Edouard Lagache
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+3

Elagache reviewed on 14 May 2012
WeatherCat is the sports sedan of Mac weather programs. It is slick, very fast and nimble. Still, it is comfortable enough to be used in a wide range of conditions. WeatherCat is the latest creation of developer Stuart Ball who has been working on Mac weather software since 2004. It rests upon the modern Xcode development environment and doesn’t suffer from any legacy Mac code or Windows/UNIX porting inefficiencies.

It is easy to set up and run with any weather station it supports. It can import data from a number of other weather station programs if you have been using something else. At the same time, it has advanced features that you will appreciate as your interest grows. It has a robust custom alert system to keep you informed of changing weather that interests you. It has an extensive graphing system to allow you to display the changing weather conditions.

If you want to share your data with others via Internet weather websites, it supports uploads to Weather Underground and CWOP. There is a free add-on available to upload to 3 additional web services and web templates that support several more upload services. For the adventurous, WeatherCat allows you to create your own weather website. There is a simple website built-in or you can create your own custom website. It is even possible to have real-time weather displayed using the custom CGI feature. There are a number of website templates using this capability that can be freely downloaded on the WeatherCat forum. For the truly bold, it is even possible to extend WeatherCat using the AppleScript interface.

WeatherCat’s “secret weapon” it is enthusiastic user-community that can be found on the WeatherCat forum. There you can find anything from troubleshooting hints to advice on setting up your weather station instruments. Trying to set up a home weather station can be really bewildering. Finding passionate and friendly Mac users comfortable with weather station hardware is reason enough to check WeatherCat out.
[Version 1.0.0]



burypromote
+3

Elagache reviewed on 15 Nov 2011
I decided to get back into Model Railroading with a carefully thought out plan to avoid a "mission impossible." I choice my modeling subject, historical period, and scale strategically so that I could actually end up with a working model railroad. Having given myself a fighting chance, RailModeller was absolutely essential in ruling out all sorts of track layouts that would have ultimately been a dead-end. By trying out many combinations in the computer, I managed to narrow down to an arrangement that fit the space where the railroad would occupy. I tried several possible railroad designs. All this was only possible because of RailModeller.

After getting started on my model railroad, the best made plans - still didn't work out. What started out as a logging camp and associated railroad eventually evolved into a museum that represented an earlier logging camp. RailModeller once more was invaluable in making the changes to the layout that was in progress.

My layout is still not finished, but at least it has purpose and thanks to RailModeller, the design was tested before I started putting track on the benchwork. For the first time I have a reasonable model railroad and I very much thank the developers of RailModeller for this.
[Version 4.1.1]



burypromote
+1

Elagache reviewed on 05 Aug 2010
Lightsoft Weather Center (LWC) is the BMW of Weather Station Software. After finding Davis Instrument's WeatherLink for Mac utterly unsatisfactory, I investigated all the Mac Weather Station software offerings about a year ago. Even then, LWC was head and shoulders over its competition. Version-2 incorporates a complete redesign of the architecture to vastly improve performance and reliability. It also has some "gotta-have" enhancements that leaves even its PC competition in its wake.

Even the development version of LWC-2 was stable for weeks at a time and was very forgiving of Weather Station connectivity issues I was having for a while. LWC has very robust and reliable Internet upload capabilities. It not only does the "required" upload to Weather Underground and CWOP, but it provides you with detailed information about how the processes are going. There is even a supplied AppleScript that will provide Growl announcements should your Internet services have a problem.

Where LWC really shines over the competition is in its graphing capabilities. You can create very complex graphs using multiple sources of weather data. These can be used for something as complex as graphing parameters related to the onset of precipitation or as basic as when to open and close your windows by comparing indoor and outdoor temperature. Folks who have custom weather websites can display these custom graphs on their website to provide unique information to their website viewers that simply isn't possible using other software.

LWC is built for Mac only using Apple's Cocoa development environment. So it has no baggage for Windows portability and no legacy code that reduces efficiency. It also takes advantage OS-X capability of multi-threaded applications. That means LWC will really scream on the fastest Macs with multiple cores and/or processors, and because of OS-X's superior resource management, it won't hog older machines unnecessarily. LWC runs fine on older Mac so that you to "recycle" an old Mac as a dedicated Weather Station manager. However, it also is a "good citizen" with other Macintosh applications. So you can run LWC on your Mac workstation and have it seamlessly take care of your Weather Station even if you run CPU hogs like graphics applications. That way you can keep an eye on the weather no matter how you use your computer for on a daily basis.

LWC has been a commercial product for several years and an enthusiastic community of loyal users has sprung up around it. If you have a question about LWC or weather matters in general, someone on the LWC forum is bound to have at least a helpful pointer to get you unstuck. That's really, really important since weather stations are complex and cantankerous beasts and technical support is hard to find and rarely all that helpful. The LWC forum is by itself a reason to use LWC, but its very existence is testimony to how good LWC really is. Like the Mac itself, it takes an outstanding product to make people passionate about it. LWC is truly such a product. If you have Mac, don't settle for anything less!
[Version 2.0.0]


1 Reply

burypromote

+7
Elagache replied on 29 Jun 2011
Version 2.1 of Lightsoft Weather Center (LWC) adds a new plug-in architecture that will allow 3rd party developers to extend LWC for specific needs. Whether the task is computing agricultural watering schedules or estimating drag racing bracket times, programmers can simply extend LWC instead of reinventing the wheel.

End users get some solid improvements with 2.1, including support for the IP version for the Davis Vantage data logger. They also get a really nifty active banner generator that allows you create a web banner with current weather conditions to place at the bottom of a web page or rich-text email. This latest release as it all from major architecture improvements to really fun accessories!
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