are problems that can be prevented by the CO during puzzle creation, posting, and maintenance. 1. Provide a good Description and valid Clue as to the starting point. Often the cacher appears expected to just read the CO's mind and know where to start. This is very difficult, especially if the solution involves an obscure technique that most people would never figure out on their own. I've solved at least two math puzzles like this. 2. Provide a Geochecker. It's very frustrating to be working different angles of a puzzle and not be able to check the work. One of the last puzzles I did involved two wasted trips before I found the right location. 3. CO's should not ignore requests for assistance. The better the Description and Clue, the fewer requests for assistance. I will attempt to work a puzzle on my own first which will involve studying the puzzle and researching online. I'll then ask for help from others close to me. If still stuck, I'll email the CO detailing what I've done so far and ask for guidance in getting on the right track. Sometimes a CO won't respond. That leaves me with not solving the puzzle, asking another cacher who has already found it for a clue, or asking folks in a puzzle forum for assistance. If a cacher can't get assistance from the CO, they will ask someone else or walk away from it. 4. If the same questions get asked or same problems arise, maybe the Description needs to be clarified. Update the page as needed. 5. It may be disappointing to some cachers to spend a lot of time solving a difficult puzzle only to find the cache is a film canister LPC. All that work for what amounts to a regular cache? I can understand why many cachers don't mess with them. Any Favorites points offered are for the puzzle and not the cache. Often the cache is not as stellar as the puzzle. Balancing the two would be a good idea. Actually, using a Puzzle to protect a good cache idea can be used instead of or in addition to setting it as Premium. These are my suggestions after spending a lot of time on geopuzzles. I think that if you're going to put forth the effort into building it, it should be a good one that is enjoyed and lasts. Also would be nice if the "How to Solve Puzzle Caches" were its own forum instead of buried discussions within the general forums. Puzzle creation and solving really is its own thing that I think is worthy of its own section at GS.
  4. Fortunately there are some good cache puzzles in my area. They range from simple and fun to challenging and frustrating. I made the mistake of trying a puzzle when I was a new cacher and initially decided that I didn't like them. Since it's too easy for someone to get discouraged, I don't recommend them for those just starting out. For whatever reason I later gave it another try and now enjoy them. After reading some of the "How to Solve Geocache Puzzles" articles, I've bookmarked many puzzle solving resources and refer to them when needed. Some I can readily solve, find, and log. Others may take a long time to do. If I can't solve it myself, I'll ask friends or co-workers to look at it. If needed, I'll email the cache owner with ideas and information that I've collected at that point and ask for guidance to steer me in the right direction. Indicating I've thought about the puzzle and made an effort to solve it, allows a greater chance of receiving a response from the cache owner with useful feedback. Some owners just don't respond to emails, so emailing the last cacher that posted a Found log to ask for advice is also an option. I've done that before with positive results. I've also been contacted by other cachers who are in the stumped boat and ask me for help. I provide whatever assistance I can without giving the answer away.
  5. I've recently noticed a similiar problem. Sometimes the cursor does not reveal the cache name that can be clicked on to bring up the box link. For me, zooming in and out a bit re-initializes proper function, so it's just irritating. The problem doesn't happen with all cache icons. The glitch appears random, so I can't say I'm doing something specific to cause the error. To aid in troubleshooting, I'm using Windows 7, IE9, with current versions of Flash and Java. Hope this helps in finding an answer.
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