Who: Retired teacher Bruce Clark, 64, of Waterville. He and wife Cathy own and operate the Blue Rooster artisan bakery.
What: Hunting for geocaches — hidden “treasure boxes” — using high-end GPS and gut instinct. It’s the hobby of a baby boomer (he’s on the leading edge of boomer demographics) who 20 years ago learned to write computer code, mostly Java script and HTML, for customized programs. Now he designs graphics and posters, writes accounting programs and has experimented with movie-making and 3D modeling.
How: For geocaching, he has a Garmin Nuvi GPS system installed on the dashboard of his truck. It gives voice directions to specific map coordinates and is advanced enough to show cache locations. Unclip it from the dash, and you can follow its directions straight to a hiding place. For other computer work, he and his wife each have their own desktops hooked up to Douglas County’s lightning-fast fiber system. “For a nerd like me, that’s heaven.” And Bruce has a Nook, an e-reader that he’s modified — or “rooted,” in hacker terms — to perform as a regular tablet.
Why: He bought his first computer in 1993 because he was looking for a replacement typewriter that didn’t require White-Out liquid paper. He got his first taste of geocaching when his sister left a little box of treasures hidden behind concrete steps on a back street in Cozumel, Mexico. He followed her map and directions to find it and, before reaching behind a crumbling step, looked to find a hand-sized tarantula. Bad spider; good hobby.
Tech talk: “Once you get down computing and software basics — files, folders, directories, mouse use, a few keyboard shortcuts — then it’s fairly easy to pick up new know-how on new technologies. The basics translate to all kinds of devices and programs.”