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Gpses And Mac Users


Dirtbag Darrel
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It would pay for those of you who are new to this forum to at least skim the previous posts, as there is a wealth of good info & ideas presented in the past. Many of the frequent posters, including myself have successfully avoided the Virtual PC thing and have found fully satisfactory solutions outside of the Windoze trap.

That's great. I for one read everypost on this thread and a few others about the mac and Garmen. However, I already have the Mapsource Topo Disks that I use with my etrex legend. The topo maps have been great for not getting lost while on my snowmobile and hunting. I just thought it would be nice to be able to do everthing on my powerbook instead of my Dell laptop that is PC that my company gave me. No sense dragging that home on the weekends and nights if I don't have too.

 

I did get mapsource loaded in Virtual PC and it runs great. However, I have not tried to upload or download from the etrex. I am sure this is where the problem would be. At least I have topo maps on my computer now for reference. Mine is the one that has the serial cable so if I get a USB to serial adapter I will try again and then explore some of the other mac options.

Sounds like you're in business. Get a good USB/Serial adapter and you should have no problems getting VPC/Mapsource to talk to your Etrex.

 

There are many adapters to choose from. I recommend the iogear guc2324. Just install the windows drivers and it's show time.

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Help.. how do I get PQ's on my mac!

 

I have a 60cs and a mac G5. (VPC and mac system X.3 are on the way so I can use cityselect), I have the keyspan usb to serial adapter. my problem is... I don't get the pocket queries.. I have selected output to "this accounts email addresss" and "in the format .gpx". I have tried with and without .zip compression and nothing works, I switched my email to @comcast since the server may bounce them. I have had my buddies email me an attched .gpx file to me and it came in fine! From the website I can only download the gpx files from each page. if I click all on the page and hit download, I get the "geocaching.loc" file... but I can't do anything with it. I have mac gps babel and there are thousands of combos for the pull down menus. is it possible to convert the loc. file into gpx? Help.. how do I get PQ's on my mac!

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Either Comcast is treating the PQ e-mails as spam (this has happened with other ISPs) or your PQ is generating no hits. Check it by clicking the link at the top of the page after you generate the PQ- You can see the results in your browser.

Sometimes people click mutually exclusive categories. Example- clicking have found AND have NOT found. A cache cannot be found and not found at the same time, so the PQ would yield no results. Also if you forget to select a day, only the online version is generated, none is sent via e-mail.

I was using a G4 tower (5 years old) and just this week got a Mac Mini, both with OS X.3.8 and the PQs are working fine.

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Just an update after using VPC 7 on my 12" powerbook G4 1.5 with 1.25GB or ram and my iMac G5 with Mapsource. Mapsource seems to run faster on these macs than it does my dell laptop. Granted my dell doesn't have as much ram but more zooming and panning the Mac running VPC and windows XP is quicker.

 

I have not tried to upload or download to my GPS yet because I am waiting to get the USB/serial adapter I ordered. It is a iogear.

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Two things

 

1) Wouldn't it be REALLY nice if you didn't need that d*mn USB-to-serial adapter to do what you want to do? Wouldn't it be great if MapSource ran natively under Mac OS X? Or just run under Windows XP emulation under VPC 7 under Mac OS X and STILL support USB? Wouldn't that be nice? Cut your upload time of some 56Mb of maps from 3 hours down to less than an hour?

 

2) What happened to MacGPSBabel? It used to be on the GPSBabel website -- now it seems to be missing? Is there a non-beta 1.2.5 "Mac" version hiding somewhere?

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Two things

 

1) Wouldn't it be REALLY nice if you didn't need that d*mn USB-to-serial adapter to do what you want to do? Wouldn't it be great if MapSource ran natively under Mac OS X? Or just run under Windows XP emulation under VPC 7 under Mac OS X and STILL support USB? Wouldn't that be nice? Cut your upload time of some 56Mb of maps from 3 hours down to less than an hour?

