WSI WeatherProducer 3.0

TripleCTWC

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Oct 29, 2022
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Hey everyone! I've been on the Discord server for a while but just found out about the forum. Would anyone here happen to know anything about WSI WeatherProducer 3.0 for IRIX? I'm part of the group that runs the Weather Channel hardware exhibit that's been at the most recent VCFs. I've been looking for this software for a long while but haven't turned up anything, and there isn't much information about it online either. Any help in this department would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

Elf

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Feb 4, 2019
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Welcome! :)

I haven't heard much about the Weather Channel hardware or software outside of what techknight (on the Discord) has talked about, but I assume he's part of the same group you mention so that probably isn't a great help.

Good luck with the search though, and hopefully someone knows!
 
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AstridRedfern

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Sep 20, 2022
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Would you be willing to post a brief summary of what you do know about WSI and WeatherProducer? I can try to do some searching, but I don't want to post a bunch of links and snippets that you've already found.
 
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AstridRedfern

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Here's someone who looks like they might know. You'll probably need to log in to LinkedIn to see his profile:


He worked at WSI for 26 years. Between 95 and 99, he worked in QA for them and "Developed and manually executed functional and regression test plans for the following applications: WEATHER for windows, WEATHER spectrum, WEATHERproducer, WEATHERworkstation, WEATHERserver, FAA Vector"

Mind you, the rest of the WSI section of his profile refers to other applications, but not Weatherproducer.

As for WSI itself, it was taken over by IBM at some point (don't know when!) and is now known as "The Weather Company". It has its own LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-weather-company-ibm-business/

I think there may be quite a few WSI alums on LinkedIn.
 

AstridRedfern

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Sep 20, 2022
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Thanks @Silicon_Classics - I've sent a message to the email address you gave me. EDIT: the email has just bounced - looks like that address is no longer in use.

@Elf - what exactly was this "Techknight" person saying on Discord? I'm finding myself increasingly curious, due in part to the lack of any version history online for this software.
 

gijoe77

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Feb 18, 2019
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Thanks @Silicon_Classics - I've sent a message to the email address you gave me. EDIT: the email has just bounced - looks like that address is no longer in use.

@Elf - what exactly was this "Techknight" person saying on Discord? I'm finding myself increasingly curious, due in part to the lack of any version history online for this software.
He was a VCF EAST with a Weather Channel Weather Station XL hooked up and working, and he was going over how it all worked. I wont quote him on what he was saying because I'll get some details wrong. Might be just best to join discord and ask him :)
 
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AstridRedfern

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Looks like OP also has a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/triplectwc

In this video he demonstrates a WeatherStar XL, the only piece of Weather Channel hardware based on SGI hardware (unless you count the WeatherScan, which is the budget version of it.) It's actually an O2 under the bonnet, so I wonder if OP actually might have WeatherProducer installed on that box and not know it?

(Probably very unlikely, as OP would know much more about this stuff than I would!)

He was a VCF EAST with a Weather Channel Weather Station XL hooked up and working, and he was going over how it all worked.
If you mean WeatherStar XL - Techknight *did* get one up and running - see this Youtube vid:
. That video is dated 6 months ago, while videos in which he's unable to get it going are dated 8 months ago. Given how recently he must have resurrected that XL, I wonder if he might have WeatherProducer 3.0 on it without having notified OP. I've posted a comment on his video asking about this and will probably email him as well.

Incidentally, due to the Weather Channel connection, I wonder if OP might find this eBay listing to be of interest: https://www.ebay.com/itm/384710995985

I'll just post this, and then make a second post which doesn't involve the WeatherStar XL.
 
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AstridRedfern

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OK, now here's something which *might* be more promising, but might also require getting in touch with someone and helping resurrect a dead hard drive. Take a look at this Reddit post and the comments on it. It sounds like that hard drive might have had WSI WeatherProducer on it (though I don't know which version), so I've messaged the poster to see if they got that drive working and if they'd be willing to post in this thread.

