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Paperless - Pocket Pc Vs. Palm


stugotz
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I'm looking the go paperless and have some questions. Please be kind, I know very little about PDAs.

 

Any difference between Pocket PC vs. Palm with regards to use of caching software?

 

How much information from the web page gets sent to the PDA?

 

My main reason for getting this is to have the web page available at the cache site and to do my log for later upload. This may change as I learn the other things it will do. Am I wasting my time/money?

 

Any other thoughts?

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I was in your shoes also. I never had a use for a PDA, and never ever touched one. A fellow member created a cool geocaching webpage http://factsfacts.com/geocacher.htm, that I read. After reading his link to paperless caching, I bit the bullet and purchesd a re-furbished Palm XIIIXE. I purchased Cachemate, and Registered my version of GSAK. Here is the very informative link that turned me into a "paperless cacher."

http://65.34.18.106/content.php?article.15

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My main reason for getting this is to have the web page available at the cache site and to do my log for later upload. This may change as I learn the other things it will do. Am I wasting my time/money?

 

Any other thoughts?

On the whole, the main difference is cost. Pocket PCs cost a lot, but do a lot. If all you want to do is read cache descriptiosn and log finds then A second-hand Palm IIIxe, about $30 on eBay, and $8 for Cachemate is all you need on top of your premium membership.

 

The only problem with this setup is that Cachemate only shows you al lthe text from the cache page, and will not show you and picture clues or graphics that are part of puzzles etc. There are ways round this, but it has not been a problem here.

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PocketPC based units can be found cheaply on Ebay as well, and if you use GPXSonar on them are simpler than Palm based apps. Sonar is free, too, unlike cachemate. With GPXSonar, you just copy the .gpx file from your PocketQuery to your PPC (or storage card like I do) and open the file. All the Palm apps I know of require you to use another program to manipulate the file into something the application can read.....

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Can't see any really cheap ones. In the last month every Pocket PC cabable of running the software you mention which sold on Ebay for under $100 had either a cracked case, faulty screen, broken digitiser or faulty battery. Factory sealed or reconditioned Palm IIIxe and Vx can be bought on Ebay for $30. The $8 for Cachemate on top of that makes the GPS Sonar being free pretty immaterial.

 

As for needing secondary software, GSAK, which has a million other uses, including exporting waypoints to mapping software, sorting, filtering etc, also exports Cachemate files. I copy them to memory card which Cachmate recognises. Getting caches into cachemate is far less bother than you seem to think it is as GSAK does such a good job of managing GPX files, exporting to mapping apps etc, that I coudn't do without it even if I owned a Pockert PC.

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:laughing: Thanks everyone for the excellent advice. I did decide to go with a palm. It seems that both are equally as good with the right software package. I’m going with GSAK and CacheMate. I’m looking forward to trying this out. I love gadgets.

 

Thanks again. I’ll leave this open incase anyone has more help for others.

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I use three pieces of software for paperless caching. For the desktop, I use EasyGPS to upload waypoints to the GPSr. For the PocketPC, I use GPXSonar and MS Pocket Streets. With GPXSonar, I can view cache pages exactly as they appear on the web sans photos. A cool feature is that you can make field notes. I usually jot down what I wrote in the cache log as well as what was taken and left. And it will even field note drop/retrieve TB's. Mind you, that is only for field notes. I still have to log into the website to actually log a find/DNF and drop off or pick-up TB's. But the feature I really like is that it exports the caches into MS Pocket Streets. Total cost? EasyGPS, $0; GPXSonar, $0 but donations accepted; and about $25 (actually $15 after mail in rebate) for MS Streets & Trips which includes Pocket Streets.

 

With that said, after all the rave reviews and comments about GSAK for the desktop, I may finally breakdown and try it out. Better waypoint (cache) management than EasyGPS and also the ability to export to Streets & Trips.

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GeoGeorge said “But the feature I really like is that it exports the caches into MS Pocket Streets.” Does this mean I can see little Geocache boxes on a map in my Pocket PC? Can I then touch on the boxes and have the GPXSonar description appear? That would be way cool.