 

2) What happened to MacGPSBabel? It used to be on the GPSBabel website -- now it seems to be missing? Is there a non-beta 1.2.5 "Mac" version hiding somewhere?

That would be sweet. However, I only have a Legend with 8Mb or memory. It will basically hold Mapsource Topo maps of Half the state of michigan. Takes about 15 minutes with serial adapter. Is a USB cable even available for an older legend?

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The old Legends are serial only, so a USB cable won't work. Now, if you're talking a Mac with ONLY USB ports and no serial ports, then something like a Keyspan USB-to-serial port adapter would work to connect the Legend to your Mac -- but you'd still be running in serial mode at the prehistoric 9600, so you don't gain anything.

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I downloaded the Mac 1.2.5 version and gave it a quick test -- actually the first time I've tried it since NOW it supports USB under OS X.

 

I went into GSAK first (under VPC 7), massaged a .gpx file the way I wanted it, and exported it out as a .gpx file, then moved it over to the Mac side. I opened it with MacGPSBabel and tried to upload it to my Garmin 60CS, choosing GPX XML as the output file type , but all I got was a spinning icon in the top right corner of the Babel box.

 

I had to abort the process.

 

QUESTION: Should I be exporting the file from GSAK in a different format, and if so, which one? Then, in MacGPSBabel, which file "type" should I choose for upload to the 60CS? Thanks...

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I went into GSAK first (under VPC 7), massaged a .gpx file the way I wanted it, and exported it out as a .gpx file, then moved it over to the Mac side. I opened it with MacGPSBabel and tried to upload it to my Garmin 60CS, choosing GPX XML as the output file type , but all I got was a spinning icon in the top right corner of the Babel box.

 

I had to abort the process.

 

QUESTION: Should I be exporting the file from GSAK in a different format, and if so, which one? Then, in MacGPSBabel, which file "type" should I choose for upload to the 60CS? Thanks...

 

It sounds to me like you're trying to INPUT a file of type GPX and select "use gps receiver" for output and then pick "Garmin USB" from that list.

 

Please use the GPSBabel mailing lists for help with that program.

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I got my iogear usb/serail adaptor today. First I open up VP7 and installed the installation cd for the drivers. Everything worked well for downloading maps, waypoints and tracks. Ok cool, I shut down VP7 and went back to Mac OS 10.3.7 Installed the mac drivers. Plugged in the GPS and downloaded a .loc file from geocaching.com and selected that file for infput and slected GPS for output and hit the upload button. I get an error message. It appears that i can't find the device (gps). I restarted still nothing. I even tried to reinstall the software. Any ideas?

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I got my iogear usb/serail adaptor today. First I open up VP7 and installed the installation cd for the drivers. Everything worked well for downloading maps, waypoints and tracks. Ok cool, I shut down VP7 and went back to Mac OS 10.3.7 Installed the mac drivers. Plugged in the GPS and downloaded a .loc file from geocaching.com and selected that file for infput and slected GPS for output and hit the upload button. I get an error message. It appears that i can't find the device (gps). I restarted still nothing. I even tried to reinstall the software. Any ideas?

I never install the Mac drivers for the adapter. Only the Windows drivers.

 

Installing the mac drivders can sometimes cause problems if OSX detects the adapter before VPC and takes it over. Or at least that was the case a few years ago when I first started using a USB/Serial adapter.

 

Try removing the OSX drivers and see what happens. If you want to use the adapter with OSX programs you'll have set up a new confiuration in your Network panel. One that blocks the USB adapter and one that allows OSX to see it.

 

It's been a few years (OSX 10.2) since I've done this. Not sure of the steps to go through for 10.3. I never use the adapter in OSX because I have no need to.

 

If you don't need to use the adapter with OSX programs removing the OSX drivers is probably the easiest fix.

 

Another trick that used to work for me. Launch VPC let if fire up and THEN plug in the adapter. Sometimes this tricks OSX and VPC grabs the adapter before OSX does.

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Help.. how do I get PQ's on my mac!

