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Paper Trail Or Pda


J2 & Crew
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I think it was about a week after I found my first cache that I learned about "going paperless." I have had my Palm M500 for more than two years, but only used it for addresses and phone numbers, and Scrabble.

 

How wonderful to become a Premium member, download and buy Cachemate, and be able to download the .gpx files and have all the information I need in my GPSr and my "Palmie."

 

I am finally getting the hang of GSAK and cannot imagine caching with paper, ever again . . .

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It's funny, I used a pda for a while ... gpxspinner was my poison ... but I went back to paper after I discovered 'text' mode of gpsbabel ...

 

If I run a filter (radius usually) on my gpx file, I get a distance sorted list with all the info I need ... I then run that through enscript and I get a 3 column page with between 7 and 10 caches per page (double that if you duplex) ... so on 3 sheets of paper I can carry 45 to 60 caches, scribble notes and never worry about batteries ...

 

Oh and I have all this done automatically when the email hits my inbox ...

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Next step is to heave out the paper maps. I've been using Mapopolis on my palm and love it.

Yes, I'm going mostly paperless maps these days since getting tomtom navigator. However, if I'm going to a cache dense area, I still find it easier to choose an intelligent route on a paper map than having to zoom in and out on my palm screen. I rarely print more than 1 page a day, so that's really not too bad.

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Next step is to heave out the paper maps.  I've been using Mapopolis on my palm and love it.

oh, speak to me of this "Mapopolis".

I'd be interested to know if Mapopolis lets you import waypoints from GSAK. I like to keep up with all of the possibilities, especially when people ask me for my suggestions.

 

--Marky

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If you set GSAK to the following, when you tap the icon on the Mapopolis map you will get

 

Smart name, GCxxxx code, miles from home, Cache type, D/T and hiders name.

 

Waypoint Name Box: %smart %code %dist and I enter 24 in max cahracters

Cache Description Format Box: %typ (%Dif/%Ter) %By

 

There are other kinds of info available. Check GSAK help for those boxes.

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Mapopolis gives you turn-by-turn voice directions to any address in the US, and you can export the caches to it with Cachemate. You do need some horsepower in your Palm for all this, though. A IIIxe won't cut it. You need OS5 and 32MB of RAM, or better. If you have an older model, you can still get the maps, but you don't get the bells and whistles, and performance will suffer badly. On my T3, it's wonderful. I just connect my Garmin to it with a cable which also charges from the cigarette lighter jack, and I can get directions to any address, including those pulled from my addressbook by name, and to caches. I get automatic routing and rerouting if I go a different route, and never need a PC. The cache directions aren't always optimal, because it tries to route you to the closest road location, which isn't always the best place to park, but it's usually good enough, and if you have parking coordinates, it will take you there easily. The only caveat is that the OS5 version puts the caches into your addressbook, and they can be a PITA to remove if you don't put them in a separate category.

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To add to the good points Nightpilot mentioned, since you'll be using Mapopolis to get you around on the roads, you don't need an expensive automapping GPS with larger memories or the GPS maps themselves for road navigation. (You still might want topo maps for the GPS while hiking) That'll save you hundreds of dollars on GPS equipment and GPS maps that you can use for a better PC or Palm and Mapopolis. No GPS has the screen size of a Palm or PPC which is about double those making it a lot easier to see while driving. You also get games, wifi, bluetooth email etc, all things you won't have on a GPS no matter the cost. (At least on a PPC; not sure about a Palm).

 

If you use a Pocket PC instead of Palm, you'd use gpxsonar and gpxtomaplet instead of cachemate. That would eliminate the problem with address book with the Palm. You just copy the file created on your PC right into windows files in the PPC. You can delete and change it just as easily. Addresses reside separately in PPC Outlook.

Edited by Alan2
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Mister low tech here. I started out using a paper copy and now I have a big file with my notes on the sheets, the day I found the cache, the number of caches to date, what I took and left. Being a stubborn sort, I now insist on keeping my files even though I have been exposed to the more efficient palm pilot method. It's a trade off of hard copy mementos versus maximum efficiency high tech. Ah! The memories! Personally, I do not fault either method as they both have advantages. My way requires no batteries. So there.

