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Posts posted by arpegio

  1. I imagine that people into Geocaching cross a wide variety of economic levels. I think it's great that people are leaving substantive treasures in caches. I wholly endorse this idea.


    Also, you know what they say.. One man's trash is another man's treasure. I'd like to see more people put valuable stuff they no longer want in caches. The biggest problem is the size.

  2. It seems lame to me to turn a regular cache into MOC (unless there was a good reason). Before I became a premium member, I despised the elitist MOCs. Then when I placed my first cache, the FTF didn't even have the courtesy of logging it online. That made me rethink the notion of MOCs and I started making my hides MOC at least until FTF so I could be assured a better chance that someone wasn't doing a drive-by and the logs would be sync'd with the ones online.

  3. Actually, I already have a palm pilot... but generally when I'm out hiking, I don't like taking extra electronic equipment along.


    Wait a minute. You actually go places... without a pile of electronics?!?! :laughing:

    Give me a minute here. I'm trying to grasp that concept.


    No.. that's the problem... I am a one-man electronics shop... typically with multiple cell phones, digital camera(s) (I just got a Nikon D200 so I've been lugging that bad boy around with a f2.8ED lens in a fanny pack!) PDA, and my Garmin 60CSX.


    Quite often I find myself out somewhere and I check my GPS and there is a cache nearby, so we decide to check it out... but if I don't have notes, more often than not, I don't find it. I once had a problem where we ran around for an hour only to realize later that the so-called cache was an event happening in the future... so I've since filtered those out of the queries that I upload to my GPS.


    Anyway, the point I'm making is that it seems it's getting to be more and more that if you want to cache, you can't do it spontaneously unless you've already pre-prepared with the proper background info.. You can't just have coordinates and hope for the best. Sometimes I think it's fun to go after a cache without reading the notes, but when the notes are so critical to finding it, that's not good... and when it's just a basic cache or a micro and you MUST have the notes to even get a clue, that IMO takes away some of the fun... I just think there should be a little more respect for the integrity of the coordinates and I'm finding more and more caches where people think that the easiest way to increase the difficulty is by listing the coordinates off by a bit.... instead of coming up with a clever way to hide or disguise a cache, they just bump the coordinates off. I think it's lame. I will probably still think it's lame after my 1000th find.

  4. I also just have to say that I have noticed a few people lately complaining about others having inferior coords because of their old gps units. I just haven't noticed any problem with cords. While it's true that a gps from five years ago isn't going to be as accurate as some of the newest ones, very few people are still using five year old cords, at least in my area. I almost never get to a cache and see cords that are more than 10-15 off what is listed, and most are closer than that. And that includes the trips I've made lately with cachers who have the new "x" series gps units and trips to the caches they've put out that I am reading with my gps.


    Perhaps you have some folks in your area that like to use "soft cords" to increase the difficulty? I've run across one fellow around here that does that. At least he used to do that. I have no idea if he still does it, because all of his caches are on my ignore list.


    The location of where this particular cache I'm complaining about may be an example of your "soft coords" because the GPS pointed right to a section of woods on a street corner.... I don't have a problem with this if it's a regular or larger sized cache, but I do have a problem with a micro that's not in the woods, with coordinates that points smack into the woods. That just seems like an exercise in frustration... but again, if I had the notes, they indicated that where the coordinates pointed was not where the cache was, so this particular hide screws over people who don't have the notes.

  5. I see that you're fairly new to geocaching - that's not intended to be negative, I'm almost a complete greenhorn myself. However, it tells me that perhaps you're suffering from the same problem I seem to be, which is that it takes some experience to get good at spotting difficult hides. Or, for that matter, even easy ones.


    I don't think this is case of needing more experience, unless you figure that with more experience comes more tolerance and patience for misleading cache coordinates. If that's the case, then I'd agree with you.


    The other day I came upon a cache where the coordinates pointed to an area of woods next to a gate to a tourist attraction. Since the coordinates were not pointed to the stone wall, which I presumed was private property, I didn't spend as much time looking there -- I looked where the coordinates pointed, which was some woods on public property nearby. Later when I checked the description, it was obvious the cache was stuck in a brick wall. Unfortunately, the GPS was a good 40 feet off from the cache location -- I assumed that between private property and public property where the coordinates pointed, I'd choose public property. I didn't find the cache.


