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Hi Tom,

There are several steps being taken to address the Difax issues through the 
UPC, the Users Committee and the Unidata community.

Let me first say that the NWS plans to send the notice this month and the 
regular Difax service, as we know it today, will cease.  The date that I was 
given yesterday is April 30, 2001.

See below...


Dan Vietor <devo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

 They will give priority use to some customers such as commercial data 
providers and maybe one or two Unidata sites (check with the NWS contact listed 
on bottom of web page).  So it may be a good idea for one or two universities 
to handle most of the load and distribute it through IDD.  When they upgrade 
and provide priority service, Unidata won't be bundled into the low priority 

What do you guys think of what Dan has suggested?  Can we get DIFAX back into 
the IDD (for no cost) to EDU?  Leaving the commercial world to work with the 
commercial vendors for DIFAX, couldn't we set up where these DIFAX charts get 
distributed through the IDD tree?

The Unidata Users Committee and the UPC have been working toward some 
resolution to the Difax issue.  There will be a message to the Difax and LDM 
user community  when the testing is complete.  Jeff Weber, Unidata, Pete 
Pokrandt, Univ of Wis-Madison with the help of one or two other sites are 
testing a method,  where users would get Difax like products via the IDD with 
printing capabilities.

Right now, I am writing an internal Rutgers proposal with the Remote Sensing 
Center (CRSSA) here at Rutgers to buy a server which would permit both my 
groups and the CRSSA to serve up data for internet access through our web 
sites, ftp, etc..  One of the things I am proposing to do with this server is 
to move our IDD relay back to the Dept here and onto this machine.  Our RU 
network capabilities have increased significantly and will continued to be 
improved through our network project completion of next summer.  If this IDD of 
DIFAX is a possibility, then I would offer Rutgers as a possible top-level site 
to aid in its distribution.

Thank you for offering.  I will let Jeff know upon his return next Monday.  For 
your proposal, you might also be considering the future data and products that 
will become freely available, e.g., Level III (NIDS type products), additional 
models via NOAAPort, etc, when you are considering the IDD relay capabilities.

We, like several on the mailing groups, download automatically DIFAX maps from 
the NWS using auto-FTP type technology.  It seems to be counter-productive to 
have everyone doing this individually to NWS.  Why not incorporate this into 
IDD and then we won't have to worry about everyone building/managing scripts to 
get this data?

There have been numerous reports of this service disappearing from the NWS at 
the same time the Difax service ends.  The NWS has promised to succinctly 
address all aspects of the Difax services in their notice.

I am willing to write this into our proposal if you think that this is 
something we should do with IDD.  If there is someone at UNIDATA which I should 
contact further about this, please let me know.

As mentioned, Jeff Weber, Unidata is dealing with the Difax issue, but it would 
be helpful if you gave him a breather until he returned back to the office next 
Monday.  He tries to log in periodically, but it is not always easy while being 
away from the office.  In the meantime, you might want to check the Difax Web 
page that Jeff has posted at:

Please be aware that this information is not static.  As we are updated, the 
information will be changed to reflect the updates.


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