Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weather Message 3.3 Beta 2 Released

I just posted Weather Message 3.3 Beta 2 on the web. The two big changes are the way that passwords are handled and the addition of multiple state selection. If you run into any issues, please let me know.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Weather Message Beta 3.3 beta 2

I will be releasing Weather Message 3.3 Beta 2 over the weekend. Here are some of the changes.

1) WxLoader has several new options that effect the short message format. This closes a number of user requests.

2) Weather Message Setup will now allow users to select multiple states for one alarm. This request has been outstanding for some time.

These changes were quite involved and took alot of time.

.Net Framework 3.5 - No support for Windows 2000

The Microsoft .Net Framework version 3.5 does not contain support for Windows 2000. It appears that Microsoft is dropping support for that operating system as they release their new technologies. I already knew that version 3.0 did not include Windows 2000. I had hoped it would be included in 3.5. They are supporting XP, Vista, and Windows 2003.

This makes it difficult on the developers that want to take advantage of the features. The Microsoft developers have given me the ability to support the 2.0 framework using their new development environment. That is a big plus. This allows me to take advantage of the new productivity features.

This however does mean that support for Windows 2000 will end in the near future. It looks like Microsoft's decision is to get developers to encourage their users to purchase their newer operating systems.

I have a windows 2000 laptop that works great. I hate to discard it, but as some one famous said "time waits for no man". I guess I will have to get something newer also.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Visual Studio 2008 - Framework 3.5

On Monday, Microsoft announced the release of Visual Studio 2008 along with the Microsoft .Net framework version 3.5. I currently use Visual Studio 2005 as my development environment.

Microsoft says that the move to 2008 should be relatively simple from a developers perspective. The original move from Visual Studio 6 was a year long project. I have read that I should not have to make any changes in the software to take advantage of the new developement environment.

I am looking for the DVD to arrive soon. When it arrives I will be testing this new environment and framework for Weather Message. If everything looks good, I will release the next version using the new environment. This will require users to download and install the 3.5 framework. It should be available from windows update soon --- if you want to get a head start.


I have had a number of discussions with users about password security. The next Weather Message beta will contain changes that address these concerns. The passwords that are stored in the setup files and registry will now be obfuscated. Obfuscated basically means that they are not stored in clear text and cannot be read.

I tried to change all of the screens that show passwords so that they will mask the password. If I missed any, please let me know.

The ftp debug file will no longer show a clear text password. If you see any in other debug files, please let me know.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Files now stored with UTC time suffix

Starting with version 3.3, Weather Message will be storing files in the WxText and WxGraph directories with the UTC time instead of local time. This change will prevent problems when the time changes between standard and daylight savings.

I am still testing these changes. Several programs had to be changed to know that the time is stored as UTC.

TCV Product Change from C coding to Z coding

The Tropical Cyclone Watch/Warning (TCV) product is now being issued using zone (Z) encoding. Weather Message version 2.10, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.2 lists this product as FIPS or county (C) coded.

In order to properly alarm this product, the Weather Message versions listed above need to be reconfigured. To manually reconfigure Weather Message, edit the "WxCtype.dat" file in the c:\program files\WxMesg or c:\program files\WxMesgNet directory. Remove the line that contains TCV.

You can optionally download an updated WxCtype.dat file from the Weather Message additional downloads page at http://www.wxmesg.com/misdownloads.htm. Scroll down to Updated FIPS product file. If you have alarms setup for TCV, you will need to double check them. After this change you will need to reselect "All Counties" or the individual counties based on your requirements.

Apparently when the product moved from experimental to operational, the NWS decided to change the UGC coding.