    As far as I'm concerned, if you're going to plant a micro in an area of woods where you could put a large cache, the least you can do is be accurate with the coordinates. This stone wall was a good ten feet high... even if the coordinates were right on it, it would have probably taken a lot of time to find the cache - as it stood, we did look over the wall and the cracks therein, but since the wall was quite a ways from where the GPS pointed, we didn't scour it like we should have. I blame the cache placer for having his coordinates off, or myself for assuming that I could do this without looking at the notes...


    I think if I get more finds under my belt, it will simply make me more un-impressed with hides like what I experienced.

  6. When I'm doing a specific cache run, I'll download the notes to my Treo 600. But sometimes I see a cache and I don't have notes on it (I tend to download more waypoints into the GPS than I do notes). It's just frustrating when you go to a location and scour it and then read the notes back home which point you to a specific landmark that is a good 50+ feet away from the coordinates. Now maybe some people mark their spots in bad conditions or with older GPSes that aren't as accurate as the new ones, but it's gotten to the point now where if I see a cache nearby on my GPS, if I don't have notes, I won't even try to look for it -- there's too much of a chance the coordinates are way off.


    Even worse are the stupid micro caches in wooded areas where you could easily hide a large sized cache. This becomes a real pain when you don't have notes. If you're looking in a densely-wooded area that could easily hold a number of large-sized caches and you don't know that the person as stuck some tiny stupid micro in the middle of the woods, it's annoying. Maybe I should figure out if there's a way to make the micro caches have a different prefix for the waypoint name so I have an idea whether this is going to a needle-in-a-haystack? Can you do that? Can you run a query of just micros and have the waypoint name slightly altered?


    I understand, some people will say, "Well that's what you get for being unprepared..." but it seems that caching is now becoming some sort of combination of file and recordkeeping with hiking and brush-beating. I find the best way to get caches is to walk around like I'm a cyborg with all sorts of gadgets hanging off me with notes and other stuff... it kind of takes the fun out of the hunt when you're sitting there in the woods going over notes.

  7. On many occasions I find myself out and about and look at my GPS and find there's a cache nearby, but it seems more often than not, if I don't have notes and comments and hints, the cache is extremely difficult to find. This is starting to get a bit frustrating... but maybe this is part of the game? Do you feel that the coordinates alone should get you 80% of the way there? My thought is, if you have to read the notes to have any chance of finding the cache, it's not what I'd consider as good a cache (it's one thing if it's a puzzle or multi-cache, but a traditional cache to me, should be somewhat self-contained with the coordinates and the notes/hints more helpful than absolutely critical). I like the idea of the coordinates putting you near enough so that hints aren't an absolute requirement, but I'm finding more and more that people are posting coordinates that are not that close, and without the hints, it's very difficult to get close. Anyone else have any thoughts/comments?

  8. They're tools, not religions. Get over it.


    You're right, they are tools. I just don't use a banana when I need a hammer. It's also disconcerting that when the system crashes, it barfs out a LOT of information on your applications that end users shouldn't see.


    I have run both IIS and Apache systems side-by-side and the difference in stability and performance is dramatic, especially in database applications. I think what you all have set up here is a brilliant software system. I just think that it's a shame it's so Microsoft-dependent; I think it's going to cost you at least 4-5 times more money to maintain over a comparable Unix system, and it won't be able handle as much traffic.


    However, you guys are based in Washington, so your choice of development platform is predictable. I really wish .ASP was as stable as other systems. Look at Myspace.com -- their cold fusion-based system just barely can handle the traffic. If the developers had used a more solid platform, they wouldn't have as many troubles. I'm just commenting on it. I am not particularly loyal to unix as much as I can't deny as an admin, life is a lot easier when your platforms are open source and unix-based. It just makes me sad to see a really clever software application running in an environment that isn't as good as the app. Puzzle Pirates is another example... a great online multiplayer game, written in Java, that runs about 50 times slower than if it were written in C. As a developer, I find it depressing when people pick tools that aren't always the best choice for the application. But obviously your opinion may differ. I think that if you all migrate from .ASP to a native unix-based PHP/MySQL or PHP/Oracle system (using Oracle mainly as a core database and not their equally unstable peripheral apps), the network would be more reliable and be able to scale better.


