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Anyone find GSAK confusing?


Squeeege
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I loved EasyGPS. Such an easy program to use. It isnt compatable with pocket querys along with my Garmin 450 so I am attempting GSAK and not happy with its usability. Would be nice to have my normal waypoints not overwritten each time I put in a batch of caches. If I add a few caches to my garmin it overwrites my saved waypoints and all my other caches.

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I loved EasyGPS. Such an easy program to use. It isnt compatable with pocket querys along with my Garmin 450 so I am attempting GSAK and not happy with its usability. Would be nice to have my normal waypoints not overwritten each time I put in a batch of caches. If I add a few caches to my garmin it overwrites my saved waypoints and all my other caches.

 

It's an intimidating program for sure!

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Yes! Or, at least I should say that I used to. It has a horrible interface, frankly. I suspect some of that is that it is a rather old program that was initially developed before current standards had solidified, and also because a lot has been added to that old framework since.

 

But that said, it is an amazing and powerful program. Don't feel you need to learn it all... there are features that you'll never use. But do take the time to learn the filters, if anything.

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bah I was afraid of that LoL. If I could figure out how to combine what they call databases I would be in good shape. If I add 20 new caches, it kills the other 200 I have already put on previously. Need to add new to old in a sense. Filters? I will look more into that. thanks

Edited by Squeeege
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When the Load screen opens after identifying your PQ, insure that you have selected the 'add' radio button and unchecked the 'Warning, this will delete old data. checkbox. This will combine the new PQ or data with the existing data. I also recommend going to gsak.net and taking gsak 101, 201 and 301.

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I haven't found GSAK hard to use at all. If you just want to do a few simple things it is really easy and very intuitive. If it was that hard to use it wouldn't be so popular.

 

You can also go to the waypoints you are concerned about click edit and lock them so they can't be modified.

 

the previous poster is right about using those courses to get up to speed. It is a very powerful tool with unbelieveable support so any questions about it should be posted there.

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I could figure out how to combine what they call databases I would be in good shape.

There definitely are settings to fix that. You can edit the caches (set puzzle coords or whatever), and they won't get over-written. Don't ask how I did it, though. I spent many long hours trying to get GSAK to function. Just setting a "home location" was excruciating (it's a little subroutine you get to program). Hover over the icons, no clue to what they do. Click one and POOF, it scrambles that column. What a thrill. Eventually it got too annoying and I deleted it.

 

But a vast majority of people enjoy GSAK. I'm one of the few that got a VERY bad first impression of it, perhaps. It just seems deliberately designed to be tedious, so I avoid it on principle. :rolleyes:

Edited by kunarion
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bah I was afraid of that LoL. If I could figure out how to combine what they call databases I would be in good shape. If I add 20 new caches, it kills the other 200 I have already put on previously. Need to add new to old in a sense. Filters? I will look more into that. thanks

I haven't read ahead... I suspect this has been answered already... but there is a checkbox on the window that pops up when you're about to load the new file that asks if you want to clear the previous data or not. Uncheck it if you want to keep it.

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I don't use PQ's other than the one time I wanted to see caches along a route. But I tend to hand pick my caches even in that case. So it was easier for me to just send to my GPS from the cache page without any extra PQ's or GSAK. I looked at GSAK and then got rid of it. I was just starting geocaching and learning my GPS and that was enough of a learning curve for me.

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I don't use PQ's other than the one time I wanted to see caches along a route. But I tend to hand pick my caches even in that case. So it was easier for me to just send to my GPS from the cache page without any extra PQ's or GSAK. I looked at GSAK and then got rid of it. I was just starting geocaching and learning my GPS and that was enough of a learning curve for me.

 

I think it makes hand picking caches easier, because you don't have to browse through pages and pages of caches to find the ones you are interested in. I filter it, then pull up the cache pages on the website, then I download the ones I'm interested to the GPS.

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I loved EasyGPS. Such an easy program to use. It isnt compatable with pocket querys along with my Garmin 450 so I am attempting GSAK and not happy with its usability. Would be nice to have my normal waypoints not overwritten each time I put in a batch of caches. If I add a few caches to my garmin it overwrites my saved waypoints and all my other caches.

 

Are the caches and waypoints being over-written in GSAK or when you load them to the GPSr?

 

John

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I don't use PQ's other than the one time I wanted to see caches along a route. But I tend to hand pick my caches even in that case. So it was easier for me to just send to my GPS from the cache page without any extra PQ's or GSAK. I looked at GSAK and then got rid of it. I was just starting geocaching and learning my GPS and that was enough of a learning curve for me.

