Monday, May 31, 2010

Get control over the Message Box position

Alot of the Weather Message programs display message boxes to tell the user that they entered something wrong or to ask a Yes or No question.  The built-in message box appears centered in the screen.  You cannot center it over the calling form without a bunch of win32 calls.

I took several hours this morning to write a new message box class.  This message box works like the old one and has two new features.  It can be centered over the calling form and it now has the ability to automatically close after a programmed number of seconds.

I will be working to change the existing message box calls to this new class.  Users will not have to chase after the message box when this change is completed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

EMWIN Software Demodulator

Several users have reported problems with installing the NWS EMWIN Software Demodulator on Windows 7 computers.  Those problems are related with User Account Control (UAC).  In most cases turning off UAC allowed the software to install properly. 

I had a user attempt to install the EMWIN Software Demodulator on a Windows 7 64 bit system.  The NWS installer kept reporting that Data1.cab was corrupted.  Right now I don't know why it reported that file as corrupted.

In order to get around this problem, I created a new installer for the EMWIN Software Demodulator.  The new installer corrects a number of problems associated with Windows 7 (and I suspect Vista).  The new installer does not require the user to unzip the installer to a directory, then run setup.exe.  It also defaults the demodulator to the EMWIN-N signal (19200 speed).

For Windows 7 users, with UAC enabled, the EMWIN Control panel would not start or stop the Data Source or Demodulator services.  This happend because the control panel applet was not running with elevated privileges.  The new installer creates the menu option with the options necessary to launch the control panel with elevated privileges.  (WxEmwin should start it properly.)

I went ahead and included the Weather Message Software Demodulator extentions.  These extensions allow the EMWIN Software Demodulator to send status message to WxEmwin so that it can display operational information about the EMWIN Software Demodulator.

The NWS EMWIN Software Demodulator is provided free by the National Weather Service.  The repackaged installer is available on the Weather Message website.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Weather Message 3.6 Released

Weather Message V3.6 has been released. You can download the update at http://www.wxmesg.com/downloadsnet.htm. For information on what has changed in this release, please read the release notes.

There are over 80 changes in this release. Here are some highlights.
  • Email subsystem now supports secure connections.
  • VTEC settings will now automatically populate based on the alarmed product.
  • The Message and Map clients can now automatically locate Weather Message Server on the network.
  • Support for posting to Twitter and Facebook.
  • Cell phone product email address lookup.
  • See the release notes for a complete list of changes.
Thanks for all of your suggestions, bug reports and assistance with the software. Work will begin on version 3.7 right away.  Watch the beta page for updates.

Suggestions for 3.7

  • Release Weather Message Web Based User Manager
  • Add support for scrolling LED signs.
WxDataSave, WxLocal and the Retransmission applications have been respectively released along with Weather Message 3.6. If you are using any of these applications, they must be upgraded at the same time you upgrade Weather Message.

Note: I have a number of pending requests. I will begin to address these over the coming months.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

GOES 12 - drifting to 60 degrees - now transmitting

The GOES 12 satellite is now drifting to 60 degrees. The drift is about .5 degrees per day. As of yesterday, the satellite is back transmitting 9600 baud EMWIN data.

For those of you that do not have a 19,200 receive system and cannot see the west coast satellite, you should be able to reposition to receive the GOES 12 data stream. The satellite will continue drifting until it arrives at 60 degrees around May 21.

I have not tried to receive the signal yet, but will over the weekend. My dish, due to mounting location, cannot be positioned to the west coast satellite.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

New Feature ??? Scrolling LED Signs

One of my customers has a scrolling LED sign.  While talking to the customer, I mentioned that I was interested in seeing Weather Message control an LED sign.  One thing led to another and I ordered me one today for testing.

This is a picture of the Pro-Lite PL-M2014RV6.

This may be a good job for WxLoader.  I will know more when my unit arrives from California sometime next week.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Microsoft Releases the .Net Framework Version 4

Microsoft has released the .Net Framework Version 4.  The framework was released with the Visual Studio 2010 development environment.  I will be upgrading my development environment at some point in the very new future. 

I recommend that users go ahead and download the new framework at their convenience.  This will save you time when I release a software version that requires the version 4 framework.  You may also get some enhancements from the new framework.  You can download the latest version from this link Framework 4.