    So is the forum server running unix or is it running php under IIS? Netcraft says the server is a windows platform. Is your whole shop Microsoft-centric, except for the forum software? I'm just curious.

  9. I am amused that the php-based forums are up, but the .ASP/.NET-based portion of the web site is down. This is why we don't deploy Microsoft-based high-traffic web applications. They just cannot handle the traffic unless you throw tons of money and resources into them. On the other hand, the unix-based php stuff like the forums truck along without a whole lot of problems under heavy load.


    I hope if the people at Groundspeak opt to improve the web site, the first thing they do is dump the IIS-based .ASP stuff and move to a true mission-critical system that's Unix-based. If only, for the sake of the security of all our information. It says that forums.Groundspeak.com is also running IIS but that sounds weird... are you guys really running PHP under a Windows environment? Do you have any idea how much faster your web site would be if it wasn't running under IIS?


    Server Error in '/' Application.

    Exception of type System.OutOfMemoryException was thrown.

    Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code.


    Exception Details: System.OutOfMemoryException: Exception of type System.OutOfMemoryException was thrown.


    Source Error:


    An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below.


    Stack Trace:


    [OutOfMemoryException: Exception of type System.OutOfMemoryException was thrown.]


    [HttpException (0x80004005): Unable to connect to SQL Server session database.]

    System.Web.SessionState.SqlStateConnection..ctor(String sqlconnectionstring) +191

    System.Web.SessionState.SqlStateClientManager.GetConnection(Boolean& usePooling) +98

    System.Web.SessionState.SqlStateClientManager.GetExclusive(String id) +41

    System.Web.SessionState.SqlStateClientManager.System.Web.SessionState.IStateClientManager.BeginGetExclusive(String id, AsyncCallback cb, Object state) +6

    System.Web.SessionState.SessionStateModule.GetSessionStateItem() +67

    System.Web.SessionState.SessionStateModule.BeginAcquireState(Object source, EventArgs e, AsyncCallback cb, Object extraData) +274

    System.Web.AsyncEventExecutionStep.System.Web.HttpApplication+IExecutionStep.Execute() +66

    System.Web.HttpApplication.ExecuteStep(IExecutionStep step, Boolean& completedSynchronously) +173


    Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:1.1.4322.2300; ASP.NET Version:1.1.4322.2300

  10. I used to live near there. As a NASA spokesman, I got the VIP treatment pretty often (tour of the undergound, secret entrance to Space Mountain head of the line - stuff like that). I'll tell you this:


    It's probably a balance of nature or yin and yang thing, but for all the "happy face" and smiles you see among the paying guests, if you get crosswise with their Security, you will experience an entirely new attitude. That place has more security - physical, electronic and other - than anyplace but the US Embassy in Baghdad. Maybe even more than THAT! They are SERIOUS at Disney.


    I can vouch for that. I was there on 9/11/01 and the park went to Defcon 10. We had to show ID to get in/out of our resort. I think Disney's self-importance as a terrorist target is a bit far-fetched, but they do live in their own little world.


    On the bright side, I was there a few more days, and after 9/11, they opened the park back up, and since all flights were cancelled and most people left, we had the park to ourselves. There will probably never be anything like it again. We rode all the rides with no lines; hung out with the characters (because there were no children). I remember eating in the cafeteria that had a buffet and it was perfect, untouched and we were the only ones there, and micky and goofy were throwing chairs across the room at each other to amuse themselves.

  11. I'm sure nothing would happen to rice hanging outside somewhere. There's nothing that would eat it, and if it got rained on, no problem.


    I'm not a big fan of nano caches, especially outside. But that's me.

  12. My question is really how can cachers encourage other cachers to place better caches.


    Hold on... it's coming to me... I got this new novel concept...




    OMG, I'm heading to the patent office. This is revolutionary. I mean, well, we could argue back and forth over whether to ignore them and/or argue over whether or not they're a problem, or we could employ this amazing new approach where you actually communicate with the cache owner and make some helpful suggestions. He doesn't have to listen to you, but if he is open-minded and intelligent, COMMUNICATING WITH HIM might be productive. Maybe you're off track, but any feedback is good feedback. At least that's what I believe, but I'm probably going way out on a limb here suggesting such a radical maneuver. Use with caution!

