Version 3.0.10: Lots of little things

by Doug July 01, 2012 17:37

I’ve added a lot of little bug fixes and features in this release, including a feature to help people to provide verification for completing challenge caches, and the ability to show in your geocaching.com profile the top 10 cache owners you have found most caches for. Read on for the complete list of features and bug fixes.

  • Ability to copy cache info for current cache to clipboard (press Copy button, or Ctrl+C). This is helpful to compile a list of caches to use as verification of completing a challenge.
  • Ability to show top 10 cache owners you have found most caches for in HTML output (placed by too*)
  • Allow grouping of caches by owner or placed by*
  • GCID and cache-type icon are shown in the cache description
  • For those of you with lots of FTF’s, it’s easier to mark a cache as FTF – just press F2 (get it? F2-F)
  • Ampersand wasn’t showing correctly in cache name
  • Fix icon for locationless caches
  • “Other states” label was sometimes overwritten
  • Average in 1 day didn’t show completely if it was greater than 10 (yes, some people average more than 10 per day!)
  • Several fixes for the news feed including:
    • geocaching.com general discussion forums wasn’t showing
    • detect untitled news feeds
    • suppress a script error caused by one of Iowa Admin’s blog posts
    • better handling of embedded YouTube videos

* What’s the difference between owner and placed by, you ask? When creating or editing a cache, you are allowed to specify any name in the placed by field – it doesn’t have to be your geocaching name. There are several reasons placed by might be different than owner, for example if you adopt a cache, you might want to keep the original name of the person who placed the cache.  Or you might want to indicate that the cache was placed by a group of people.

Hope you enjoy the update. As usual, just download from the CacheStats page, and install. Your previous version will automatically be uninstalled.

Version 3.0.9: Incorrect Found Dates (Again!), Miscellaneous Other Fixes

by Doug November 14, 2010 18:33

This version fixes incorrect found-it dates when you log a find using a mobile app, for example, from your iPhone.  Depending on the time of day that you logged the find, CacheStats was sometimes counting it as a find for the next day. In addition to this fix, I fixed the icons displayed for event types (CITO, Mega, Lost and Found (10 year anniversary)), and Wherigo caches. Several of you pointed out to me that August actually has 31 days, so I removed the x in the calendar for Aug. 31. (Ooooops, forgot Thirty days hath September…). And finally, I added Geocaching.com’s blog, Latitude 47, to the list of blogs that you can choose to display on your Geocaching News page. As always, the new version is available on the CacheStats website. When you install, your previous version will automatically be uninstalled. Read on if you’re curious to know why iPhone logs were sometimes incorrect.

When logging a find on the geocaching.com website, the time that you log the find is essentially ignored.  The time in the GPX file is always either 07:00, 08:00, 19:00 or 20:00, depending on daylight saving time.  (Side note, I’ve never been able to make rhyme or reason out of why it uses 7:00 sometimes and 19:00 other times – if anyone knows, let me know because I’m curious).  But when logging with a mobile app, geocaching.com stores the time that the log was entered.  That time is represented in the GPX file using the GMT time zone, and as far as I can tell, it represents the time you logged the find, as if you were logging from the Pacific time zone, e.g. if logging at 9:00PM Eastern, the date stored is 9:00PM Pacific, converted to GMT.  That actually makes sense, because if it used your local time zone, statistics programs such as CacheStats would have no definitive way of knowing what time zone you logged it from since the time in the GPX file always uses GMT.  Bottom line, since CacheStats has been around longer than the iPhone app, it wasn’t doing any time zone translation, but now it is.  If you notice any incorrect dates for your logs, please let me know.  I think I’ve got it right, but I’ve had to make educated guesses as to what Groundspeak is actually storing for logs via mobile apps.