There's a picture of a WeatherStar XL from an old ebay auction here, though I don't know how old. Can't be earlier than 2014 anyway.
 

AstridRedfern

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Sep 20, 2022
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OK, now here's something which *might* be more promising, but might also require getting in touch with someone and helping resurrect a dead hard drive. Take a look at this Reddit post and the comments on it. It sounds like that hard drive might have had WSI WeatherProducer on it (though I don't know which version), so I've messaged the poster to see if they got that drive working and if they'd be willing to post in this thread.
UPDATE: The poster just replied to my Reddit message:

I still have it but never got the chance to mess with it. It's just stashed at my office. I'd be happy to help anyway I can but if I remember correctly the drive is scsi so I'm not sure the best way to go about recovery.
As I'm not a hardware whizz, this isn't something I can help with. OP, the ball is now in your court. Can you contact this person and work with them to recover what's on their hard drive? Their box has the SkyAlert sticker on it, which is a promising sign for WeatherProducer being on there:

WSI Corp.'s new SkyAlert is an automated system for generating streaming severe-weather alerts and graphics. The $29,000 system combines up-to-the-second updates from the NOAA Weather Wire with graphics and maps from WSI's WEATHERproducer system to maintain a branded look for a station's severe-weather bulletins. Another new product that builds off the WEATHERproducer platform is SkyTracker, which provides live updates and details weather down to the street level. SkyAlert is available now; the $40,000 SkyTracker system will be available in late summer.
OTOH, the poster did say "I think the previous owner might have tried to reinstall the OS because there's a burned Irix disc in the drive.", so even if the software was there and the drive's recoverable, there's still not a 100% chance WeatherProducer is on it now. Maybe it's time to look for data recovery experts on this forum?
 

TripleCTWC

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Oct 29, 2022
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Hey y'all-- didn't expect such a big response! Sorry I haven't been around as much, but it does give me a lot to come back to! Yes.. WSI was the weather data and software solutions side of The Weather Channel until the IBM sale in 2015 or so.. WxPro hasn't been in use for a long while (or supported, of course, since it's an IRIX app), last evidence I could find of it in use was 2013. To answer the person asking for what I know, WxPro itself was the software used to generate weather maps and other graphics found on The Weather Channel and various other news stations. TWC used it up until 2008, and like I mentioned, I've found videos of it in use as late as '13.. makes me think it's possibly still out there somewhere. And it seems it *might* be, based off some of the replies... I appreciate y'all stepping in and being detectives! I will definitely see what I can do about the machine on the reddit post.

Yes, that's my YT channel, and yes, techknight (who's in the same group as I am) does also have an XL. Our group has done a lot of work with the XL over the years, including data recovery. The only issue is that--unfortunately--the XL never came with WxPro on board! Its rendering process was, however, very similar to WxPro as it also did not render graphics in real time.
 
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TripleCTWC

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Oct 29, 2022
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Incidentally, due to the Weather Channel connection, I wonder if OP might find this eBay listing to be of interest: https://www.ebay.com/itm/384710995985

I'll just post this, and then make a second post which doesn't involve the WeatherStar XL.
Oh hey, I have a copy of that! It's a pretty neat piece of software from back in the day! It's mainly a showcase of weather videos, photos, trivia, and climate data, among others, meant for home computers.
 

TripleCTWC

New member
Oct 29, 2022
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Hey, sent you a reply. I sold that system on eBay 14 years ago but try reaching out to the buyer and see if he can help. The version of WEATHERproducer was 3.00f2 (see screenshot):

View attachment 2028

FWIW I got $769 for it back then (system was a 300MHz O2+ with 1GB RAM), and now I wish I'd kept it. Clean complete O2+ systems are pretty much unobtainium now.
Seems the email address you sent the other person no longer works, is there any other contact information you have? Yep, I've seen that screenshot before, and I think that's the only one that's out there. Such an interesting lead!
 

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