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Flash Drive Geocache?


me_chris
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I am thinking about hiding a cache that would just be a drive-up micro, but instead of a paper log it would contain a small USB flash drive.

 

The finder would have to have a laptop in the car, and would plug in the flash drive, maybe solve a quick puzzle or something, and then type in their name to add to a digital log.

 

Really the only advantages would be the novelty, and the ability to include some type of neat computerized puzzle.

 

What do you all think? Is it too much to require a laptop? Or would this be an interesting and unique cache idea?

 

Let me know! :-) Thanks!

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It sounds like a cool idea, but you would need a traditional logbook, otherwise I'm assuming that it would not get published. Before going too far with the idea, drop a quick note to your local reviewer (since the decision ultimately lies with them). They might be able to help you mold the idea into something that fits in with the guidelines.

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Hmm, maybe a travelbug - The flash drive in question is a 128mb one that I no longer have a use for since upgrading to a 2-gig...

 

Ok. So, if not a log, then how about something like a "photocache" where there is a traditional logbook, and a flash drive, and people are encouraged to bring a laptop and load a photo of themselves onto the flash drive so that subsequent finders can browse through the photos and add their own?

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In May of 2006, Groundspeak asked the reviewers not to publish caches that require the downloading, installing or running of data and/or executables. This change was made in the interest of file security.

 

It seems to me like putting a flash drive in my notebook computer and downloading information from it would run afoul of this requirement. So, I would not publish this cache without first checking with Groundspeak.

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Yeha, a TB would be a good idea, but as said above, you cannot protect it from viruses.. And also many people do not show pictures of themself.

Or have a laptop.

 

I think the best Idea would be a TB.

cause the person almost always brings it home.

 

How about a MP3 TB? that collects mp3s?

Or the picture of your pets TB?

 

Heh, lots of possibilities.

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The finder would have to have a laptop in the car, and would plug in the flash drive, maybe solve a quick puzzle or something, and then type in their name to add to a digital log.

 

*I* would not look for this because:

  1. I do not cache with a laptop. I have access to many via work, but they stay at home.
     
  2. The threat of viruses is too great. Even though we trust those that place caches, the cachers that found this before me may have infected the USB key. Too great a risk for me.

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The idea is intriguing, and for me the viruses aren't a problem as I use Linux and don't have my system to run whatever executables it finds on a jump drive that I plug in. Like a computer should be set up :blink:

 

The problems I see (Other than people not doing it because they're afraid of viruses) are the jump drive being damaged by being in a wet cache, or it getting muggled or just plain stolen. All of these seem fairly likely. Actually, thinking about it I may not do it, not because of viruses, but because I don't know what would happen to my USB port if I plugged an okay-looking-but-rusty USB jump drive into it.

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I'd had a similar thought, but instead of it being the log, I was going to send it out as a travelbug.

 

I know It'd probably disappear somewhere out there, but it'd be neat if it went around & came back with stories or a greeting from everyone that helped it along.

 

One of the coolest TBs that I ever found was a flash drive. Everybody added files to the drive. I really enjoyed all the music videos of the owners playing in their Bluegrass Band.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.as...ca-1defcf59eaab

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I'd had a similar thought, but instead of it being the log, I was going to send it out as a travelbug.

 

I know It'd probably disappear somewhere out there, but it'd be neat if it went around & came back with stories or a greeting from everyone that helped it along.

 

One of the coolest TBs that I ever found was a flash drive. Everybody added files to the drive. I really enjoyed all the music videos of the owners playing in their Bluegrass Band.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.as...ca-1defcf59eaab

Until RIAA finds out and starts targeting geocachers. :signalviolin:

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Even though I have a laptop and enjoy computer geeky stuff, I probably would not do this cache. Why? I am afraid of theft by leaving my laptop in my truck while geocaching. Many urban/suburban caches are in quiet or more questionable areas of the town. A laptop would be rather expensive swag!

 

Take care,

Outspoken1

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I am thinking about hiding a cache that would just be a drive-up micro, but instead of a paper log it would contain a small USB flash drive.