 

I think it makes hand picking caches easier, because you don't have to browse through pages and pages of caches to find the ones you are interested in. I filter it, then pull up the cache pages on the website, then I download the ones I'm interested to the GPS.

 

I typically look at a the map first and mouse over the caches that in a location that I want to be in and work from there. Don't have to go through pages and pages and caches. Just a select few on a map.

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I loved EasyGPS. Such an easy program to use. It isnt compatable with pocket querys along with my Garmin 450 so I am attempting GSAK and not happy with its usability. Would be nice to have my normal waypoints not overwritten each time I put in a batch of caches. If I add a few caches to my garmin it overwrites my saved waypoints and all my other caches.

 

I believe that you are saying that if you have 500 caches on the Oregon, and then send 1 cache from GSAK, it will remove the 500 and leave you with 1.

 

I don't have an Oregon, so I may be wrong, but you should probably change the file name on the send dialogue. You are sending a file named Geocaches.gpx. The next time you send, if you don't change the name, you'll overwrite it with the new data.

 

As was said, there several very helpful people at the GSAK forums.

 

http://gsak.net/board/

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Those all sound like awfully complicated ways to stop your existing caches being overwritten !

 

Once you've got the Oregon connected but before you send any new caches to it just find it in My Computer (or Windows Explorer) and go into the \Garmin\GPX folder and rename the geocaches.gpx file. Rename it anything you want, the Oregon loads all the gpx files in there no matter what they're called.

 

20 seconds, job done. :)

 

Gary

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But a vast majority of people enjoy GSAK. I'm one of the few that got a VERY bad first impression of it, perhaps. It just seems deliberately designed to be tedious, so I avoid it on principle. :rolleyes:

 

Great thread. So many people recommend and love GSAK so it's reassuring to read that I'm not alone in finding the program not-intuitive, tedious, confusing, and time-consuming. It seemed that, for how I wanted to use GSAK, I was going to need to use macros. The inside components of computer software and how to manipulate it, doesn't hold much of an interest for me. The work required to figure out macros was too tedious and frustrating.

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I found GSAK a bit overwhelming when I first started using it several years ago, but the trick, as with any software with many capabilities, is to learn the basics first. Start with going into the help and reading the overview to learn a little terminology and layout info.

 

Next move to learning the very simplest tasks that you need to do. Download a .gpx file, load it into GSAK and learn to move around on the screen and learn what everything you see on there means. Watch what happens when you set filters, click on column headings. Right click on column headings and read what is in the context menus. Look through all the menus at the top of the window. Don't worry about understanding it all yet. Just get familiar with it and get comfortable moving around.

 

When you feel OK with the basic software and layout, then move on to learn how to do a simple export to your device(s). Beyond that, it depends on what you want to do. Customize how it looks, set up your export profiles, automate getting your .gpx files from your email, etc. There are tons of possibilities. Decide the things you want to do most, pick 1, learn how to do that, and move on to the next.

 

The macro facility is very powerful and can be very intimidating. I would suggest learning how to do everything manually first, then start learning to do your routine stuff with macros. Then you can get into the more advanced macros. Why learn the manual stuff? It gives you a better understanding of what the macros do, how to set them up, and if a macro breaks you will have an easier time fixing it.

 

Good luck!

 

The help in the software is pretty good and visit the GSAK.net forums for more help. The folks there will give you all the help you need.

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Once you've got the Oregon connected but before you send any new caches to it just find it in My Computer (or Windows Explorer) and go into the \Garmin\GPX folder and rename the geocaches.gpx file. Rename it anything you want, the Oregon loads all the gpx files in there no matter what they're called.

 

I have surfed GSAK quite a bit. I think I need to start over. I dont want to lose my hunting/fishing waypoints etc so will have to be careful. Gary's idea is good on my garmin so there will always be my saved waypoints that wont be overwritten at least. Issue is if I load caches then fish and mark a few waypoints, I am at risk of losing those waypoints even if I do add more or different caches because that will end up in that gpx file. I will have to do a lot of back and forth with sorting I think.

 

Looking into GSAK 101 etc, thanks for all the replies : )

 

Chris

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But a vast majority of people enjoy GSAK. I'm one of the few that got a VERY bad first impression of it, perhaps. It just seems deliberately designed to be tedious, so I avoid it on principle. :rolleyes:

 

Great thread. So many people recommend and love GSAK so it's reassuring to read that I'm not alone in finding the program not-intuitive, tedious, confusing, and time-consuming. It seemed that, for how I wanted to use GSAK, I was going to need to use macros. The inside components of computer software and how to manipulate it, doesn't hold much of an interest for me. The work required to figure out macros was too tedious and frustrating.