Version 3.0.8: Tweet Your Stats

by Doug May 09, 2010 16:41

Tweet In this release, I added the ability to send tweets to your Twitter followers, directly from within CacheStats.  Of course, you’ll need to have a Twitter account to take advantage of this feature. There are several ways to send a tweet…

 

First, each time you load a new GPX file, CacheStats presents you with a summary of your activity since your previous My Finds query.  To send a tweet with that summary information, just click on the link in CacheStats:

Tweet1

When you click the link, the default message will read something like this: “Over the past 104 days I've cached 7 days and found 25 caches with average D/T = 1.94/2.06. On pace for 74 this year.”  CacheStats will let you modify the message before sending it out.

Another way to send a tweet is from the Caches tab where you can send a tweet for an individual cache:

Tweet2

 

When you click on the link the default message will be “Found Geocache: [name of cache]. [URL of cache].  This in itself is a pretty dull message.  If you send this type of tweet I encourage you to add a few words about the cache to make it more interesting for your readers.  My hope is that people will use this feature to point out interesting caches they have found, not to post a complete list of their finds.

Finally, if you just want to send a random tweet, you can click the “Send a tweet” button found at the bottom of the main CacheStats window.

For now, I only added the ability to send tweets, not the ability to read your twitter feed.  I’ll wait and see how popular this feature becomes before adding more to it. If you’d like to see more support for Twitter features, be sure to let me know.

Version 3.0.7: Linking the Data with the Geocaches

by doug April 04, 2010 20:30

I just released an update to CacheStats that has a couple of new small features: first, you can now sort your location list (i.e. states and countries) by order found, number found, or alphabetically. Just click on the appropriate button at the bottom of the Locations tab.  Second, I’ve added “hyperlink” capability so you can navigate to specific caches or groups of caches in the caches tab by clicking on data in the statistics tab such as dates and grid entries. For example, if you want to see caches for a specific difficulty and/or terrain, you can click a cell in the D/T grid. Similarly, click in the calendar grid to take you to the caches found for a specific day or month. The following screen shots explain it much better than I can with words.

Here’s the difficulty/terrain grid. Notice numbers are now underlined indicating they are clickable.  When you click on a number, it will take you to the appropriate spot in your cache list on the caches tab.

NavGrid

Besides the D/T and Calendar grids, many of the lists (such as milestones and geocache size and type) are now navigable too. For example here’s a screenshot of the Cache Type list:

NavList

Finally, many of the dates that are shown on the statistics page will take you to the caches for that date:

NavDate

 

If you enjoy reviewing your past accomplishments and recalling what happened when, I think you’ll like this new feature.  As usual, to upgrade, just download from the CacheStats website and start the installation.  Your previous version will automatically be uninstalled.

Version 3.0.6: Fix for Incorrect FTF Count

by doug February 21, 2010 18:39

Version 3.0.6 is now available from the CacheStats website. This update fixes a couple of problems with the way CacheStats stores FTFs which caused an incorrect FTF count to be shown for some people.  If your FTF count is correct, there is no need for you to download this update.

Version 3.0.5: Fix for Incorrect Found Date

by Doug January 27, 2010 22:34

calendar Geocaching.com recently made a subtle change to the way dates and times are stored in GPX files.  They are now stored using UTC format, or Coordinated Universal Time (the same time zone as Greenwich Mean Time).  (Why is Coordinated Universal Time abbreviated UTC you might ask?  You’ll have to read the Wikipedia article).  Because of this change, some of your found dates reported in CacheStats may be off by one day.  This update provides a fix for that.  But not all users are affected – it actually depends on your time zone.  Read on if you want to know the gory details.

