Sunday, February 25, 2007

Version 3.0 Beta J

A group of issues were reported last week. Due to those reports, a new beta has been uploaded to the website. I hope these will be the last reports before the final release.

There is an issue with saving the map image as a TIF. I have been communicating with my map component vendor and they are working on that issue.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Final 3.0 Changes?

I am uploading an updated beta based on the feed back that I have received this week. There were a couple of things that did not work, or caused problems.

I hope this is the last upload before release.

Friday, February 16, 2007

VTEC Alarms to the Map and WxLoader

It appears that all VTEC lines are being set to WxMap and WxLoader even went you enter specific VTEC alarms. I have confirmed this issue and will get changes made for the 3.0 release.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Weather Message 3.0 Beta H Uploaded

I have uploaded Weather Message 3.0 Beta H. This should be the last beta unless a problem is reported.

I still have a good deal of work to do on the website in preparation for this update. Watch for further news later this week.

Note to Version 3.0 Test Users

If you are testing or using version 3.0 and have any pending issues, please get them to me as soon as possible. I am getting prepared to relase version 3.0.

Note to All Users: I will be releasing information on the yahoo group about version 3.0 soon.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Weather Message 3.0 Beta G Refreshed

I have refreshed Weather Message Net 3.0 Beta G with the latest tcp/ip dll's. I hope this is the final major component needed for 3.0. I will begin production testing on Wednesday and watch this for a couple of days. If all goes well, I will begin the process to release 3.0. (I was beginning to think this day would not come.)

If you are a beta tester, please give this version a try. Exercise the parts of the program that use tcp/ip; email, ftp, and client connections.

Weather Message 3.0 Update

Weather Message 3.0 should be released soon. I have been waiting on a fix for the tcp/ip control. This change arrived today. I will get the binaries updated tonight and refresh the beta on the website.

I will get this version install on my production system and allow it to run for a couple of days. If everything looks good, I will start getting everything prepared for the release.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

More Configuration Files Move to XML

Some of the Weather Message programs already use xml configuration files. Two weeks ago, WxLoader moved to xml. This weekend WxScheduler was changed to xml.

While I am waiting on some tcp/ip changes, I am trying to get as many, if not all of the configuration files in this format. Using xml allows me to easily add new features without having to worry about writing conversion programs between releases.

This however does create a problem for beta testers. They have had to reenter some of their information during the beta period. The full install will convert exising 2.x versions to the new 3.0 formats.

I can convert beta tester's files should that be needed.

Memory Upgrade

If you want to breath some new life into your computer, consider a memory upgrade. I purchased a new development computer, for Weather Message, two years ago. I ordered it with 1gb of memory. Moving from a computer with 512mb to 1gb made a big difference.

At any given time, I have a number of programs running, including Weather Message. A couple of copies of the development environment, Word, and Weather Message consume more memory than you think. I recently added an additional 1gb of memory for 2 gb total. Although the computer does not seem like it is alot faster, the hard drive activity has dropped considerably. This is a result of the operating system not having to swap programs out to the hard drive's paging file.

As you are working, bring up the task manager and click on performance. Watch the PF Usage. This shows how much of the hard drive's paging file that is being used. Hard drive paging file access is slow.

Systems that are running low on memory have a high paging file usage. This results in alot of hard drive access when programs start. If there is not enough memory, inactive programs are moved from physical ram to the paging file on the hard drive to make room for active programs.

The next time you think your system is running slow, take a look at the Task Manager and see if you need a memory upgrade.

Web Server Upgrade

The Weather Message web server has had a number of upgrades in the past six months. The first upgrade moved the computer from a 2.8 Pentium 4 to a 3.4 ghz Pentium D. This past week, the original hard drive started to fail. The ide drive was replaced with two SATA2 drives in a RAID 1 configuration.

There have been several outages as this latest upgrade was implemented. There will be a couple of outages next week when the other drives are upgraded. This web server is running Windows 2003 Server Standard and hosts the Weather Message website along with my Weather Message production software. It has a full T1 connection to the internet.

The company that I work for allows me to host the Weather Message website on this server. It services their website along with the website for my volunteer fire department. This is a great benefit from my "day job".

In addition to developing Weather Message, I have to keep up the Weather Message website in my spare time. When I started this endeavor, I never thought that there was so much work involved. Sometimes it seems like I spend more time doing administrative jobs than working on the software.