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You can't. Zire models (except for the Zire 71) can't be connected to a GPS because they have no serial port. The Zire 72 has bluetooth, and if you buy a (rather expensive) bluetooth GPS you can use it, but the low-end Zires can't connect to anything.

 

Joypa, whatever works for you. There are lots of ways to have fun caching, using whatever equipment you like.

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You can't. Zire models (except for the Zire 71) can't be connected to a GPS because they have no serial port. The Zire 72 has bluetooth, and if you buy a (rather expensive) bluetooth GPS you can use it, but the low-end Zires can't connect to anything.

 

Joypa, whatever works for you. There are lots of ways to have fun caching, using whatever equipment you like.

Thank you thats just what i needed to know.

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Joypa, whatever works for you. There are lots of ways to have fun caching, using whatever equipment you like.

Thanks. That is precisely my position too. Sometimes I want to get efficient and I think about getting a gizmo like you are discussing; however, reading this thread discourages me from that. Better to keep it simple (and a whole lot cheaper).

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My boss at work has decided that he and I and a couple other executive types need to have Blackberry 7250's. I'm fine with that, obviously. I'm wondering, of course, if anyone knows of any caching or mapping software that works with Blackberry's OS? A lackadaisical Googling doesn't really turn up much of anything.

 

However, looks like the OS is Java-based, so perhaps this is my opportunity to contribute something to the sport if nothing already exists. It'll be hard to shake the PHP and VB work I've done for the past 5 years off and try to remember the Java work I used to do.

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I guess I'm super-low-tech...

I don't have a PDA, I don't print out the cache pages, and I only use the GPS for about half the caches I do... yay orienteering skills!

 

I read the cache page a couple times, and remember the important points - if I can't find the cache then, I'll go back home and decrypt and remember the hint and go back out and find the cache

 

Happy Caching

Jeff

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Was that in response to my Blackberry query, or just a general urging? Cause I'm already completely paperless with my Palm and so forth. Just be nice to be able to do it on the Blackberry since that'll be my primary phone/pda/pager/gadget starting next week sometime.

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In my case, I already had a Palm for other uses. I've been using one for a long time, since before PocketPCs came along, and since I already have it in my pocket, I may as well use it for caching, too. But I'm not sure I would buy one just for caching if I didn't already have one. It certainly is nice, and makes things much, much easier, but it's not the only way to cache. I have no experience with Blackberries, so you're on your own there. B)

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I will second the Cachemate and GSAK combination with my Palm and GPS V. I have probably just about paid for my Palm Tungsten E with all of the caches I have found since going paperless last fall. I look to take full advantage of GSAK's capabilities when I upgrade my GPS later this year.

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Mister low tech here. I started out using a paper copy and now I have a big file with my notes on the sheets, the day I found the cache, the number of caches to date, what I took and left. Being a stubborn sort, I now insist on keeping my files even though I have been exposed to the more efficient palm pilot method. It's a trade off of hard copy mementos versus maximum efficiency high tech. Ah! The memories! Personally, I do not fault either method as they both have advantages. My way requires no batteries. So there.

My 3-ring binder continues to grow. I now have an archive binder. It's always fun to flip through the pages and review my notes from days gone by. Some pages are even wrinkled and ink run from my water jug leaking in my backpack.... ah the memories. I must agree. Not to mention it folds down much smaller than a PDA and weights a whole lot less! That would be the sheet of paper of course. Not the binder

Edited by Texas-Jacksons
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We are so low tech. We dont print them out. We use scraps of paper and write coordinates and clues on them.

 

This sounds like one of my regular caching buddies. My favorite thing is watching him pull out the RIGHT slip of paper once we get onsite.... I don't know how he does it.

 

I have been reading this thread with great interest. I love gadgets, but my buget hasn't allowed me to go paperless quite yet. Right now, I print out cache pages - and feel guilty everytime I look at my full recycle bin. But I just haven't decided if I really want to buy a palm.... besides caching and the usual address book/calendar stuff, what other apps do you run (for fun)?