Dates and times in the old GPX file format didn’t specify any time zone, so CacheStats simply reported whatever date was saved in the GPX file as the date you found the geocache.  But when the log dates changed to the UTC time zone (London for example), CacheStats automatically translated the date and time of the log to your local time zone.  OK, so what?  Turns out almost all of the log dates stored in a GPX file are either 07:00 or 19:00, not the actual time of day they were logged.  So let’s say you live in eastern Australia, which is UTC plus 10 hours.  Logs that have a timestamp of 07:00 were translated to 17:00 (07:00 in London = 17:00 in Australia).  These logs posed no problem for CacheStats since the date was the same either way.  But the logs that have a timestamp of 19:00 were translated to 05:00 the next day.  Bottom line, the farther away from London you live, the more likely you are to encounter a problem.  If you’re within 7:00 hours west of UTC (most of the United States) or within 5 hours east of UTC, you shouldn’t have any problems and there is no reason for you to download this update (this fix is the only change in the update).  As my chemistry teacher used to say, “clear as mud, right?”.  If you need the update, you can download it at the CacheStats web page.  Simply download and reinstall – the previous version will automatically be uninstalled.

Version 3.0.4 Released: Calendar Grid, Grid Colors

by Doug November 01, 2009 22:56

CalGrid I just released a minor update to CacheStats .  The most notable feature in this release is a “Finds by Day of Year” grid, similar to ones you’ve probably seen in user profiles that were generated by other statistics programs.  The grid shows your number of finds for each day of the year.  You can choose to show each year individually or all years combined (although when exporting to your profile, only the all-years-combined grid will show).  Need another excuse to get out geocaching?  Probably not, but if you’re one who can’t stand those open squares in your grid, you’ll feel an extra tug to get out the door when you see you’ve never been caching on a particular day.

The other features you may notice are a couple of improvements to the difficulty/terrain grid: completed squares are now shaded (using the same color that you choose for your profile), and totals are shown for each row and column.  Graphic design is definitely not my strong point, but hopefully this extra splash of color improves the look a little bit.

Other changes in this release include:

  1. If your oldest cache found has been archived, it also shows the oldest active cache you have found
  2. Fix a problem when counting streaks due to non-standard log dates in the GPX file
  3. Increase default height of the main window if the screen resolution supports it
  4. Minor cosmetic changes, including fixing a longest streak count which was getting truncated at 3 digits
  5. Better support for the Mono environment, which allows CacheStats to run under Mac and Linux (see the FAQ for more information).

To upgrade to this release, download from the CacheStats website and run the installation program.  Your previous version will be replaced so there is no need to uninstall it first.

Happy caching!

Hardest Puzzle Cache?

by doug April 09, 2009 22:19

Puzzled Even if you’ve only been caching for a short time I’m guessing that you’ve encountered one or more next-to-impossible puzzle caches.  There are a lot of people out there who love to come up with the most devious, unsolvable puzzles.  Fight fire with fire I say!  I recently ran across this puzzle that you can use in your next puzzle cache to confound everyone (and I mean everyone):

A hundred prisoners are each locked in a room with three pirates, one of whom will walk the plank in the morning. Each prisoner has 10 bottles of wine, one of which has been poisoned; and each pirate has 12 coins, one of which is counterfeit and weighs either more or less than a genuine coin. In the room is a single switch, which the prisoner may either leave as it is, or flip. Before being led into the rooms, the prisoners are all made to wear either a red hat or a blue hat; they can see all the other prisoners' hats, but not their own. Meanwhile, a six-digit prime number of monkeys multiply until their digits reverse, then all have to get across a river using a canoe that can hold at most two monkeys at a time. But half the monkeys always lie and the other half always tell the truth. Given that the Nth prisoner knows that one of the monkeys doesn't know that a pirate doesn't know the product of two numbers between 1 and 100 without knowing that the N+1th prisoner has flipped the switch in his room or not after having determined which bottle of wine was poisoned and what colour his hat is, what is the solution to this puzzle?

OK, it’s not a real puzzle.  It’s from the Car Talk website.  I can just hear Tom and Ray yuking it up over this one.

