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GCVote – Reading My Mind January 5, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Resources, Reviews, Software, Statistics.
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It’s tough to keep up with all the software and tool development in the Geocaching world as it happens so quickly.  I missed out on version 3.0 of CacheStats, for example and who knows how many revs behind I am on GSAK.  Plenty, I suppose.  But that’s not what this note is about.

I’ve been thinking about building a cache rating database to give the new folks something to look at before going out on their second or third search (or first, for that matter).  I was going to start by collating some opinions from like minded folks on their favorite caches and initially publish a list.  Next, after I moved the blog to a proper server I was thinking about firing up a simple database for these sorts of things to give the good local color a little more exposure.

I don’t need to do that now.  It’s already been done, with GCVote.

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More Gratuitous GSAK Tidbits June 14, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Resources, Software.
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I’ve explained in several other posts how I use various tools to prepare my GPX Pocket Queries before a run outside.  I’ve got a system and it works for me but if you really prefer to stick with one tool GSAK can do all the fancy stuff in the world…

…with macros.

If you’ve ever used a macro in any other program you know they can both save enormous amounts of time while, if complex, being a pain in the rear to build.  The GSAK forums save a lot of this pain by hosting a comprehensive library of macros for you to choose from, already built and ready to go.  You’ll find them here:

GSAK Forums Home

Scroll down to the “Macro Library” section to find the list of macros available (goes on for days) and how to acquire them.  If you’re trying to narrow down all the caches you  and your buddies have in common or just flag your letterbox finds in Colorado from last month, its probably there.  If I see what I need on the list, I might just change my habits.

GeoBuddy Overview June 8, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in For the Newbies, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Software.
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Tip ‘o’ the hat to Calipers for requesting I take a look at GeoBuddy!

Not A Software Review

First off, this is NOT a proper review of TopoGrafix’s GeoBuddy software.  A proper review has all sorts of feature/functionality testing and the like I did not do here.  This post is a high level impression of the kit from my own unique perspective.  If you know me and my habits you should use that intelligence to color what you take away from my notes here.  If not, you should visit TopoGrafix and the GeoBuddy forums for more detailed information.

How I Use Geocaching Software

When I plan a Geocaching outing or just want to head out and grab a couple while I am out I have the same basic steps.  It is by these activities I judge the usefulness of any hardware/software tools for my caching fun.  These steps have been refined to accommodate my erratic travel schedule and the fact that on any given day I might be in 3 different states or countries.  My emphasis is on speed in getting to a quality set of Geocaching waypoints so I can get out the door and on the trail.  I like to explore and I don’t mind a little “now how do I get up THERE?!” while on the road.  A little sweat never hurt a caching trip.  I also don’t like to read the description and logs until I am at GZ unless I see the difficulty is a 4 or 5.  Finally, I might print a high level street map with waypoints just so I can plan my point-to-point wanderings efficiently.

All of this boils down to four basic steps which influence my overall impression of GeoBuddy.  Let’s take a peek, below the fold.

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Quick and Dirty Update June 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Events, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Reviews, Snark, Software.
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2 comments
  • I’ve hit over 85,000 Geocaching miles.  Suck it, Lotrat.
  • Calipers pointed out I need to review GeoBuddy and compare it to GSAK.  Stay tuned.
  • Somebody was musing about a North SD County meet and greet.  Let’s get it on, folks.
  • I’m still looking for more interesting spoofs to target for my “Don’t Do This!” series.  Take a look at my profile and send me your ideas if you want to have them immortalized with the “Frown-O-Meter”.  (See my GC profile and caches for more details)

Free GSAK Key For the Taking May 9, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Resources, Snark, Software, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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This is GSAK, or Geocaching Swiss Army Knife.  I’ve written about GSAK before, both here and here.

A good handful of you thieving pirates have found this blog by way of Google searches for “GSAK Key”, “GSAK Crack” and a handful of other search terms that are both indicting and depressing all at the same time.  You probably found your way here because you are trying to avoid this:

GSAK Nag Screen

GSAK Nag Screen

First off, this is one of the cooler nag screens you’re going to see.  It is the GSAK Spouse, after all.  But let’s break this down for a minute.  I want you to meet Clyde: (more…)

How to Use GSAK May 2, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Software, Somebody Else's Stuff.
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I am getting traffic from a number of queries around “How to use GSAK”, or Geocaching Swiss Army Knife.  I have talked about the power of GSAK before.  It’s a great package, even though it’s not one of the regulars in my toolbag.  I have my other preferences but I cannot deny that GSAK really is outstanding.  The tool is quite simple but there are resources to help you navigate its features.  Aside from my post on the file formats it will support and when you should use them you should look here:

  • The GSAK home page
  • The GSAK 101 user guide, a Word document in English, German, Dutch and French
  • The GSAK 201 user guide, for you more advanced folks interested in customizing GSAK
  • The GSAK 301 user guide, for the true geeks among you who have to automate the tool using macros.  Only in English and Dutch.
  • The GSAK FAQ
  • All of these documents are available on the Getting Started forum on the GSAK Message Boards

I am a sucker for people who produce proper documentation and looking at the 101 Guide, it’s grade A material.

As of this post the current version is 7.5.2.  Do yourself a favor and download the software right from http://GSAK.net instead of one of those file aggregators like Cnet or Rapidshare or some Bittorrent you downloaded from a “friend”.  Registration is only $25 if you like it and want to see the guy (Clyde) keep updating the software, so why not?

And why not share with the rest of us how you use GSAK to help your Geocaching?

-edit 05/02/09

For those of you searching for “GSAK to SQL” you might want to consider that since the GPX files GSAK reads in are XML you might want to go straight to GPSBabel.  Since it is the engine under the GSAK hood, you SQL people can just cut out the middle man.  (sorry, Clyde, but I figure the SQL folks are a different crowd).

Sharing the Love With GSAK January 14, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Software.
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I’m not a big GSAK user (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife).  That probably makes me a GSAK bigot, but I am here to change all that.

Many people who use GSAK are familiar with its ability to rapidly review cache lists, assign nicknames to cache entries and it is not a bad filtering tool, either.  In another post I mentioned a key feature of “Watcher”, its ability to rapidly and automatically filter out undesirable (or desirable) cache entries from your GPX Pocket Query.  Now it’s time to take a look at one feature from GSAK that makes it second to none among utilities: its file export capabilities.

GSAK offers excellent file sharing tools for the Geocacher.  In the latest version of GSAK (7.2.3.35), the number of file formats supported is staggering.  What possible use could this be?  If you and your cache mates don’t use the same GPS or have differing preferences/needs for map view or printouts, the best way to make sure you are operating from the same cache list is to start from the same GPX and use a software tool like GSAK to “translate” for you.

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