 

I have a 60cs and a mac G5. (VPC and mac system X.3 are on the way so I can use cityselect), I have the keyspan usb to serial adapter. my problem is... I don't get the pocket queries.. I have selected output to "this accounts email addresss" and "in the format .gpx". I have tried with and without .zip compression and nothing works, I switched my email to @comcast since the server may bounce them. I have had my buddies email me an attched .gpx file to me and it came in fine! From the website I can only download the gpx files from each page. if I click all on the page and hit download, I get the "geocaching.loc" file... but I can't do anything with it. I have mac gps babel and there are thousands of combos for the pull down menus. is it possible to convert the loc. file into gpx? Help.. how do I get PQ's on my mac!

I am having no trouble getting my PQs emailed through my Comcast account. I am using an old Mac G4, OS 10.3.8 and using the Mail application. The PQs are zipped. Maybe your junk-mail filter is catching your PQs.

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Old G4? Yep, that's like mine! A dual processor 450MHz model. Man is it ancient -- I got it about 2 years ago. In our geeky computer world, my machine is OLD (and showing it)!!!!!

 

Sittin' in the closet(s) are an original Mac 128K (serial #2000 something) (with a memory upgrade and a SCSI upgrade to run the $1200 20MB hard drive!!), a Mac IIfx, and a Mac 840AV. I'm running my DP 450 G4. I've got a PowerBook 180 collecting dust. My wife has an iBook G3 that she uses for everything.

 

And oh, yeah -- an Apple II -- with TONS of software, Dan Paymar's lower-case adapter, a kludged paddle controller, two 400k disk drives, two 800k disk drives, a writing tablet that's bigger than our kitchen table, a 9" monitor, a 14" monitor, and only a psychic knows what else!!

 

This is all off-topic!

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That isn't nothing. We ran a graphic design business on a 266 G3 desktop with a 20" monitor and 416mb or ram up until 2 weeks ago. Now we have a 20" G5 iMac with 1.25 GB of memory and a 12" powerbook 1.5 G4 with 1.25GB of memory. World of difference, but the G3 did the job and made us a ton of cash. If that would have been a PC it would have been unuseable years ago.

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For the Tiger users out there...

 

There's a new widget called Koords (out today) that does coordinate converesions.

Could it have been one of you guys? :lol:

 

It seems there are several dozen new widgets every day. They're really going crazy making new software for this cool new feature of OSX.

 

Parsa

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This whole issue is why I favor the expandable memory of the Magellan eXplorist series GPSrs. I plan to purchase (actually I've been dropping major father-day hints) an eXplorist 600 and the TOPO program from Magellan. I'll load that on one of my wife's windoze machines and hopefully load almost all the maps I'll ever need on to my 512mb SDcard. At that stage, I'll be done with the mapping application and may never need to use it again. Once I have my maps loaded on the card, I think I can live without hooking the thing up to a computer. My current GPSr is a relic without mapping capabilities and with little reason to hook it up to a computer, so I don't know what I've been missing.

 

Of course, if some manufacturer, say Garmin, were to extract their head from where ever it is now and offer a Mac compatable mapping product, I would buy that in a second over the Magellan. However, this industry of consumer GPS units is either not competitive or the technicial factors in writing an Mac application are far greater than I think.

 

Oh the other hand, I might check out VPC and see if that holds any potential for running the mapping application.

 

David

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Oh the other hand, I might check out VPC and see if that holds any potential for running the mapping application.

It would pay for those of you who are new to this forum to at least skim the previous posts, as there is a wealth of good info & ideas presented in the past. Many of the frequent posters, including myself have successfully avoided the Virtual PC thing and have found fully satisfactory solutions outside of the Windoze trap.

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Oh the other hand, I might check out VPC and see if that holds any potential for running the mapping application.

It would pay for those of you who are new to this forum to at least skim the previous posts, as there is a wealth of good info & ideas presented in the past. Many of the frequent posters, including myself have successfully avoided the Virtual PC thing and have found fully satisfactory solutions outside of the Windoze trap.

