Category Archives: Weather Station

Notes on the weather stations and weather websites that I run


Sandaysoft SteelSeries Gauges added to

Sandaysoft SteelSeries GaugesAs part of routine maintenance of my website, I found reference to Mark Crossley’s Sandaysoft SteelSeries Gauges.  Mark runs the website dedicated to the support of the Cumulus Weather Station Software.

He’s developed a fantastic set of scripts that display, in realtime, data from your website in graphical gauge-style form.  While originally developed for Cumulus Weather Station Software customers, it has been very nice extended to Virtual Weather Station and Weather Display station software users as well.

I am a user of the Saratoga Weather Scripts, supported by Ken True.  Within the last couple of weeks, Ken issued an update to his scripts to make it really easy to add Sandaysoft SteelSeries Gauges to my web site.

Thanks for the contributions!!

Saratoga Weather Scripts Updated on

Saratoga Weather scripts built the above webpage for my personal weather station.

Since Feb of 2012, I have been running a version of my weather web site, using Saratoga Weather Scripts from Ken True’s  website.  Ken supplies many of us home weather station enthusiasts with the php-scripts to make our local station data easy to read. We thank Ken for his work.

Since my original setup, many updates, tweaks and fixes to the Saratoga Weather Scripts have been released through Ken’s site, and recent I just applied updates to over 56 files; mostly php scripts and weather image files.  The update went smoothly and I wanted to use this blog entry to capture the work.

Check for Updates to the Saratoga Weather Scripts

I started at the Check for Updates page:

Check For Updates

From this dialog box I downloaded a 340K zip file with 56 files.  I unzipped the files.  I printed out the two README files, and then using them as a check list, one file at a time I copied them into my production website.

Copy New File Over Old Version

For each file, the README recommended what to do.  For example,

For quake-json.js, this was a new file for me, and I just copied to the root folder of my website.

For wu-radar-inc-php, I already had this file in place and I did a diff between the existing file and the updated file and confirmed that any customizations I may had done got carried forward.

After each file I copied onto my live site, I verified that nothing broke.

I run several linux machines.  The website runs on a virtual machine running Fedora 16 on the RackSpace Cloud.  The linux upgrade process is pretty automated, running scripts like  rpm, yum, or apt-get.  For the Saratoga Weather Scripts, you need to step through the updates one file at a time.  That’s ok. For 50 some files, it took awhile, and maybe next time I won’t wait a year to apply updates.


It was nice to have my system brought up to date, and new for me is a really nice National Weather Service Alerts web page.  It’s an alternative to the previous web page that followed the NWS’s atom feed.  Thanks to Curly at

A version controlled image of my website is store at the github repository jkozik/saratoga – this can give you a peak at how I store the files and format my contents.

Racespace Cloud Instance Stuck, Tips for rebooting using console

My self hosted website, running in a Rackspace Cloud instance, got stuck and I figured out how to unstuck it.

My weather website,, is hosted on Rackspace Cloud.  Last night it went down.  I couldn’t ping, ssh, or retrieve the website.  I really had no idea what was going on, so I did what I would have done if the server was in my basement, I rebooted.

Rackspace Cloud Instance — console.

The Rackspace Cloud portal has a reboot button.  I tried first the soft reboot (that didn’t work), then I did a hard reboot.  It still didn’t work.  So I went to the Rackspace chat line.  A couple of nice people told me about the console.   Since I hadn’t ever had a problem before, I didn’t know about it.

Rackspace Console

The console told me that my instance was stuck in single user mode because of file system check errors.  I called up a couple of my friends and they recommended I exit and let the reboot continue. The most likely source of fsck errors were from me doing a hard reboot.  /tmp and /var/log might have been hosed up.

That I did and now everything is ok.  But, I had trouble figuring this out because I was running the portal from my work.  The console works through VNC and apparently uses ports that are blocked by my company firewall.  I had to go home and access the console from my VNC friendly NAT / Router .  At work, the console was just a blank screen.