Open Source Meteorologist Gets Patched

| Just a Peek

Iim a huge fan of weather. I can find something to enjoy about every type of atmospheric condition. When most folks run for cover during a thunder storm Iim trying to find the best place to see the lightning show without getting killed.

During the Hurricanes of 2004, I often went out in the wind and rain just to experience the nature of the storms first hand. I love the moodiness of fog, the sharpness of a clear and starry night, the awe of an approaching thunderhead, the bite of an Arctic cold front, and the sauna-like heat of a Summer day in Florida.

I actually watch the Weather Channel.

Some people say Iim nuts. My wife tells the neighbors itis a phase Iim going through, my son tells me I am the reason heis staying in California, and my daughter just shakes her head in sad resignation and hopes itis not hereditary. What can I say? I like weather. So it would stand to reason that I would have a weather application on my Mac.

Many OS X users rely on a weather widget of some type to keep them informed on whatis going on outside (or they just stick their heads out the front door), but not me. I use the Open Source app, Meteorologist (Meteo), which sits, almost inconspicuously, in my Menu Bar and displays, via icons, whatis going on in my town weather-wise.

Also, once you set it up, the weather in any major and many minor city around the world is just a mouse-click away. Meteo works the way applications on any computer should work: Itis there when you need it and out of the way when you donit. Very cool and very convenient. Little wonder that the app has a small, but faithful following, and I am proud to count myself among them.


Meteorologist in all its glory

Unfortunately, over the past few months Meteo has been broken, through no fault of the application or the developers. It seems that Weather.com, the source of the weather data used in Meteorologist, changed the format of the city data -- anyone using Meteo before the change (like yours truly) could still use the app, but could not add new cities. New users were just plain out of luck.

Fortunately, however, two Source Forge folks, known as Joe Crobak and Moon Jihad, worked to fix this little app. Moon came up with a quick patch which replaces the XML portion of the application with one that will work with the current city format on Weather.com.

The patch requires you to run a command from the Terminal application. If this makes you scratch your head in confusion, or break out in hives or cold sweats, have no fear; this procedure is very painless and I will step you through it:

  • Go to Applications/Utilities and open the Terminal.app application. It should look like this:
  • Copy this line of text, and paste it in the terminal window:
    sudo curl http://lns.kicks-ass.net/temp-shit/weather.xml -o /Applications/Meteorologist.app/Contents/Resources/weather.xml
  • Since you will be copying a file into the Applications, which is a protected folder (meaning that only privileged users can change items in the folder), you must bless this action by entering your login or admin password when asked.
    • Hint: if you donit log in to your Mac whenever you start it up, you will still have had to set up a administrative account when you first set up your Mac. The password for this account will work.
  • And thatis all there is to it. The new XML file will download and install. Restart Meteo and your are good to go.

So, once again, thereis a rainbow overhead, the storm has passed, the sky is clearing and all is right with the world.

Thanks again to Joe Crobak and Moon Jihad for their efforts.

Even if youire not a connoisseur of weather, like I am, you should still try Meteo; itis a great app at a great price.

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