Except for loading maps.

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It would pay for those of you who are new to this forum to at least skim the previous posts, as there is a wealth of good info & ideas presented in the past. Many of the frequent posters, including myself have successfully avoided the Virtual PC thing and have found fully satisfactory solutions outside of the Windoze trap.

Except for loading maps.

I posted a question about the ability of Mac users to load maps recently, because there is a dearth of information about it. As one of the new users of the forum, I have been quite surprised to find how little discussion there is of this huge, glaring omission in the world of GPS.

 

I still haven't decided what I am going to do, because it is important to me that I be able to use my GPSr for mapping and driving directions.

 

(I also note, as an aside, that the forum won't let you search using terms of less than four letters. That makes it difficult to retrieve everything relating to Mac. People like me, who did try to find answers on already-posted threads, have to resort to strange searches or just reading through pages of thread titles.)

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Except for loading maps.

Mac Topo Maps

These are only for the Mac itself though, right? NG Topo does this also.

 

The problem is getting the maps into a GPS receiver. This can't be done via OSX at present, AFAIK.

 

It could be done if some nice developer wrote a program to load custom maps. There are several of these for the PC, but nobody has written one for the Mac. If they did, we could load digital maps into the Mac without a windoze program running, and without having to buy a $100 mapping program. The advantage of the Garmin programs is that they also have the local data and allow turn by turn directions. Garmin can do it... easily... they're just lazy and greedy.

 

Parsa

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It would pay for those of you who are new to this forum to at least skim the previous posts, as there is a wealth of good info & ideas presented in the past. Many of the frequent posters, including myself have successfully avoided the Virtual PC thing and have found fully satisfactory solutions outside of the Windoze trap. 

 

I have actually read many of the prior posts. However, given that Tiger was released only a few weeks ago and the GPSr I'm considering was only released 2 or 3 weeks ago, makes many of the comments posted even as recently as March of this year, dated. As technology changes, sometimes its worthwhile to discuss issues again.

 

I have read differing opinions regarding the ability of VPC to support the mapping applications like MapSend. Some posts I read said it worked fine, others questioned this. I also know there are some applications available that allow Macs to communicate with some GPSr, but they can't take the map data and load it to the GPSr. What good is having a mapping GPSr if you can't load the frig'n maps? Getting detailed maps onto the GPSr is something that is important to me. Uploading waypoints and routes is less important to me. Those can be entered manually on the GPSr itself.

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The problem is getting the maps into a GPS receiver. This can't be done via OSX at present, AFAIK.

 

It could be done if some nice developer wrote a program to load custom maps. There are several of these for the PC, but nobody has written one for the Mac. If they did, we could load digital maps into the Mac without a windoze program running, and without having to buy a $100 mapping program. The advantage of the Garmin programs is that they also have the local data and allow turn by turn directions. Garmin can do it... easily... they're just lazy and greedy.

 

That is the problem. Get the map into the reciever. The power of a mapping GPSr is not only to know your coordinates, but put the arrow on the map for you. For me the answer is to "borrow" my wife's windoze machine and load up the stuff once and be done with it. One of the nice things about windoze everywhere is it is simple to find a windoze machine to use for short term.

 

I think both companies are simply greedy. Why else have a system that uses a propriatary mapping software? They don't want you to use some other companies map and load it to their device. There may actually be good technical reasons for this, but there is also a "good" business reason for this as well - greed.

 

Lazy may be the reason they don't even bother to create a mac version of the existing mapping application in the first place.

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This whole issue is why I favor the expandable memory of the Magellan eXplorist series GPSrs.  I plan to purchase (actually I've been dropping major father-day hints) an eXplorist 600 and the TOPO program from Magellan.  I'll load that on one of my wife's windoze machines and hopefully load almost all the maps I'll ever need on to my 512mb SDcard.  At that stage, I'll be done with the mapping application and may never need to use it again.  Once I have my maps loaded on the card, I think I can live without hooking the thing up to a computer.  My current GPSr is a relic without mapping capabilities and with little reason to hook it up to a computer, so I don't know what I've been missing. 

