Welcome of the life work of Graham Merrill. This is a website that was created for my own personal enjoyment, although others benefit from it's existence.

I say "Life Work" simply because I've been creating websites for some time now and this is a compilation of some of the websites made for organizations I've worked with or for myself and friends. It's been on several different ISP's (too many to mention now), almost a dozen different machines (all used computers), and it will stay here as long as I still get visitors and people keep signing up for the mailing lists.

Much of this website is automated using scripts that I've written, much of it from scratch. Most of the scripts are written in PERL and JavaScript using Notepad++ and PICO, a text editor included in PINE. I've tried using VI, but I'm just not a fan. I use VI at work from time to time, but not without having a quick reference guide handy for the keystroke commands.

I like PERL mainly because there are a lot of modules written for it. For example, the weather almanac images that are shown on the weather splash screen is created using Imagemagick (or PerlMagick, the PERL module) and using a few other modules that will calculate the elevation of the location and using that information will calculate the sunrise, sunset, moon rise, moon set, where in the sky you'll have to look to see them, etc, etc. The code for calculations are basically in the module, so the part I had to write was actually pretty minimal.

Parsing data from other websites has become a thing that has become easy for me. Most of what you see in weather pages come from other websites. The automated scripts simply strip out pieces and throw them into a database. When you call up the webpage, it pulls the information out of the database, creates the HTML, and sends it to your browser. Automating the website has made it rather easy to maintain, since I really don't have to do anything but provide electricity and an internet connection.

My only real involvement in keeping the website up to date is checking from time to time to see if the scripts are pointing at the right websites, or if the websites even still exist. From time to time features are added, or taken out. I still have a list of things I would like to add to the site, but for now, the travel is too much. I've tried working on the site when I'm on the road, but the lack of sleep becomes too much to bear with most trips.

The mailing lists were created so I could get weather information text'd to my phone and later evolved into what you see today due to requests of people that wanted other information.

For the FCC information, a zip file from the FCC is downloaded, extracted, parsed into a database, the Lat/Lon information looked up, and mailings are sent out for different mailing lists letting the subscribers know what's new in their area.

The radar and satellite images are gathered from the NWS, layered, thumb nailed, and made into an animated GIF. The county map is made using the current weather alert information from the NWS using images I made from tracing a screenshot of a map I had on my screen many years ago.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy some of the hard work that is put into this site.

If you know anything about HTML, you'd know why this is a funny picture
No, this is not me, but it is funny (if you understand it).
Copyright © 2001-2014 Graham Merrill - KB8SEW
It takes 22,485 lines of code to automate and display pages for this website
There are now 6,456,338 IP addresses banned from this site due to hacking and/or spam attempts.
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