Monday, November 30, 2009

Weather Message posting to Twitter

Several users have asked about using Weather Message to post to Twitter. The HTTP Post method in Weather Message Paging should work. I tested this today and discovered that the service provider setup window would not allow me to enter a user name on the screen. (Apparently no one has used this capability.)

I corrected the problem in the setup program. I also made additional changes in WxPost.dll so that it would send the user name and password using basic authentication.

I ran some tests this evening and was able to post several short message to my twitter account. I will be releasing this in the first 3.6 beta. I will try to add the setup in the documentation. The service provider screen has to be setup properly for it to work.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Weather Message 3.5 Released

Weather Message 3.5 was released on November 26, 2009. There are a number of changes and enhancements. See the release notes for all of the details.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Installer File Versions

I did not realize that the Weather Message installers did not contain any version information. While researching code signing, I discovered that right clicking on the installer did not show the version tab.

Starting with version 3.5, right clicking on the installer will display the version number and other helpful information. Notice that the Digital Signatures tab now appears. This indicates that it has been digitally signed.

Security Warning - The publisher could not be verified.

As you may know, installing any of the Weather Message products from the Internet results in the following message:

This message appears because the Weather Message installers are not digitally signed. Microsoft calls this technology Authenticode or code signing. Until recently the cost to get a digital certificate was really expensive. In some cases it could cost $499 per year. That is way too expensive for a digital signature.

I discovered a new company that is trying to lower the cost of digital certificates. StartCom/StartSSL began offering free certificates several years ago. They however were not recognized by Microsoft and therefore their root certificates were not installed in Internet Explorer.

Starting with Windows 7, StartCom/StartSSL is now a recognized certificate authority. Their root certificates are now installed by default in Windows 7. They are also available for other operating systems by getting a root certificate update from Microsoft. (These are generally available through windows update.)

You can still get free digital certificates from them, but the ones needed to sign code cost $40.00 for two years. That is a bargin! Because of the price change, I have obtained certificates from http://www.startssl.com/.

Beginning with version 3.5, all of my installers will be properly signed. You will see the following message when running the installer:

It does show my name as the publisher, instead of Weather Message Software. I would have preferred Weather Message Software, however, for $40.00 that is fine.

This should make Windows Vista, Window 7 and Windows 2008 alot happier about installing my software.

I will note that StartCom offers free certificates for S/MIME (email) applications. You can also get free secure certificates for websites. I have not tried one on my webserver, but I will be doing that soon just to see how it works.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

emPager Pro Client

Here is a picture of the emPager Pro Client screen. This application can be run on multiple computers for quick paging.

This application is now being used by the Tallapoosa County, Alabama, 911 dispatch centers.