RE: DIFAX Source


I'll chime in on Larry's email since I have some say on the Unisys end of 
things.

Dan:

Thanks for the input.  I was hoping you'd contribute to the discussion.

The Unisys DIFAX ftp system can be very irritating at times.  But, it is 
reliable enough that we've never considered going over to Alden.  In 
retrospect, this appears to have been a wise decision.

My biggest complaint is having to pull the charts.  That gives me just one 
chance to get a chart under normal circumstances.  Since cron does this, if it 
doesn't make a connection, I just get a nastygram from the OS (via email) in 
the morning.  That isn't as useful as the chart would have been.

I do go back via cron (at about 2300L California time) and run a long request 
for all charts produced the previous UTC day.  I figure net congestion and 
other ftp users will be at a minimum then.  It usually works, but significantly 
increases Unisys' cpu time per chart.

The charts are really great quality.  When printed, they're very crisp and clear.  You 
might consider placing a map out where any Unidata people who are curious can grab it.  
Preferably in gif format.  That cuts the file size (and tranferred bytes) considerably.  
Don't just put one out there in the normal "compressed pcx" format.  It took me 
a while to figure out a kluge to convert these to something useful.

I hope Unisys is considering allowing paying Unidata customers to get DIFAX 
charts via the LDM?

Larry