Trixology

WeatherCat => WeatherCat General Discussion => Topic started by: elagache on January 09, 2018, 12:20:10 AM

Title: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: elagache on January 09, 2018, 12:20:10 AM
Dear WeatherCat data submission junkies,

I'm sure many of you have noticed that Weather Underground is not very reliable at the moment.  You might simply turn the service off for a while.  When they get their servers working once more, you should be able to upload the missing data as a historical upload.

Alas, my "WC Status Growler" AppleScript dutifully reports all of the error codes that Stu exposed to AppleScript.  One of them is disabling uploads to Weather Underground.  So if I disable it, I still a flurry of Growl notifications.  So I've opted for a Plan-B.  I've disabled webcam uploads and turned off Weather Underground rapid-fire.  I now upload infrequently - once every 10 minutes.  At least that way, I don't blast my computer screen with Growl notifications.

Until Weather Underground gets back to its former stability, we'll simply have to cope as we can!

Oh well, . . . . . Edouard
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Blicj11 on January 09, 2018, 07:32:07 AM
I have been getting FTP, password, connection, and missing webcam errors since the day they announced they were not going to cancel webcam uploads after all. I don't get them all at once. They are dispersed randomly throughout the day. WU has never been this bad since the very early days. and then they had a good excuse. Then nobody knew what they were doing and it didn't matter. Now nobody there knows what they are doing and it impacts a whole lot more people. Now that they have made redundant everyone who knew what they were doing they are left with only the overwhelmed. What an inspiring way to run a company,
Title: Disabled it for now. (Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on January 10, 2018, 12:26:52 AM
Dear Blick and WeatherCat faithful,

I have been getting FTP, password, connection, and missing webcam errors since the day they announced they were not going to cancel webcam uploads after all. I don't get them all at once. They are dispersed randomly throughout the day.

No matter what I tried, I couldn't get better than around 47% of the packets to be received by Weather Underground.  The situation was generating a zillion warnings from my WC Status Growler AppleScript.  This afternoon I finally got fed up with the whole thing, so I modified WC Status Growler to no longer consider disabling Weather Underground to be an error.  I'm much happier not sending anything that fighting their servers all the way.

WU has never been this bad since the very early days. and then they had a good excuse. Then nobody knew what they were doing and it didn't matter. Now nobody there knows what they are doing and it impacts a whole lot more people. Now that they have made redundant everyone who knew what they were doing they are left with only the overwhelmed. What an inspiring way to run a company,

It doesn't help, but I don't think we can blame Jeff Masters and the original founders of Weather Underground for this.  Weather Underground took a risk and allowed itself to become part of the Weather Channel.  Once they lost their independence, they were at the mercy of their owners.  IBM is, after all, one of the original "suits" culture and couldn't even take advantage of the PC revolution that they started with that iconic IBM PC.  I'm sure Jeff and the original Weather Underground team would dearly like to be spun off from IBM at this point.  I don't know if IBM would be kind enough to consider it or if Weather Underground could survive as an independent company once more.

Alas, this is definitely another case of . . . . . . . . . .

Such are da' conditions that prevail . . . . .

Oh well,  Edouard
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Weatheraardvark on January 10, 2018, 04:13:57 AM
I contacted Davis Instruments and received this today:

Thanks you for your email to Support. Customers with accounts who send data to Weather Underground Personal Weather Station (PWS) from your weatherlink.com account may notice data is missing or not being sent to Weather Underground in a timely fashion. WeatherLink Software users who have installed Weather Underground’s plugin are also affected. We’ve been in contact with technical staff at The Weather Channel, who operates Weather Underground, and they’ve informed us their RapidFire servers are experiencing a temporary performance problem that should be resolved in the next couple days. When services are available again, we’ll make an attempt to back-fill missing data, but some data points may be lost. Operations staff at Davis Instruments are doing everything possible to make sure the most complete set of data is sent to Weather Underground as soon as possible.
 
