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Lightweight Version Of Site For Pdas


Engineer42
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When I'm geocaching, I sometimes want to go to geocaching.com to view more info about a particular cache or to search for more caches in the area.

 

My PDA is a Treo 600 and I am able to view geocaching.com and do searches, etc. However, it's very time consuming and painful to do. Turning off images in my PDA's browser helps a lot, but going through search results is still very very time consuming.

 

It doesn't help that when I hit the back button it has to reload the site. That's probably just a problem with my browser (even though half the memory of my Treo is allocated to cache), but perhaps there are meta tags that cause search results to expire that shouldn't be there for a lightweight version of the site.

 

Users who subscribe to geocaching.com should be able to view a very lightweight version of the site that eliminates most of the formatting and images and just displays the cache info, hints, and comments from users. Also, the search page should have multiple forms on the same page so that an additional page hit isn't necessary to do different searches.

 

The slowest part about surfing the web from a PDA isn't downloading large amounts of data (at least, that's not the slowest thing). The slowest part is the overhead of each additional hit. Downloading one 100kb image is much faster than downloading ten 10kb images.

 

In other words, a lightweight version of the site would be designed to eliminate images and unnecessary formatting and minimize the number of pageviews necessary to do things.

 

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but here are really only 3 pages to be concerned about:

1. the search page

2. the search results page

3. the cache info page

 

I'm already a subscriber, but even so, a lightweight version of the site would be worth subscribing for all by itself, so I have no doubt that you would get more subscribers as a result of this.

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Cool! At first I thought it might be a listing of caches from some other site, but I compared a result and it looks like it actually grabs the info from geocaching.com and strips it all down to be used by pdas.

 

It's great except for the hints. I'd prefer that they not be automatically decoded. If I use this to find new caches then I might accidentally see the hint before I was ready to use it. (I only use hints after I've become absolutely stumped.)

 

Otherwise it's absolutely what I wanted! Thanks!

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Wouldn't it be faster still to use the PQs to load the cache pages directly into the PDA at home instead of trying to grab one page at a time in the field? Then it would be instantly viewable. Occasionally you might want to check in real-time, say to see if a cache you cant find was archived, but 99.9% of the time, 24hr old data is just fine.

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Wouldn't it be faster still to use the PQs to load the cache pages directly into the PDA at home instead of trying to grab one page at a time in the field? Then it would be instantly viewable. Occasionally you might want to check in real-time, say to see if a cache you cant find was archived, but 99.9% of the time, 24hr old data is just fine.

I think it's just cool to be able to pull the pages up live from the field. Plus I don't have to DL anything into my Blackberry. Then again, I might try it sometime and wonder why I was doing everything live. Who knows? Another thing, what if I end up some place I didn't expect to be? It could happen. Maybe on a spur of the moment me and my wife decide to fly to Maine for a lobster and all I have is my Blackberry and GPS. Then what? Huh?!!! I didn't have time to DL a PQ and load it in my PDA!!! OMG THIS IS HORRIBLE!!!!! I'VE GOT BUTTER DRIPPING DOWN MY FACE, THE WAITER'S NOT BRINGING ME A WET NAP, WE'VE GOT TO FLY HOME IN AN HOUR AND I DON'T HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE WHERE THE NEAREST CACHE IS!!! IT'S NOT LIKE WE CAN GET A HOTEL ROOM I JUST SPENT WAAAY TOO MUCH MONEY ON A PRIVATE PLANE RIDE AND DINNER WAS A SMALL FORTUNE MAN!!!! GEEZ MOPAR YOU'RE REALLY STRESSING ME OUT MAN!!!! B)

 

woh... sorry dude. I gotta go take my meds. :)

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I didn't have time to DL a PQ and load it in my PDA!!! OMG THIS IS HORRIBLE!!!!! I'VE GOT BUTTER DRIPPING DOWN MY FACE, THE WAITER'S NOT BRINGING ME A WET NAP, WE'VE GOT TO FLY HOME IN AN HOUR AND I DON'T HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE WHERE THE NEAREST CACHE IS!!! IT'S NOT LIKE WE CAN GET A HOTEL ROOM I JUST SPENT WAAAY TOO MUCH MONEY ON A PRIVATE PLANE RIDE AND DINNER WAS A SMALL FORTUNE MAN!!!! GEEZ MOPAR YOU'RE REALLY STRESSING ME OUT MAN!!!! <_<

 

woh... sorry dude. I gotta go take my meds. <_<

Joe, please switch to decaf after 4pm, huh?

 

Seriously, we have a blackberry, and the only time I've used it to browse gc.com was when I was bored during the kid's Tae Kwon Do class.

Sure, loading up the PDA can be slow, but it doesn't have to be. Depends on the software you use. I have an old Palm III for caching, and even with only 2 megs I usually have 1000-1500 caches with logs loaded in there. It only takes a few minutes the way I do it. Not super pretty, but fast, compact, and more caches then I can store in my GPS.

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Feature Suggestion (Cross-posted):

Can you make it so that when you search "nearest caches" from a cache page that it automatically filters the caches you own/found. It is a natural. I.E. I'm out at a cache-site and just finished logging a find, Now I need to see the next closest unfound cache from where I am at now. That would be super fantastically useful. Trying to do this manually is very difficult, is time consuming and a waste of precious mobile bandwidth.

 

Thanks

PKPaul.

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