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Posts posted by arrowroot

  1. Given that they're not supposed to be underground, require special tools to detect, etc... how hard should it be to find a cache that isn't in extremely difficult terrain?


    I'm asking because two people found my cache in the first 24 hours after approval, I'm wondering if I should be disappointed that it was too easy.


    I guess, what's the goal here? Sharing a pretty spot in the woods? Providing a challenging puzzle? Trinket exchange (cache trash, my wife calls it)?


    How often do you camo so well that people pass it right by? I know I haven't had one I haven't been able to find, but a few of them were pretty tough, and one micro I nearly gave up on.




    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  2. Nearest city/town/area would be nice. It probably needs to be a user-entered field, so that, for instance, you could say (in the Chicago area), Jefferson Park (Chi), Busse Woods, Morraine StPk, instead of just the town name.


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  3. Today (Sunday) I received the Friday and Saturday versions (or possibly Thu/Fri) of my GPX file at my hotmail account. They're notorious for dropping and sitting on e-mail.


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  4. This article showed up this morning at Slashdot, and I thought it would be of interest here.


    Phrack magazine has posted a circuit design for a GPS jamming device. Details are available in this computerworld article.


    I can't see a cacher "hiding" his cache better by puting a jammer in it... but it's just another thing to be worried about.


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  5. I try to get my pocket queries on Friday, so I can cache on Saturday with that data... but the last time my GPX arrived after I left the office, where I have my Palm cradle.


    So I changed the query to Thu and Fri, expecting to change it to just Thu once I was sure it was working. But no GPX file on Thu, and Friday was getting late... so I added Sat.


    Sat's here, and still no pocket query. What gives? I am sending it to a Hotmail address, and they're notorious for eating and bouncing messages, but I'm getting some mail there.


    Anyone else having problems?


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  6. I'm working with another cacher on a Palm app and associated Windows tools to synchronize with the GPX files.


    One of the concepts I've had is that when you locate the cache, you mark your Palm/PocketPC entry as "Found", record what you left and took, and jot your notes (hmm... pocket label printer for log books anyone?). When you return home, you sync with the PC. Open up the PC-side database application, and it says, "You have new logs to record. Post them?" and it would automagically send the forms to geocaching.com.


    It's not hard to do... assuming the form fields stay the same over time (or at least there are no new required fields, and old ones don't go away).


    Is this something which folks would find valuable? Is it something that makes TPTB uncomfortable?




    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  7. quote:
    Originally posted by georgeandmary:

    Originally posted by arrowroot:

    I spotted a cheap cache container at Home Depot: a 2.5qt paint mixing bucket...

    Just remember to mention something on the cache page about bringing a screwdriver.

    Nononono. Plastic, with a simple lid. No tabs, no metal, etc. Clear, even.


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  8. I can see a lot of possible software for all-in-one-hand GPSr/PDA combos:


    * Night watchman / fence maintenance / etc. proving he'd been on rounds, without having to mount punchclock tags. In this case, I'd want to 'punch' each waypoint, within a given amount of time.


    * Salesman / on-site service: Here, I'd want to link contacts in my address with appointments with physical locations, and track mileage


    * Exercise / training programs: measure speed, duration of jogging/biking/skiing/skating


    * Put a camera in the same unit (attached to an SD card, maybe?) and your photojournalist would love it.


    There's lots more nobody's thought of, I'm sure.


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  9. I'll second the vote for a last modification date. This would be a good thing to add to the GPX file, in particular, so that applications that receive GPX files on a regular basis can know whether they should be resynchronized or not.


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  10. I agree with Jeremy and Goatbeard: urban woods have enough "funny stuff" going on in them that we don't need to start dating services, picture swaps, things of that order.


    Think of it this way: Your name and contact info is supposed to be all over the cache. Do you want someone who stumbles over this know you left it there?


    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  11. My GPS does this with ease... how can I find the nearest city to a set of lat/lon coords?


    Does anyone know of a web service, site to scrape... This would be useful sorting info on a portable version of the GPX database, say, on a Palm.




    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  12. quote:
    Originally posted by robertlipe:

    As a sidebar, I whipped up a module for GPSBabel for Doug's "GeocachingDB" files just a day or two ago. (Fuzzy reviewed it.)


    I haven't looked at GPSBabel. The script I've written uses PDATBDB40 -- the registration-required software I referred to. Doug is in the process of making mods to GeocachingDB, and when our versions sync up, it'll show up here, I'm sure.


    PDATBDB40 won't work well as a conduit -- it doesn't have the right interface for the 'live' HotSync. I'm not sure GPSBabel would either. Frankly, PDAToolbox isn't the easiest thing to sync with -- it's missing some record status info that Palm databases are supposed to have.




    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  13. The heading above is the flip side of "Information wants to be free".


    I'm working on VB/VBScript stuff to handle GPX to palm translation, and unfortunately, it's all registration-required shareware (30-day limits, etc.) to access PDAToolbox data.


    So I can't give my source away, because it would include registration codes.


