Weather Computer Hell

Recently, we have started using a new system for displaying our weather graphics on the air. On paper, this system is amazing. It allows a great deal more flexibility, and looks great doing it.

Of course, reality hardly ever matches what you’re actually sold.

There are a bunch of unfinished elements within this system which are set as traps. It works the same way you’d snare an animal, by hiding a trap in plain sight.

Buttons that turn off guides (useful for creating graphics – ugly on the air) sometimes work. Sometimes they don’t.

As you change things, like the elements of a forecast page, memory is taken from the computer but never returned. Run through a sequence of maps and charts, see it works, change one little thing and watch it crash on-the-air.

Thought you made a change? Not so fast. Look on TV – it’s back!

With this computer, we also bought a system to run our own computer forecast model. And, it’s pretty neat… though it too crashes for reasons that are beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.

Because of the way it’s set up, it doesn’t crash while you’re watching. That would be too easy. The glitches happen after a little time, or like today, after hours and hours of crunching numbers. This afternoon I waited 4 &#189 hours for data that an off air machine could read, but an on air machine couldn’t.

By 11:00 tonight, I was ready to ditch it all and go back to magnetic clouds and dry markers. It’s a love/hate relationship. I’ll calm down over the weekend and try and make up with my PC’s Monday.

One thought on “Weather Computer Hell”

  1. I have been watching your graphics progress on-air and I have noticed when some of the things you expected to happen, haven’t. Your covers are always great.

    It is Murphy’s Law that when you need graphics to work they don’t. Computer Gremlins I call it. Normally for me it happens when a client has requested we play an mpg in PowerPoint at a large black-tie event. I try to explain that “rolling video” even on a DVD is a better than tempting the Computer Gremlins with an embedded mpg. They never listen. And often I am left with a blank screen, and a client on stage doing a little dance.

    Technology is definitely a love/hate relationship!

    P.S. Please tell Gil that the yellow for Saturday and Sunday (as you do it) reads better than his pink/red color. I like Gil. He just needs some better colors.

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