 

Of course, if some manufacturer, say Garmin, were to extract their head from where ever it is now and offer a Mac compatable mapping product, I would buy that in a second over the Magellan.  However, this industry of consumer GPS units is either not competitive or the technicial factors in writing an Mac application are far greater than I think.

 

Oh the other hand, I might check out VPC and see if that holds any potential for running the mapping application.

 

David

I use VPC7 and a Garmin etrex Legend. I have the mapsource US topo maps. My GPS is a serail unit so I have a usb/serail adaptor by iogear. On my Powerbook 1.5 I can do anything with the gps and mapsource as I can with a PC but faster. I have 1.25GB or ram. I am runnin OS 10.3.9. Unlike Pablo I don't mine using a few microsoft products. I use office and VPC. Office is a must if you run a business and have to trade files with other businesses who use PC's. I don't know any way around this. I do have a PC laptop and it makes trading files much nicer. I prefer the mac over the PC anyday but some of us need to use both. I only use the Mac for my business and at home. But my other profession I am given a PC.

Edited by Paul_Aris
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I, too, have VP7 running under Mac OS X. My biggest gripe here is that I purchased the Garmin 60CS that has USB (and serial) and it WILL NOT WORK under that configuration in USB mode. This is 2005, and USB and Firewire are becoming standard on most machines. Why should I even consider using the extremely SLOW serial connection when the USB port on the back of the Garmin is staring me in the face? I shouldn't!! But Garmin REFUSES to support the Mac side of the equation by writing the required USB driver for the Mac -- for whatever reason they wish to concoct. Everything works PERFECTLY under Mac OS 9.2.2 using the USB port -- VPC 4.0.x [my latest rev, anyway], GSAK, and MapSource. But it all falls apart using USB under OS X. I'm tired of having to hook up my really slow USB-to-serial adapter every time I want to transfer maps or waypoints under OS X, so I flip over to OS 9 to do the uploads, then back into OS X. What a pain. I blame Garmin. Garmin blames Microsoft (at least they did when I talked to tech support!) Criminy -- just support your consumers. It shouldn't be THAT difficult.

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I, too, have VP7 running under Mac OS X. My biggest gripe here is that I purchased the Garmin 60CS that has USB (and serial) and it WILL NOT WORK under that configuration in USB mode. This is 2005, and USB and Firewire are becoming standard on most machines. Why should I even consider using the extremely SLOW serial connection when the USB port on the back of the Garmin is staring me in the face? I shouldn't!! But Garmin REFUSES to support the Mac side of the equation by writing the required USB driver for the Mac -- for whatever reason they wish to concoct. Everything works PERFECTLY under Mac OS 9.2.2 using the USB port -- VPC 4.0.x [my latest rev, anyway], GSAK, and MapSource. But it all falls apart using USB under OS X. I'm tired of having to hook up my really slow USB-to-serial adapter every time I want to transfer maps or waypoints under OS X, so I flip over to OS 9 to do the uploads, then back into OS X. What a pain. I blame Garmin. Garmin blames Microsoft (at least they did when I talked to tech support!) Criminy -- just support your consumers. It shouldn't be THAT difficult.

It's things like this that make people buy PC's. If your one who doesn't mind a few things not being compatable just to be able to use a far superior computer and OS thats the price you pay I guess. Apple appears to be growing right now and tiger is only helping. If more of the population migrates over to Macs maybe our support will get better.

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Well, one current rumor is about another Apple PDA. We might get them to include a GPS in that, or in addition to that. I haven't been able to find a place to make recommendations to Apple. Anyone know of one? We should all write and say they should make a receiver for the rest of us.

 

Parsa

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phew. it's 3am, and my eyes are bleary from thread reading. but i appreciate all the insights & info here.

