Geocaching.com to Flickr greasemonkey script updated.

I updated my Geocaching.com greasemonkey script to work with the new cache names. This script automatically links to the flickr photos tagged with the geocache name ie GC1NMKA
When I first wrote the script back in 2005 I knew very little about greasemonkey scripts and unfortunately not a lot has changed. However I realized that the script broke as it was looking for the characters GC followed by 4 uppercase alphanumeric characters. New caches now have 5 characters so I needed to fix this.

A quick change to the script now looks for GC followed by any number of uppercase alphanumeric characters and can be found by going to geocache2flickr with a greasemonkey enabled browser and installing the script. This will be the official location but will also be available on the userscripts.org website.
Screenshot of geocaching.com website showing link to flickr page

Balloons Off Broadway

I had a really good time yesterday at Grove City when Jonathan and I went to see Balloons Off Broadway. This is an annual event where hot air balloons are launched, tethered “rides” in a balloon are available, a band plays and then a night glow is performed. 

After a couple of quick geocaches, we settled in to watch the balloons being prepared. Eventually we decided to just start taking photos instead of just waiting from our spot so we had a good 30-40 minutes taking photos as the balloons were prepared and launched. After that we jumped in the car and caught up with the balloon chase vehicles and hoped to get some pictures of the balloons landing. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get close enough but it was great fun joining in the convoy of people following the balloons and getting some photos on the way. Fortunately I had got my 2 way radio with me so we set it to scan and listened to the conversations between the balloonists and the trucks which was very funny. It was a bit disconcerting when one of them said the battery on his radio was about out and he would have to resort to hand signals – I would have been a bit concerned if I was a guest in the balloon and heard the operator say that!  There were also some pretty funny comments about the landing sites chosen and apparently someone’s basement was really awesome.

We then headed back to the launch location for the glow – it wasn’t as spectacular as I hoped but still fun to watch. I managed to get a couple of fairly decent photos – it was the first time I’d even done night shots like this so there was a lot of experimenting. In the meantime, the band The British Invasion were playing and they were pretty good. They play covers of various British bands such as the Beatles and play all over Ohio – well worth seeing them if they play near you.

Pictures of the event are at my Balloons Off Broadway gallery and a few highlights at my Flickr gallery. Finally a video of a balloon being inflated (along with the hissing of the air) and a backing track of “I get by with a little help from my friends” which I thought was quite appropriate uploaded to YouTube (below)

geocache day

Kristen woke me up yesterday morning with the phrase “Its a nlce day today, you should go geocaching”.Needless to say I didn’t need asking twice. I had a good 5 hours caching and managed to do 7 caches, 2 of which I had tried to do before and had failed and 1 other cache that I couldn’t find but was probably already missing. Whilst out doing one of the caches I saw about 6 or 7 deer which were pretty curious about what I was doing in their woods. I had a great time, got loads of exercise with all the walking and saw some nice animals, now that is what it is all about.
Update I’ve corrected the flickr links so that you will be able to access the photos now. Thanks Kristen!

Waymarking

Waymarking is a spinoff from geocaching where rather than hiding cache containers in places, you now go to a certain place (or can obtain the location of certain places). An example are Trigpoints, libraries etc. As the domain has just been launched today there is not much information in there but later it will be populated with all the locationless, virtual and webcam caches.
I’ve already added a wifi point, my blog location and the Dublin Library.

Synctoy impressions.

Mike linked to Synctoy’s release and I downloaded it yesterday and started playing.
I did have one peculiarity in that the second time I did a sync after removing the usb disk and plugging it in again it decided to sync some files again (even though nothing would have changed). This has, so far, been the only time it happened but I’m very impressed with the developers as they saw my comment on Mikes blog about this and then emailed me to ask for more information on the problem. Totally unexpected as this is a powertoy, not supported by Microsoft AND my comments are not visible on Mikes homepage.

I really like the product and at the moment have 4 syncs set up.
2 synchronise the download locations of firefox and thunderbird to my usb disk. Therefore when a new extension is available, I download it to one place, normally on the main computer but it could be on a laptop or remote computer if an extension is released whilst i’m using a different pc) and then when I synchronise the usb disk back home, the latest extension is updated back to the home pc. Now I don’t have to worry that I have all the files needed to install firefox (or thunderbird) at a friendsfree client’s house.
The 3rd synchronisation contains all the gpx’s I download for geocaching. These files are retrieved via email within gsak and I can sync these to the usb drive for use on another pc automatically using “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\SyncToy\synctoy.exe -R” after the download withing gsak.
The 4th synchronisation is an entire copy of the usb drive onto disk. This way I have a backup copy in case I loose the disk or it gets corrupted.
I will be adding some more functionality to synchronise the gpx files onto the SD card used in my pocketpc for caching out in the wild and possibly to synchronise mp3 files from my pc to the creative zen (if thats possible – not had chance to try that just yet.)

My first greasemonkey script

I created my first greasemonkey script that will add a link to flickr in a geocaching web page for pictures tagged with the geocache name. For example GCMAG6. The experience of coding was a bit of a headache as I didn’t know what greasemonkey was expecting and I don’t know much about javascript (it’s VERY case sensitive!). The tutorial/book at Dive Into Greasemonkey was very helpful for the former problem and using the javascript console solved the latter problem.