  13. I think it sounds fine too.


    However, I think GC's rules for caches don't do much to curtail commercial exploitation of caches. They prohibit you from setting up a cache to promote religious or commercial interests, but if you look in almost any cache these days, you see a lot of advertising or religious propaganda. It's rampant. They can't control what people put in other peoples' caches, so lots of commercialism and religious promotion prevail.


    Ironically, if you want to promote your B&B, it's better to put B&B-related swag in other peoples' caches. I'm not a big fan of that, but it seems to be all the rage, and you have companies like Jeep and Absolut and others creating their own TBs to push commercial efforts.


    The way I figure it, in the future, there will be tons of geocache-specific advertising swag. It seems that every time some new communication medium is discovered by madison avenue, they turn it into a festering pile of commercialism. We're seeing this already, but the more popular geocaching becomes, the more likely you'll be opening an ammo can with corporate logos on everything. Maybe this will increase the quality of swag? Or maybe opening a cache will be like watching tv commercials? Ugh.

  14. Take a read through Sputnik's Garmin FAQ, particularly #9 in the "Loading and Managing Maps" section. Basically when you're on the Map Setup menu where you can enable/disable all hundred-gazillion individual map segments, just hit Menu one more time and you'll get a screen where you can hide/show entire groups of maps (hide/show all City Nav, or all US Topo, etc). It'll have you switching between CS and NP24K nice and quick. :laughing:


    Awesome! Awesome!


    Thanks for the info.... that's what I wanted.

  15. I have a 60CSX and I have both CS 7 and NP24K topo loaded. I notice that CS7 takes precedence over NP24k, so in order to display topo maps in an area where i'm located, I have to turn off CS7 for that area. Ok, fair enough, but the problem is when I want to switch back to the CS street maps, it seems like it's a nightmare to: 1. Determine what map segment I'm currently in, and 2. scroll down through the whole list to find the map segment and turn it back on.


    Is there any way to just bring up map segments that cover the area where you're plotting? If you have a lot of map data loaded on the GPS, it can take a long time to scroll through the list looking for the proper map segment to flip it on/off. Is there any easier way to do this?


    You dont have to determine any segment your on. just hit menu/map setup/menu and hide or show CS 7


    CS7 is not a single map. It's a bunch of maps.


    Furthermore, that still doesn't address the main problem of having to scroll through a hundred other maps before I can even find CS7 to disable it.

  16. I have a 60CSX and I have both CS 7 and NP24K topo loaded. I notice that CS7 takes precedence over NP24k, so in order to display topo maps in an area where i'm located, I have to turn off CS7 for that area. Ok, fair enough, but the problem is when I want to switch back to the CS street maps, it seems like it's a nightmare to: 1. Determine what map segment I'm currently in, and 2. scroll down through the whole list to find the map segment and turn it back on.


    Is there any way to just bring up map segments that cover the area where you're plotting? If you have a lot of map data loaded on the GPS, it can take a long time to scroll through the list looking for the proper map segment to flip it on/off. Is there any easier way to do this?

  17. 176. After hiking a half-mile to the cache location, you will be surprised to notice there's a road that ran right up to it that wasn't on your map.


    177. When you're, waiting for those "creepy-looking weirdos" to leave the area so you can search for a cache, they're thinking the exact same thing about you!

  18. If you believe that one person's caches are lame, ignore that person's caches. It easily solves your problem and still allows those people who like his caches to enjoy them.


    That seems fair, but I can recognize that it is frustrating to see someone claim a very nice area with a really lame cache. My two beefs that I've identified thus far are:

    1. The "oops" microcache - no camo at all, they just drop or stick it somewhere totally unoriginal

    2. The micro in a spot where a full-sized cache could be - another waste of space


    If there are a few really nice attractions and someone has a cache claiming the area and they fit into one of the above two categories, it's not simply that their cache is lame, or not up to your standards, but that they've taken a really good geographic spot and not placed a cache that is deserving of such prime real estate.


    But yea, I get the point, love it or leave it. But it doesn't hurt to suggest to someone that if they're going to claim a really nice area, they should consider re-vamping the cache so it's of a similar quality.

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