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Sony Psp


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I've been inactive for a while but the winter months, mild as they have been, are getting to me and it's time to get back on the trails. To pass my time while I plan my next cache outing I decided to play with the sony PSP Erin gave me for Christmas and see if I could get some extra functionality out of it.

 

It's almost a PDA. The one thing that Sony won't let you do is run third party applications on it. (unless you hack it) It is however wi-fi enabled and has the best handheld browser I've ever seen. So all I need is to do is save the webpages I want to view offline and copy them over. This works ok, but takes up a ton of memory and is time consuming. So I wrote a little app that converts my PQs into HTML using my limited web design skills. The result looks like-a-so:

 

This is the Index page listing all the caches from the PQ in order of distance from my home coords.

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And the pages themselves look like this:

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Of course if you have a wi-fi connection you can click on the cache name to go straight to the GC.com cache page and all of it's nifty features. I may add the ablility to link straight to mapquest maps, flag a cache as found and build a caching route later. Don't let the kids bogart the PSP, take it caching while they do chores. :laughing:

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If you use GSAK, it will generate HTML from your PQs, as well as index pages that allow you to quickly find a cache by name, code, etc. Might save you a little time with all the custom coding. All you'd have to do is copy a folder of HTML files over to your PSP, but it sounds like you can do that.

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I suppose that I am reinventing the wheel here. I'm not trying to replace existing software. There are a handful of developers out there doing great work on geocaching specific software. I just had an idea and thought I'd learn a few new tricks and see if I could make something that worked for me. I'm not going to try and sell what I've done and I really don't have the time to support it anyway. That being said, I am happy to answer any questions.

 

After some field testing I convinced myself that some more work had to be done and added some features.

 

Nearby caches at the bottom of each cache page.

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Mapping. What a pain it was to find cache pages without this. Of course mouse over shows the cache's basic info in a popup and clicking opens the cache page. I haven't tried to get it zooming in yet. Not sure I really need it to.

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I have also added a merge feature that takes multiple GPX files, removes the duplicates and, well it merges them into one larger GPX file.

 

All I'm really doing is rebuilding scaled down WebPages off of the GPX data. The PSP has a pretty descent web browser but it doesn't have a file browser. You can however save a web page (.html file) to the memory card and if you know the path you can enter it into the PSP's we browser URL box and it will display that page. URL = file:/cache/cache0.html Where "file:/" tells the browser to look in the local memory as opposed to "HTTP://" looking on the web. "/cache/" is a folder in the root of my memory card and "/cache0.html" is the name of an HTML file in that folder.

 

Cache0.html is the index page that lists all the caches

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In my case I am merging two PQs that overlap a bit so I have around 850 caches. Those pages are named cache1.html through cache850.html. My merged 4.2 MB GPX file becomes 852 HMTL WebPages and all the associated icons and map at 3.7 MB. Not really that bad of an overhead.

 

As DocDiTTo mentioned, it sounds like GSAK can do all this, and more.

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Wow, I did a really poor job of explaining myself. Allow me to try again. If any of you web dev guys find errors, feel free to let me know. It's not particularly my bag of tricks.

 

This is geeky technical stuff that you can skip unless you are just really interested.

Your pocket queries are in an XML format called GPX.  XML is just a text file.  What makes it special is that it is structured to retain data and the relationships those pieces of data have with one another.  The problem is without software that can 'decode' it, it isn't very readable.  You can right click on a GPX file and open it with your Internet Explorer to view it.  But I warn you, it's heavy on the eyes. 

 

HTML is one of many languages used to create WebPages. It is also just a text file.  Your web browser will recognize the .html extension and turn that text file into a viewable web page.  If you right click on a cache page and select 'view source' you can see the code. 

 

The two text files (gpx and HTML) look similar but the difference is that GPX stores data and HTML displays data. 

 

An HTML file can be viewed by practically any web browser on any device with a web browser, including the PSP.  You don't have to be connected to the Internet to see a web page in your web browser if you have the HTML file saved on that device.

 

As DocDiTTo so correctly pointed out, GSAK does an excellent job of generating cache pages for viewing offline, which is exactly what we want to do on the PSP. You can download it here.

 

Once you have GSAK installed and your GPX file(s) loaded, generating pages to view on the PSP is pretty quick and easy.

 

At the top left menu in GSAK select FILE, EXPORT, HTML Files.

 

There are some options you can play with on the form that pops up but really all you need to do is make a mental note of the path in the top left hand corner. On my PC it is the default "C:\Program Files\GSAK"

 

Click "Generate" and GSAK will create everything you need in a folder named "CACHE" in the path mentioned above.

 

Now find the folder named "cache" in the path you made a mental note to remember before and copy the entire folder to your PSP's memory card. Let's keep it simple here and just copy into the top level of your memory card's file directory.

 

Close the USB connection on your PSP and open up the web browser. Don't worry if you don't have a wi-fi connection, because you won't need it.

 

With the web browser on the PSP open Hit (triangle) and then select the icon at the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

 

From the list that pops up select address entry.

 

The address you'll want to type in is "file:/cache/index.htm" (without the double quotes) Now select enter and hit the (X) button. Now hit (triangle) again to return to the browser view.

 

If we've done everything right you should now be looking at the INDEX page that GSAK generated. Use the links to navigate around and find the caches you want to view.

 

Now if we can just get Sony to put a GPSr into the next update...... <_<

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