We’ve made available a status page operated by Pingdom, a third party external monitoring service, that measures availability for Weather Underground’s RapidFire service.
 
http://stats.pingdom.com/zw9vxjhrr9ze/1850219 (http://stats.pingdom.com/zw9vxjhrr9ze/1850219)
 
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Blicj11 on January 10, 2018, 09:17:00 AM
Very helpful information and link. Thanks for posting it here.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Felix on January 10, 2018, 10:43:55 AM
I wonder if turning off RapidFire for the present time would make any difference for those having upload problems to the WU servers?


Quite frankly, I've stopped paying much attention to WU with all their issues so I haven't really been affected.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: xairbusdriver on January 10, 2018, 04:11:04 PM
Quote
I wonder if turning off RapidFire for the present time would make any difference
I think if 90% of us just stopped uploading to WU, their servers could probably handle things. I may have under estimated that percentage, of course... [rolleyes2] [lol] Maybe things will improve when Spring arrives and the interweb pipes thaw? [banghead] It's nice that Davis seems to get some direct responses from WU. Apparently, there are still some at WU who answer inquiries. I'm fairly sure the folks at WU know they are reaching the point of losing the volunteer uploading group. The question is, do they have restoration of that service as any kind of priority? I suspect that they are breaking down/fine tuning their 'eyeball' counting algorithm and don't see us as worth the effort to increase profits. I think many companies are finding it difficult to make money via "web services" not directly involving retail sales.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Weatheraardvark on January 10, 2018, 08:47:03 PM
Quote
I wonder if turning off RapidFire for the present time would make any difference
I think if 90% of us just stopped uploading to WU, their servers could probably handle things. I may have under estimated that percentage, of course... [rolleyes2] [lol] Maybe things will improve when Spring arrives and the interweb pipes thaw? [banghead] It's nice that Davis seems to get some direct responses from WU. Apparently, there are still some at WU who answer inquiries. I'm fairly sure the folks at WU know they are reaching the point of losing the volunteer uploading group. The question is, do they have restoration of that service as any kind of priority? I suspect that they are breaking down/fine tuning their 'eyeball' counting algorithm and don't see us as worth the effort to increase profits. I think many companies are finding it difficult to make money via "web services" not directly involving retail sales.

I wrote about this over on Wxforum, you get the short version.
I am guessing that WU is moving to a cheaper costing server.  Probably Amazon or something like that.   in the process they screwed up the incoming feed.  Have you ever moved to a new server,  the school district I taught would do this, not during summer break, but right in the middle of the year, around grade time.

Bloomsky last fall decided to move everything over to the Amazon Cloud.  things were screwed up and a lot of folks were pissed for lack of a kinder word.  Bloomsky units are internet based, no way to look at a console directly,   their wireless information goes either through a dongle or wirelessly to their server, then it is sent back either to their online map or to an app.  If the server craps out, everyone is off line. Not a good system.

those of us who have good stations do not worry about this stuff because we can look at the console or software and be happy.   

If you want to tell WU that you no longer are going to send them data, and cost them big buck loss and loss of readership etc,   they will wish you well on your new pathway. 

I am going to be light the flasher.  You know the story about the flasher, he was tired of flashing people. He was tired of wearing that trench coat in hot weather and sweating, and in winter freezing .   After some thought he decided to stick it out a bit longer.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: xairbusdriver on January 10, 2018, 10:52:54 PM
I don't see how WU would lose any money, much less "big buck(s)" by us ceasing to upload our data. OTOH, a large percentage of frustrations and thread posts here could be eliminated by such actions. We now have a nice link that is easy to use and check on the status of the WU servers. By judicious use of that site, those complaining/blaming their Systems/WC could end. Frankly, I doubt more than a one hand full of (real) people ever look at my data on WU. The web cam image is near worthless, in my humble opinion when I can get a nice time-lapse, with data from each frame. ThU5:-) [cheer]

My comment about 90% of us stopping uploads was a lame attempt at satire, not a recommendation. "Don't take anything I say as important or even factual, unless it includes the word FIRE in it."
Title: Thanks^2! (Re: Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on January 10, 2018, 11:43:43 PM
Dear Weatheraardvark, Blick, Felix, X-Air, and WeatherCat faithful,

We’ve made available a status page operated by Pingdom, a third party external monitoring service, that measures availability for Weather Underground’s RapidFire service.
 
http://stats.pingdom.com/zw9vxjhrr9ze/1850219 (http://stats.pingdom.com/zw9vxjhrr9ze/1850219)

As Blick has said (and I said on another thread) Thank you!  [tup]

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Felix on January 11, 2018, 10:42:06 AM
This thread prompted me to go look at my WU feed only to find a webcam pic which was over 12 hours old.