 

The finder would have to have a laptop in the car, and would plug in the flash drive, maybe solve a quick puzzle or something, and then type in their name to add to a digital log.

 

Really the only advantages would be the novelty, and the ability to include some type of neat computerized puzzle.

 

What do you all think? Is it too much to require a laptop? Or would this be an interesting and unique cache idea?

 

Let me know! :-) Thanks!

In this day and age of widespread proliferation of computer viruses, trojan horses, worms and malicious code, and that -- coupled with the well-known and well-exploited fact that the Microsoft Windows operating system is incrediby promiscuous by nature, and its first instinct is to eexecute any executable piece of code (particularly viral, trojan or malware code) which comes its way -- to me, means that this idea is nothing short of insane unless all kinds of precautions were taken, and those precautions would need to be quite bullet-proof.

 

Bottom line: I believe that such an in idea is insane in the modern PC envirnoment, and I would NEVER attach a strange flash drive to any of the ports on my PC.

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Bottom line: I believe that such an in idea is insane in the modern PC environment, and I would NEVER attach a strange flash drive to any of the ports on my PC.

 

I am probably going to go with a travelbug unless somebody has any other really cool ideas...

 

As far as the insanity of connecting a flash drive to your computer is concerned - While I am aware that the proliferation of viruses, especially on Windows PCs is a very real threat, I believe that it is insane to own a computer and NOT have it protected with antivirus software.

 

I should hope that fellow geocachers are competent enough to understand how to protect themselves from computer viruses.

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As far as the insanity of connecting a flash drive to your computer is concerned - While I am aware that the proliferation of viruses, especially on Windows PCs is a very real threat, I believe that it is insane to own a computer and NOT have it protected with antivirus software.

 

Welcome to insanity: I run a network of 1800 Windows PCs and we don't have antivirus software on any of them. As a result they run faster and more reliably. In 15 years of this policy, not one user has ever reported the loss of any documents to a virus. (A lot of people have trouble believing this, but it's 100% true.)

 

Even with modern "rootkit"-based viruses - which, of course, most antivirus software can't help you with - we only have to reinstall about six PCs a year because of malware, and even then, it's we IT people who detect the virus - the user generally hasn't noticed any problem when we call them. (On the other hand, we reinstall about 100 per year due to hard drive failure issues. If someone can make software to prevent those, I'm interested.)

 

The secret? You just need to have the right scripts in place to check for anomalies. And the script which visits every PC to look for suspicious stuff (autoloading software, mostly) also checks for impending disk failure.

 

These days (by which I mean, the last 6-12 months), 90% of malware comes in to your PC from Javascript-based exploits on perfectly innocent-looking Web sites. It then tries to be as quiet as possible on your PC, while it sends out spam or whatever it's trying to do. If viruses and trojans were so terrible and destructive, people wouldn't have them on their PC long enough to acquire a dozen of them, which is what I found the other day on a friend's PC. (Yes, he runs an anti-virus package.)

 

Back to the USB flash drive: there is no real reason to fear it. Just set up Windows so that it doesn't autorun from the drive letter associated with the flash drive, and you can happily copy any content back and forth. (We set up all our PCs to disable autorun of removable storage, mostly to keep "foistware" off there; these days, new USB flash drives often come with 256MB of autorun advertising cr*p preloaded.) OK, so you shouldn't double-click the executables. It might fly as a TB, and it wouldn't matter if most people didn't put it in their computer; after all, most people don't even take pics of the TBs when requested. (As a cache, it will be rejected, principally for the "physical log" requirement.)

Edited by sTeamTraen
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Hmm... that makes me sad.

 

Perhaps a travelbug then... ? That may be fun as well...

 

Come one, someone help me out there... how can I use this old flash drive for geocaching?

 

You could reverse the process. Since the catch is downloading. Upload.

 

I would not add my log to the existing one. Instead I'd upload my log and call it

Renegade Knight.txt

 

The flashdrive would end up with a bunch of logs named after the geocachers who found it. No opening of existing files needed.