    So I'm starting from scratch, and seeing how quickly I can develop PC interface to Palm databases. I'm most likely going to explore a Palm conduit approach. But it will be free. (DougsBrat, who wrote the Palm side of the app, will have to decide on whether he's going to charge).


    Just for fun, here's a fragment of the VBScript code to handle some of the GPX file:

    (assumes sFile contains a GPX filename)

    set oXML = CreateObject("MSXML2.DOMDocument")oXML.validateonparse = falseif oXML.Load(sFile) then  set oXWaypoints =  oXML.selectNodes("//wpt")  for each oOneWP in oXWaypoints    sWPType = oOneWP.selectsinglenode("type").text    if sWPType = "Geocache" then      with oOneWp	fLat = .selectsinglenode("@lat").text	fLon = .selectsinglenode("@lon").text	sctry = .selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:country").text	sStuff = .selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:short_description").text & vbLF & _	  .selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:long_description").text & vbLF & _	  vbLF & "Hint:" & vbLF & _	  Rot13(.selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:encoded_hints").text)	sdesc = replace(sStuff,vbCRLF,vbLF)	sgcid = .selectsinglenode("name").text	sgcna = .selectsinglenode("desc").text	stype = .selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:type").text & " " & _	.selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:container").text	sstate = .selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:state").text	sdiff = .selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:difficulty").text	sterr = .selectsinglenode("Groundspeak:cache/Groundspeak:terrain").text      end with      'Do something with all those variables here      iCnt = iCnt + 1    end if  nextend if


    Pretty basic XML stuff.



    I am Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt. I have many names, you know

  14. Working with DougsBrat, I've put together a VBScript that uses a shareware PDAToolbox control on windows to convert the GPX XML into a .pdb file that can be used with Doug's GeocachingDB application on the palm.


    It's not ready for release yet -- I'd leave that up to Doug, since it's his app it's got to work with -- but it was easier than I thought it would be.


    I'm going to look into making it a full-fledged Palm conduit (complete with automatic logging of finds back to geocaching.com), and possibly removing the shareware control to make the thing 100% open-source.



    Joel (Arrowroot)


    I have many names, you know

  15. Curiousity got the better of me, and I used Paypal, so now I've got a GPX file to play with.


    Now for some fun. I'm going to have to look at DougsBrat's Geocaching DB, and see if I can use a GPX file as the basis for a Palm Conduit with it.

  16. quote:
    Originally posted by DougsBrat:

    I already did somthing for the palm... and working on a PC side as we speak...http://vip.hyperusa.com/~dougs/geocachingdb/geocachingdb.htm

    Looks pretty sweet. Creating a pdb file (palm database) on the PC is pretty straightforward -- there are some CPAN Perl modules to assist.


    The nasty part is the synchronization -- updating the list is one part, posting the log data to geocaching.com is yet another.


    I just checked, and since I last looked at Palm programming, they've made it easier. Look here:

    Palm CDK Page


    [This message was edited by arrowroot on January 04, 2003 at 12:31 PM.]

  17. I get your point -- I'll send 'em a check (not a big fan of Paypal).


    The only other comment is that scraping should have a pretty low cost: I'm using the Internet Explorer automation server, so if a page is already in your local cache, there's little cost in time (for dialup) or server to read it again, unless the server has used pragma: no-cache (which they probably do on something like this which gets updated frequently - urgh).


    Oh, well, it should be pretty darn easy to convert the GPX file to the same format I was planning on.


    I'd rather go to a real Palm database, but conduits are a real pain to write.



  18. I've looked at the HTML that's displayed for cache details, and I'm quite impressed with the structure that's been put in for the various pieces of information. The SPAN tag has been used to identify each data field, making it simple to extract the information from the page using the document object model.


    My guess is that the data is stored in XML, and the page is generated by an XSLT transformation -- but it's nearly as simple to go the other way 'round.


    A couple questions:

    1) Is it possible to retrieve the XML instead of the HTML, or is this limited to the GPX files you get when subscribing (I'm not a subscriber (yet)).


    2) Could a few more things be tagged? Specifically, some log information would be valuable to extract in a structured format: Date of log, success of log...


    3) Would a web scraping app be in violation of the terms of service? I'd tend to doubt, but it does narrow the value of the subscription.


    Joel (Arrowroot, son of Arrowshirt)

  19. I'm calling it CacheNCarry

    What I'm aiming at is something on Windows that will read a .loc file I've already downloaded, read the link from it, download the web page and parse out the important stuff, then shove it into an Outlook Memo for quick syncinc with the Memo pad on my palm.


    There's obviously some downsides: no maps, and 4K size limit, but one day of programming and I'm 90% working. This is partly because the folks at Groundspeak were very nice about using SPAN tags with IDs for each section of information, and the .LOC files are a simple XML implementation.


    The program will be nothing more than a VBS script -- yes those banes of viruses, are also occasionally useful. I'll post the source here -- not as an attachment, because that'll get eaten by most virus scanners just by its name. Probably Monday.


    Your message was very useful in helping me think about the title information (actually the first line of the memo).

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