 

Right now I use GSAK to download my queries to my Garmin and GPXSonar (pocket PC). This works great. But as usual the more you have the more you want. Without a good map program on my Pocket PC I have to go back and forth between the GPSr and the PDA to plan out my route for the next day.

 

Having the maps on an SD Card would be great too.

 

I want it all, is it possible? Can I have it? Well Santa be bringing it? B)

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Does this mean I can see little Geocache boxes on a map in my Pocket PC?  Can I then touch on the boxes and have the GPXSonar description appear?  That would be way cool.

 

Right now I use GSAK to download my queries to my Garmin and GPXSonar (pocket PC).  This works great. But as usual the more you have the more you want.  Without a good map program on my Pocket PC I have to go back and forth between the GPSr and the PDA to plan out my route for the next day. 

 

Having the maps on an SD Card would be great too.

 

I want it all, is it possible?  Can I have it?  Well Santa be bringing it? :mad:

It will import the caches as a pushpin file. So yes, you will see little flags on your map. It even has a different flag depending on the cache type. A traditional cache has a brownish triangle flag and flagpost. A virtual will have a yellow arrow that points to the right, a multi will be an orange-red square with 3 white flags & posts in it, etc. If you tap on the cache flag on the map, it will give you the GCxxxx waypoint name (or if you changed the waypoint name in GSAK, it will show that name), the actual name of the cache, the type of cache (traditional, virtual, etc), the rating, and last found date. Pretty good stuff but does not give all the info available on GPXSonar. <_< You will still need to have GPXSonar open to get all the other stuff about the cache.

 

And yes, I put all of my maps and queries on my SD card. In order for GPXSonar to do it's import thing, your query and the map need to have the same name.

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I am also about to go paperless. I asked for a palmone zire 31 for christmas and I'm pretty sure I'll get it. Is this a decent pda for caching? It supports up to a gig sd memory card and plays mp3's and yadda. so I will use it for other things than caching. What is the best mapping software for it? With gsak, you can put the waypoints in the mapping software and it will show you maps?? This would be sweet.

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As far as I am aware all Zire's except the 71 cannot communicate with GPSrs so they can't show your position on a map. The same is true of the Tungsten E. (There are dedicated car nav packages that use dedigated GPSrs but they are designed to be used in cars and not in the field.)

 

A Zire 31 will allow you to see cache descriptions and log finds with an app like Cachemate ($8). It will also allow you to run mapping software, but you will have to work out where you are.

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GeoGeorge said “But the feature I really like is that it exports the caches into MS Pocket Streets.” Does this mean I can see little Geocache boxes on a map in my Pocket PC? Can I then touch on the boxes and have the GPXSonar description appear? That would be way cool.

 

Right now I use GSAK to download my queries to my Garmin and GPXSonar (pocket PC). This works great. But as usual the more you have the more you want. Without a good map program on my Pocket PC I have to go back and forth between the GPSr and the PDA to plan out my route for the next day.

 

Having the maps on an SD Card would be great too.

 

I want it all, is it possible? Can I have it? Well Santa be bringing it? <_<

Mapopolis Navigator the autonavigation program with NavTech street maps, voice aqnd visual navigation prompts, etc also allows you to create maplets that contain all of your caches. Little flags are created. You use gpxtomaplet to create the maplets from teh .gpx files. You can try Mapopolis.com for 9 days at no cost.

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MapAdvisor allows you to enter coordinates and shows the map, or even better you just click on an object (tree, building, crossroad) and it would show you coordinates there. It uses aerial maps from terraserver, not street-level maps.

 

This sounds extremely cool, but my main concern would be going on a vacation cache run and needing street maps for directions. Can you manually enter coordinates in mapopolis or ms streets and trip or any other popular software? Also, since the zire 31 can't communicate with the GPSr, could you load the waypoints from the computer to the PDA map software and then use it that way? Thanks.

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I have gone paperless with a Palm and PocketPC. For a while I switched back and forth between the two but finally settled on the PocketPC using GPXSonar for my paperless caching. What did it for me was the screen on the PocketPC was larger than the screen on my Palm M130 and it was also brighter than the screen on the Palm.

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