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Hi,

 

I'm surprised that we have people here who don't hesitate to be online, but have issues with a USB-drive?

 

It's much easier to check a physical drive than to safeguard your computer against everything from the internet.

 

I would definitely put a pic or text log on such a TB. But taking a notebook out just for one cache would be to much of a hassle.

 

GermanSailor

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Until RIAA finds out and starts targeting geocachers.
They were WMV files of them playing in their backyard.

 

Hi,

 

I'm surprised that we have people here who don't hesitate to be online, but have issues with a USB-drive?

 

It's much easier to check a physical drive than to safeguard your computer against everything from the internet.

 

I would definitely put a pic or text log on such a TB. But taking a notebook out just for one cache would be to much of a hassle.

 

GermanSailor

 

I scanned the flash drive before I opened any files. Nod32 said it was safe, and I have yet to find any problems.

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Hmm... that makes me sad.

 

Perhaps a travelbug then... ? That may be fun as well...

 

Come one, someone help me out there... how can I use this old flash drive for geocaching?

 

You could make it a FTF or NTF prize. I'd take that.

Agreement. I just put out an MP3 player as a FTF prize on a new cache.

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irchriscdk, it is my intent to send out a flash drive TB this spring when we go on vacation. The idea is it moves from vacation spot to vacation spot and collects pics and maybe some text files. As stated in another post here, the danger is in Downloading. If you are uncertain if you are protected you should not download. There is certainly the risk of theaft but that is a risk I am willing to take in hopes that Geocahers are generaly honest and trustworthy :signalviolin:

In reading all these responses, I think I will edit my info/instructions a little on my TB listing.

Thanx for this thread :mmraspberry:

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Removable media viruses are so 1990's.....

 

If you have a reasonable Anti Virus software on your pc, I have a hard time believing there would be an issue. I'm far more worried about viruses coming in over my internet pipe.

 

That being said, I found the "Mobile Memory Module Travel Bug" and found it to be a very interesting TB, added a little text and a couple of pictures.

 

I really don't see much difference between a TB that requests you take pictures of it and upload the pictures versus one that wants the stuff dumped on it.

 

The only real issues i see is the 'ruggedness' of the flash drive (since some containers may be less than hermetically sealed), or maybe some less than savvy users completely filling the unit up with files that may be larger than you would like.

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I recently almost started a cache in California which requires you to load a CDROM and run the software from it. I'm looking at one now which requires you to download some files from the web, manipulate them in various ways, and run a program they give you.

 

I wouldn't have a huge issue with the flash drive idea, although there is the possibility of physical port damage that some have pointed out previously.

 

Now, to be fair, though, the above activities are being done in an isolated sandbox (virtual machine) image which is destroyed immediately thereafter and so infections picked up in the process are irrelevant. (Yeah, technically there is still at least one kind of malware that could still get through, but that's still pretty decent protection.)

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I think doing it as a TB is the best idea. It gives everyone the chance to take it home and give thought as to what they upload on to it.

 

Personally I'm not concerned about getting a virus. I can scan a disk for any potential harm. If I miss any, then I reformat, reinstall or replace. I could potentially open a cache and it explodes. Life is full of risks.

 

El Diablo

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The only real issues i see is the 'ruggedness' of the flash drive (since some containers may be less than hermetically sealed), or maybe some less than savvy users completely filling the unit up with files that may be larger than you would like.

 

Good point about the ruggedness, although presumably the humidity of the average pants pocket :D has been taken into account.

 

I do wonder what will happen when we get out first complaint about "my kid found this flash drive TB and somebody had filled it with pr0n", though...

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I think doing it as a TB is the best idea. It gives everyone the chance to take it home and give thought as to what they upload on to it.

 

Personally I'm not concerned about getting a virus. I can scan a disk for any potential harm. If I miss any, then I reformat, reinstall or replace. I could potentially open a cache and it explodes. Life is full of risks.

 

El Diablo

 

Ha! I havent come across any exploding caches yet... I will have to remember to wear my flak jacket when I go caching... :-)

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