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I got a used (though basically brand new, in the box) Palm Vx from eBay for about $50; you can find Palm III's and Handsprings for about half that depending on condition, so it doesn't have to be a major purchase.

 

Besides Cachemate and Mapopolis, I use the memo pad pretty often, and have a bunch of games on mine to while away hours. I also have a sun compass (tell it where you are and the time of day, point it at the sun, it tells you which way North is and so forth.) There's thousands of free-for-the-download Palm apps out there, covering just about anything you'd want to do.

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I just started geocaching and just useRepligo to print out the info to a file that gets synced to my Palm. It's kinda like Adobe Acrobat's print driver that lets you print the web page to a file. Repligo supports various platforms. I'm thinking of making a HanDBase database for geocaching since I already use the software. This also supports PalmOS and PocketPC.

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I've been using GSAK on laptop & GPXSonar on a PocketPC. I need to find a bigger case to add the digicam to the collection of GPS, compass, swag bag & PDA.

 

I heard someone uses GSAK to import html pages to pda. Does GSAK take less time to load & does it display all info (including benchmark details), or should I stick with what I have with GPSSonar?

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besides caching and the usual address book/calendar stuff, what other apps do you run (for fun)?

Well, let's see. For fun, I have Patience, which is a card solitaire game with about 50 different games, mahjongg, Gemdrop (a Tetris-like game that uses jewels), and a crossword app that downloads crossword puzzles from the LA Times and Houston Chronicle (more papers if I get really ambitious). I also have an app that finds anagrams of words, and finds words with missing letters (for the crossword).

 

For real life, I have a backup program (backs up my Palm to an SD card so I never lose any data); an alarm clock (shows a world map, with night and day shown); an app to encrypt memos, a password safe which holds all my passwords, credit card info, everything I need but can never remember, encrypted; a program that shows astronomical data, including sunrise, sunset, moon phases and rise/set times, plus the entire Yale bright star catalog; a program to track auto expenses and gas mileage; a program that does flight planning, including all the US airports and all the 5000+ production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico; a shopping list manager; Mapopolis; a general-purpose database; my pilot's logbook; a banking program that syncs with my PC checkbook program; an ebook reader, with dozens of books, including the complete works of Mark Twain at the moment; a program that puts all my MS Office documents on my Palm; a daily journal; 6 calculators/unit converters; and that's just about 10% of everything I have on my Palm and/or on SD cards.

 

For the flight data alone, I once carried a 2.5" notebook, filled completely, with 8-point type printed pages of GPS coordinates for places I needed to fly to (actually, back then they were LORAN coordinates, different numbers than the GPS coordinates) and it was a PITA to update it. I had notes scribbled everywhere on the pages, and finding what I needed in the dark could be an adventure.

 

My Palm has a faster processor, and more memory, than my last PC, and can do just about anything it could do, and more, and it fits in my pocket, so it's always with me. A cheap IIIx won't do that much, but it will come close.

 

I didn't mean to proselytize, so sorry for the long rant, but you did ask what can be done with a Palm. The short answer is "Anything a computer can do".

Edited by NightPilot
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Get a decent hard case for your PDA, and you won't have to worry about posting pictures on the graveyard. I carry my T3 in my back pocket all the time, and sit on it without worry. I do remove it if I plan to fly for a long time, because it gets very uncomfortable, and it's hard to take it out for use once I'm strapped in with the 5-point harness. But I've forgotten and left it there a number of times, and never had any damage. I've dropped it on concrete, and the worst that happened was a scratch on the case. A hard case is an essential investment, IMO.

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About two weeks after I found my first cache, I finally figured out what all this talk was about going "paperless."

 

I downloaded and installed Cachemate and when I found out it would only let me download a limited number of caches, with the trial version, I sent my $8.00 off very fast.

 

It is well worth the money . . . as is GSAK, which is a brilliant program . . . now that I finally got it through my dense head how it works. :ph34r:

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