 

Sounds like, if you're willing to sacrifice durability & some battery life, an iQue might be the easiest option for mac users w/vpc. (please tell me there's not some lame incompatibility with usb SD card readers under vpc).

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Hi everyone. This is a question about coordinating cache names on my Garmin Legend and in cachemate on my Palm, and I hope someone can help me with. At home I keep an old PC around solely for running GSAK, USAPhotomaps and Streets and Trips (and solving the occasional Windows-only geocaching puzzle). But I'm Mac oriented in all other ways, especially when I'm traveling with my Powerbook.

 

When I use GSAK in Windows, I export the caches into a cachemate file and send the waypoints directly to my GPSr. Everything works great that way, with cache names showing up on my GPSr (as nearest searches and on the map). Likewise, cachemate lists the caches by name. That way, when I'm just traveling around and see a nearby cache (especially on road trips or new cities), I can quickly find it by name on my Palm in alphabetical order to see if it's a cache that I want to hunt.

 

However, when I get pocket queries while traveling on my Mac, I'm using the GPS Connect (for uploading waypoints) and MacCMConvert (for sending info to my Palm). I'm traveling a lot right now, so this is the standard method these days. The problem is: GPS Connect sends the waypoint names (ex: GCNFWZ) to my GPSr instead of the cache name (ex. "Department"), like GSAK does. That makes it a pain to find that same cache in Cachemate, since I don't seem to be able to search by actual waypoint name.

 

For example, I see that cache GCNFWZ is nearby, but I want to quickly look at cachemate to see if it’s a cache that I want to grab right now or not. If I’m driving through town I might be willing to make a stop to hunt an traditional in a park, but not a complicated puzzle that requires planning, or at least read a few logs to see if it's worth my time. What I have to do now is Search by coordinates in Cachemate, hand entering-in my approximate coordinates into the Palm and then clicking on each cache name that appears nearby to see if the waypoint name matches with the one on my GPSr screen. This can be a real pain. :laughing:

 

What I'd really like is to be able to do is have GPS Connect send cache names instead of waypoint names to my GPSr--like GSAK does. That would be the best thing. A runner-up solution that would be acceptable, but far less ideal, is if the cachemate list could be sorted alphabetically by waypoint name (but my mind likes sorting "names" in order more than the odd waypoint designations--is GCNFWZ before or after GCNGP3? I prefer: is “Department” before “Geocache”? :drama:). Does anyone know of a convenient way to fix this disparity between the two programs? (I don't want to run clunky VPC just for this).

 

Thanks!

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Here's my drill for Pocket Queries:

 

1. Unzip

2. Toss the zip file

3. Open gpx file in TextEdit

4. Find & replace "gc" with (leave replace field blank; shows the waypoints without the "gc" up front)

5. Close & save

6. Send gpx file to Palm via MacCMConvert

7. Send gpx file to GPSr via MacGPS Pro

 

When I am in the vicinity of a cache, I do a quick search for the 4-digit waypoint on my Palm, read and decide whether to hunt it, and move accordingly.

 

I should find a way to filter out all of the "this cache is not at the posted coordinates..."

 

That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

 

- Pablo Mac

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A runner-up solution that would be acceptable, but far less ideal, is if the cachemate list could be sorted alphabetically by waypoint name (but my mind likes sorting "names" in order more than the odd waypoint designations--is GCNFWZ before or after GCNGP3? I prefer: is “Department” before “Geocache”?)

Okay, I've figured out that in Cachemate I can display the waypoint names in the list by ticking "Display waypoint as name... when sorted by waypoint" in the "List Options" menu. That solves a lot of my problems. At least now I can find the waypoint relatively quickly in some kind of alphabetical order.

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Okay, I've figured out that in Cachemate I can display the waypoint names in the list by ticking "Display waypoint as name... when sorted by waypoint" in the "List Options" menu. That solves a lot of my problems. At least now I can find the waypoint relatively quickly in some kind of alphabetical order.

Use the Palm search feature instead of scrolling through hundreds of cache names.

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