A peek at the FTP log showed the following which is just another reason why I rarely click on WU anymore. I should just stop uploading to WU and be done with the site.


 Connecting to webcam.wunderground.com:21
Opening FTP session
> 421 50 users (the maximum) are already logged in, sorry
< QUIT
Closing FTP session
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Blicj11 on January 11, 2018, 05:11:26 PM
I had received that webcam message off and now for a week now. However, WU servers have been up and running solid for 24 hours now, so perhaps they have tipped the scales in favor of emerging from this nightmare server transition.
Title: Giving da' patient "small doses." (Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on January 12, 2018, 12:00:52 AM
Dear Felix, Blick, and WeatherCat longtime users of Weather Underground,

I had received that webcam message off and now for a week now. However, WU servers have been up and running solid for 24 hours now, so perhaps they have tipped the scales in favor of emerging from this nightmare server transition.

According to pingdom testing, there are still some outages going on, but it is much more stable than it was 24 hours ago.  I decided to compromise and upload data just once a minute and no webcam.  At first I wasn't getting anything, but now WeatherCat is successfully uploading historical uploads.  It doesn't seem that Weather Underground is back to normal but indeed perhaps we are heading out of the nightmare at last.

Cheers, Edouard
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: xairbusdriver on January 12, 2018, 10:11:44 PM
Re: Weather Underground Online settings , post #13 (http://athena.trixology.com/index.php?topic=2674.msg25852#msg25852)
Title: PingDom gives da' "all clear."(Re: Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on January 12, 2018, 11:45:35 PM
Dear X-Air and WeatherCat data submission junkies,

According to the PingDom webpage, Weather Underground data submissions are indeed operating reliably once more.  I just turned Rapid Fire back on and started uploading my webcam image once more.  Perhaps we are finally "back to normal!" - I hope!! (http://www.canebas.org/WeatherCat/Forum_support_documents/Custom_emoticons/pray.gif)

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: xairbusdriver on January 13, 2018, 03:45:05 AM
I used to like what we called "normal"... not so sure, anymore.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: wurzelmac on January 13, 2018, 08:25:53 AM
I received an eMail today from WU. Maybe they sorted their troubles.

Cheers,
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Blicj11 on January 13, 2018, 05:20:48 PM
They were still rejecting some of my webcam uploads yesterday, but most of them went through successfully. They are definitely making progress.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: wurzelmac on January 13, 2018, 06:33:26 PM
Quote
They are definitely making progress.

Yes, that it what I think, too.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Bull Winkus on January 16, 2018, 05:32:52 PM
Thanks to Weatheraardvark (http://athena.trixology.com/index.php?action=profile;u=3519) for the link and the flasher joke. Lol … And thanks to everyone for their kind and considerate contributions. Hopefully WU has it all sorted and we can get back to our beloved humdrum routines.

Question: When did they add a discussion thread at the bottom of the personal WS page? I just noticed it today. Nice! No one has used it on my PWS yet. Well, except me, about 5 minutes ago. Has anyone else seen any activity from J.Q. Public, yet?
Title: Welcome back Herb! (Re: Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on January 16, 2018, 11:33:56 PM
Dear Herb and WeatherCat faithful,

Hey, nice to have you posting once more!  :)  I hadn't seen your signature in a while and was wondering what you were up to!

Question: When did they add a discussion thread at the bottom of the personal WS page? I just noticed it today. Nice! No one has used it on my PWS yet. Well, except me, about 5 minutes ago. Has anyone else seen any activity from J.Q. Public, yet?

Well, I hadn't noticed it either.  However there is a very tiny name at the bottom right of your page: Disqus

https://disqus.com/ (https://disqus.com/)

These are folks supplying the software that implements the discussion feature of Weather Underground.  I'm having a hard time imagining how conversations like this would work.  Unless a particular weather station generated some sort of communal interest, it seems more reasonable to have a discussion about the weather in a particular location and include all the nearby weather stations in one common thread.