But wait! Maybe there really are geocache coordinates hidden here.  Maybe I just need to take all the digits mentioned, assign each of those a letter and use that as the key to a Vigenère cipher to decipher the text of the puzzle which will yield a Morse code pattern when spelled out on the buttons of a phone where an odd digit represents a dash and and even represents a dot.  Then once I have the Morse code decoded it will tell me to look up all the number one hit singles from 1972 and take the 4th letter from each one.  Using those letters...OK, now it’s just getting silly.

Aren’t puzzle caches fun ;-)

Tags:

Geocaching

Version 3.0.3 released: Find nearby caches, show cache icons

by doug April 05, 2009 17:22

Confused "Haven't we been here before?"  As I approach my 5th anniversary of geocaching, I find myself asking that more and more as older caches get archived and new ones are created to take their place.  Often I have a vague recollection of the area, but can't remember which cache (if any) used to be there.  It used to be that you could go to the maps at geocaching.com to see all caches in an area including the archived ones, but they removed that feature a couple of years ago. I was sad to see that feature go because I often used it to refresh my memory as to when and why we were previously in that area. This release of CacheStats contains a new feature that partially addresses the issue.  You can now show all caches (that you have found) that are nearby any given cache.  Here's how it works.

First, in the cache list, select the cache you would like to find nearby caches for.  For this example, I’ll select a cache called Hospital View:

HospitalView

Then select how far away you want to search, and click Show:

 NearSelected

When you click show, the cache list will update to show just those caches that are within the given distance of the selected cache. When you click on those caches, CacheStats displays the distance away from the original cache in the cache description area.  In this example, I had previously found a cache just 1/10 of a mile away from the Hospital View cache:

WaukeshaParks

When you are done, click Cancel to display the full list again.

This feature can also be used to explore cache density.  For example, pick a cache in a cache-rich area and see how many caches you have found within a mile of it.

Remember, your GPX pocket query only contains caches that you have found, so CacheStats can't show you nearby caches that you haven't found yet. Too bad, because the other situation I run into is that caches that I thought were in an area are no longer there when I'm ready to go look for them.  I like to know if it got archived recently, and if so, why?  Unless you can remember the name, there's no way to know.  Hopefully at some point geocaching.com will bring back the capability to show archived caches.

Another new feature in this release which you may have noticed in the first screenshot above: the cache list now shows type icons next to the cache name (e.g. traditional, multi, event, etc.)

Finally, I added a new blogger, TripCyclone, to the list of blogs to choose from on the news and status page.  If you know of any bloggers who write frequent articles that are of general interest, let me know and I can include them in the next release.

Hope you enjoy the new feature.

Combining Group with Search or Show

by doug April 02, 2009 21:05

I’ve noticed a couple of nice reviews of CacheStats 3.0 already: one at Geocaching Online and another at Trip’s GeoAdventures.  I especially liked TripCyclone’s suggestion to combine grouping with the show caches feature to learn interesting nuggets about your finds.  For example:

 Grouping ShowDNFs

With these settings, I can see whose caches I’ve had to log the most DNFs on (Did Not Find it logs).  One caveat about DNFs: geocaching.com only includes the caches you have found in the my finds pocket query.  So any caches that you’ve logged a DNF on but haven’t found yet won’t be included.  You can easily think of other interesting combinations:

  • FTFs (First To Find) grouped by status (see which of your FTFs have been archived)
  • DNFs grouped by difficulty
  • DNFs grouped by size (any surprise that Micros is at the top of my list?)

In the same manner, you can also combine grouping with search.  I previously suggested some interesting items to search on, for example weather-related terms. So if I search on “rain” while grouping by month, guess what?  No mentions of rain in December or January, but plenty in the summer months. No big surprise of course. But you might run into a few surprises too. I searched for “bike” and grouped by terrain.  The highest terrain that we biked on was a 3.5 believe it or not.

Give it a try, especially if you like to stroll down memory lane.  You might find some interesting facts about your finds.

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Get the latest news about CacheStats, plus general-interest geocaching articles by the author of CacheStats.

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