GSAK is unintuitive. The interface certainly is confusing at first. There is a lot of stuff that requires using a macro. Seems like every time I use it, I wonder what the thought process was behind some piece of it which makes no sense at all.

 

And I fire it up & use it daily.

 

The interface has evolved out of requests & necessity over the course of many years. It wasn't designed - it just sort of grew & evolved.

 

Unfortunately, it's so embedded now that there most likely won't be an interface overhaul. Reason: too many people are accustomed to how it works now. Microsoft was able to overhaul Office because people are too far invested in MS Office - they have no choice but to keep using it. That's not going to happen with GSAK.

 

The best thing you can do is map out a few things that you want to do, then have someone who does know GSAK walk you through it. Or even just sit down with an experienced user and let them talk about what they do and how.

Edited by dakboy
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I'll have to chime in with the "unintuitive" vote - and like many of those, note that I use GSAK weekly for all of my loads to Garmin and TomTom devices for caching.

 

Part of the problem for new users is right there in the name ... Geocaching "Swiss Army Knife". It's got blades and bits and tools on it that you might never use, but they're all there for those whose use model incorporates them. For many users, about 10% of the functionality is all they ever need, but finding that 10% amongst the other 90% isn't always easy. That many options can be intimidating.

 

I don't begin to use GSAK to its fullest myself. I wipe my primary database of waypoints before loading my several PQs each week, starting the whole thing fresh - I don't keep historical information there. Since I'm loading far more caches into my Oregon than I can get out of one PQ, GSAK becomes a handy tool for combining the PQ files. I then sometimes use the "Filter" option to weed out "disabled" caches.

 

One big use for GSAK is to take a PQ from a caching friend, and with the use of a macro, compare our PQs for caches that neither of us have found and create a separate database of those. Then, if I like, I can bound that database by four corners of coordinates to trim the list down to an area. With that, we now have a geographic area defined and a list of caches we both need to find. That's as complex a use as I ever get from GSAK, but one that simply cannot be replicated any other way without a lot of time invested - instead of a couple of minutes with GSAK.

 

GSAK is also handy for creating my POI files for the TomTom. In addition to loading it with my current PQ data of unfounds, I pull in my Found list and separate it out (with a simple GSAK filter) into ones I've found that are still active and ones that have been archived. Those can then be made to appear on my TomTom in addition to unfounds so I can see where live found caches still exist and remind myself of where the archived ones are (different POI icons).

 

The GSAK "export" and "send to gps" features allows me to massage the data in the "Name" field for best display on my handheld and automotive units. When I am looking at my compass page on the Oregon (I still don't use the 'caching dashboard' on my Oregon), I can see the GC code of the cache, the size of the container, the find and terrain difficulty, and the status of the last four visits (found, not found, note). That's a trick that eTrex and Map users figured out a long time ago, and still works very nicely on the newer units.

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Those all sound like awfully complicated ways to stop your existing caches being overwritten !

 

Once you've got the Oregon connected but before you send any new caches to it just find it in My Computer (or Windows Explorer) and go into the \Garmin\GPX folder and rename the geocaches.gpx file. Rename it anything you want, the Oregon loads all the gpx files in there no matter what they're called.

 

20 seconds, job done. :)

 

Gary

 

Your method actually takes more steps. :rolleyes:

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GSAK looks intimidating but the important thing to realize is you don't need to use all of it. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be. The great thing is that if there is something you wsnt to do you can bet GSAK has a way to do it. With the great support you get on the forums on the GSAK site and the library of pre-written macros a lot of the time you don't even need to learn how something is done to make it happen.

 

As for the unintuitive part? I'll take everyone's word for it. Now that I've been using it for several years I'm not a good one to comment on that, especially from a new-user perspective. I don't remember being intimidated by it, but then again I am the type of person who loves diving into new applications and poking and prodding.

 

There are some sections of the Help file though where I need to read things several times before I "get" it.

 

The thing I like about GSAK is I know I just scratch the surface of it. I remember being a GeoWoodstock 6 and seeing polygon filters demonstrated and thinking "I had NO idea that was there. Cool!" I find GSAK to be an exciting piece of software because there is always something new to discover.

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