Sunday, 20 October 2013

Life skills

I'm told, that I'm showing my age, and even that I have admitted defeat.

Why? Because I replaced my 7 year old, vandalized electronic weather station with something with much more 'umph' and up to date. 

I told them not to be so pompous, ageist and put something on telly. Then felt a certain smugness when they put a soap-opera on. Hah! 'nuff said.

The replacement was the same price as the original, without any of it's limitations. Effectively cost me nothing, because I have a 'two or three quid in a jar' fund for this kind of eventuality. Y'know, when household appliances need replacing. With 30 quid off at Maplins, it was a very reasonable £70.

The new beastie was supplied with software, but it was limited, so I dug around the net and noted that many weather enthusiasts used a donate ware program written by someone in the Orkney Isles called Cumulus.

I'll not bore you with the small details. However, the weather station is on a high pole in the back garden. 

This transmits lots of data via wireless to a small touchscreen panel in the house. The touch screen stores the info, and then that's connected to my computer via USB. Cumulus then displays that data on my computer, and much, much more.

Some of the data can be tweeted. More can be sent to popular British and American weather organisations and their web sites i.e. the Met. Office, to display and help with local and regional forecasts.

The bit I'm enjoying is that Cumulus provides some adaptable web text and graphic gauge web page templates.

I've been given a great opportunity to update and polish my web page building skills, which will serve me well. So I found some free web space, adapted one of the many free templates that are on the internet, and launched a web page for my little station.

Very much a work in progress.

So it's not just about the weather. I'm increasing my skill set, getting up to date with new webpage and internet techniques, resurrecting old skills, learning new ones, refining my data analysis techniques, and giving myself a challenge. 

Life, without purpose, whatever your age, is no life at all.

Monday, 7 October 2013

I want to break free?

I've just been treated to the odd sight of Jasmine the kitty dragging one of my slippers down the hallway and out of the front door. The slipper must be as long as Jasmine. The last I saw of her she was up the path, over the front gate and heading down the road.

I refuse to post a photo of her doing it, though I have one. Naturally. I refuse to allow her the notoriety she feels she deserves to join her brethren who seem intent on taking over the internet.

So if you are in the vicinity of little Wheelie Manor, and you see a rather disgruntled bloke with a white beard wearing one slipper disconcertingly waving a walking stick at a disappearing kitten, say hello.

Bought a new weather station. My original little station cost me £70 seven years ago, and was/is  a very simple affair, and has a very simple wireless link to a little clock weather display. Rainfall, outside temp, inside temp, rainfall, barometric pressure and variations and a bit more. But that was it.

However, twice in the last month, after all these years, it was vandalized. Deity only knows why. It was bolted to a fence, knocked off in the middle of a rainstorm at 3 am and scattered over the garden, which ruined the transmitter. I was able to make a partial repair, but it happened again two weeks later in calm weather.

It works, but only partially?

I'd saved enough to treat myself to a new one. Same price, six years later. Oh boy, is it comprehensive. The new one has many more functions, including passing on the data to various weather organisations, including the met office via the t'internet.

I can even set up my own weather web page. I'm so out of practice with that. Wish me luck. Let you know how I get on.(It's possible to do it for free)

Meanwhile, my beloved and I mounted the new one on the hut. Only for her to put the ladder back to front and fall off onto her bum from the bottom step. So we've mounted it on a pole on a  fence.

I'm really tired, so this post will be edited later.