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James-tenki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (James Murakami) wrote:
I am the staff meteorologist in the atmospheric sciences department at UCLA. We currently receive DIFAX charts via a leased satellite dish from Alden. The department would like to reduce costs by accessing the DIFAX charts via internet. Edie Arbetter at Alden suggested I contact you people for information. What software do we need(where do we obtain it) to make sense of the "G3 fax" format? Do we need a dedicated printer for this new format, or will the software allow us to store away the charts for later printing? Have you heard of disatisfaction with getting DIFAX charts in this new way(i.e. poorer quality charts, frequent internet black-outs for this DIFAX line)?
We do not print out the DIFAX charts here, so we don't have a solution in place. However, other sites are using various shareware programs like netpbm to convert the g3 format to a printable format. The best advice I can give you is to look at the messages that have been sent out to the difax@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx list. There are some sites that have posted their solutions in that list. You can get a file with all the traffic on that mail list at: http://www.unidata.ucar.edu/projects/idd/difax.htmlThere are also discussions of reliability and printers that are being used.
I'm a little uncomfortable receiving the DIFAX signal via internet considering how frequently we have black-outs in receiving domestic data and NCEP numerical grid data. However, with our current printer(C-Itoh) getting old(ribbons are getting difficult to find), internet DIFAX charts will inevitably be the future for us.
Well, this is a problem which will hopefully clear up as the network backbones are beefed up to handle the plethora of internet traffic. You are right that the IDD delivery of the DIFAX charts is the future. Don