Does anybody see some discussion activity on their particular WU station page?

Another curious mind would like to know! (http://www.canebas.org/WeatherCat/Forum_support_documents/Custom_emoticons/thinking.gif)

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Blicj11 on January 19, 2018, 04:45:59 PM
Nice to see you back on the forum Herb!

0 comments on my page. Can't imagine why anyone would comment and agree with Edouard on this new feature.
Title: Another episode last night. (Re: Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on June 09, 2018, 10:52:07 PM
Dear WeatherCat data submission junkies,

I might be the only one, but Weather Underground started generating errors about 9 pm PDT.  Since my AppleScripts report these errors every minute, my display was getting "da' Growl measles."   Turning off rapid fire submissions got rid of the problem for me.  This morning, I turned it back on without any problems.

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1]
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: jennajon on June 10, 2018, 11:32:26 AM
Elagache and all WCatters:
According to http://stats.pingdom.com/zw9vxjhrr9ze/1850219, rapid fire is once again down.
i started receiving hang notices and since i have disabled Rapid Fire, those have ceased.

As for the ongoing issues? i still think WU *as WeatherBug did* finds PWS reporting a "necessary evil"
they seem to do as little as possible to support it, do not respond when participants report issues and make
less-than-smart decisions which they "reconsider" when those who use the service start complaining. i call
that management-by-mistake.

So, with that said-for the time being i will continue to upload data since i killed off my webpage. BUT.....if they show with continuing
lack of interest and response that my data means less than zero to them? i kill off the WU account after 14 years in 3 different locations
and go to a personal webpage.

*rant off and steps off soapbox*

Jenna [tup]
Title: Don't tell my WeatherCat! (Re: Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on June 10, 2018, 11:15:14 PM
Dear Jenna and WeatherCat data submission junkies,

Elagache and all WCatters:
According to http://stats.pingdom.com/zw9vxjhrr9ze/1850219, rapid fire is once again down.
i started receiving hang notices and since i have disabled Rapid Fire, those have ceased.
. . . .

Hmm, don't know what to say, but I turned rapid fire back on yesterday and it is working fine for me.  The data looks fine on Weather Underground as well.

My sympathies on your rants, but alas, if the only problems we had in the world was Weather Underground - we wouldn't be bad off. . . . (http://www.canebas.org/WeatherCat/Forum_support_documents/Custom_emoticons/D'oh.gif)

Oh well,
. . . . Edouard
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: Blicj11 on June 11, 2018, 03:42:44 PM
My rapid fire updates have never missed a beat for quite a while. But I agree with what you said jennajon. Eventually, WU will deteriorate into nothing useful. Which is a shame as they have the largest network of backyard weather stations. They have recently replaced the old WU Storm app with Storm Radar and while it is more beautiful than the old app by 100% it is also now less helpful and detailed by the same percentage.
Title: Re: Coping with Weather Underground "issuez"
Post by: jennajon on June 13, 2018, 01:52:14 PM
Blicj11:

Totally agree. The new app simply does not offer as much information as the old, and therefore is worthless to me personally.

However, the link I posted (http://stats.pingdom.com/zw9vxjhrr9ze/1850219) may not be reliable information since it still shows
the Rapid Fire network to be completely offline. I am uploading information once again using the Rapid Fire option with no issues whatsoever.

I am seriously considering cutting all ties with WU and going to personal website only...and so it goes.

jenna
Title: Consider adding instead of replacing (Re: Weather Underground "issuez")
Post by: elagache on June 13, 2018, 11:08:11 PM
Dear Jenna and WeatherCat frustrated sys-admins,

I am seriously considering cutting all ties with WU and going to personal website only...and so it goes.

I certainly won't disagree with your frustrations, but if you are considering creating a personal website, you could simply let WU "twist in the wind" and concentrate instead on that website.  If WU is no longer your primary web access to your data, then it doesn't matter as much what happens to WU.  There are some really nice templates out there so putting up your own website isn't as much of a chore as it used to be.  These days it is always better to focus on what positive steps we can make and let what is wrong wallow in it own futility.  Life is too short to let failings of services like WU get you down.

Cheers, Edouard