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Server Update

I've updated the Geysers.Org server, both hardware and software.

The old server was a MacMini from 2007 that had a PowerPC processor. The weblog software was Moveable Type, a system that hadn't been updated since then, either. The last support for it I could find was in 2015. It was getting to the point that I was afraid that I would lose everything if the hardware died, and I couldn't make minor changes to the software because I could no longer find any documentation.

The new one is the latest MacMini, so I probably won't need to do more updates for a while. Using WordPress, which is still being supported, so I can actually make little improvements without breaking stuff.

The old permalinks may be a little flakey, but at a minimum the text and images on them should be available. Links from them are not guaranteed to end up in the right place, so don't rely on them.

If you find other problems, let me know, as it might be easily fixable, or I can find a workaround. Or let you know that it's gone.

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GeyserNotes Resurrection

It's been awhile, but I've decided that maybe it's time to bring this weblog back to life for a while. It's looking like I'll have a lot more time to observe geysers this summer, and maybe other things to report over the next 12 months. I've also got some other content that I want to distribute.

I've been converting and editing videos. Not just the ones that I've taken over the years, but also those that Paul Strasser has made since the early 1980s. The two of us have recorded a number of rare geyser eruptions, and I intend to make those available. I've already posted some eruptions of Fantail Geyser and Glade Geyser. In the future, I intend to add videos of activity from Tangent Geyser, Cascade Geyser, Lone Pine Geyser, Velvet Spring, Composite Geyser, the Purple Pools and Butterfly Spring and others.

I'm also going to upload a series of videos that Paul took of Giant Hot Periods. It's been a decade since anyone has seen Feather erupting. Many people have yet to see even that, and for those who have, these should be a nice refresher on what to look for and what to get excited about. Assuming Giant wants to become more active in the coming months. In some cases, the hot period resulted in a Giant Geyser eruption instead of disappointment.

I've also got some postings (and rants) from my earlier, Blogspot weblog that I may repost, too.

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Webcam update

Lately the NPS and those folk operating the camera seem to be changing something about it weekly. I gave up trying to keep up for a while.

It appears to be back for now, but at a reduced size. Instead of hacking around with the display files again, made a change to the URL. If you add "?scale=2" to the end of the URL for either page (Full page or Camera only) it will double the size of the view.

I probably won't change the view on the left of this page, so just click on it to get to the camera page.

Also, for now it looks like it can take over a minute for the image to appear, so be patient.

As for the still camera view, that hasn't changed since October, and at this point I wouldn't be surprised if it never comes back.

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GeyserLog iPhone

I've added a new feature to these pages: an iPhone version of the Geyserlog eruption summary. (It also works on an iPod Touch and on Apple's Safari browser.) It's a simple page that shows the last eruption time for several selected geysers. During this summer, with a little help, it's my intention to get enough information to add a few more geysers to the list, and to keep it as current as possible.

Touching an entry line brings up a second page with a list of the most recent eruptions for that geyser, as well as some simple statistics on its most recent eruptions. Touching one of those lines brings up a page with any details on that particular eruption. That's it. Just three different views. (At least for now.)

I don't know if this will work, or how well it would work, on other devices. I do know that the page can be displayed on an iPhone out at Grand and Daisy. Help in adding timely eruption information would be welcome, and I can even set people up with access to a page that would allow direct entry into the Geyserlog database from an iPhone.

Why shout the eruption time into a radio that may or may not be heard at the Visitor Center when you can just as quickly post that information world-wide?

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Webcam Update

The Old Faithful streaming webcam came back. At the left are the latest image from the old still camera, and below it is a snapshot from the new camera. That still image can become a live image by clicking on the green button at the bottom right of the image. Clicking on the red button will stop the stream. Clicking anywhere else on the image will take you to a full webcam image page where you can do other things. The black button turns on the audio commentary stream. The blue button will zoom the image to full screen. Clicking on the still image will zoom it to full size. The status bar from that image is also being displayed at the bottom of the streaming image.

Displaying real-time images like this is CPU intensive, and I decided that on the front page it was better for visitors to this site to have the option of turning off the stream, as the only other alternative was to close the page. And driving people away from my webpages seems counter-productive.

If anyone wants to add similar support for this webcamera (or others) using Silverlight, please don't just steal my work. You are welcome to contact me for help, advice or even a copy of the code.

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Webcam Update

Well, just as I was about to make some more modifications to make the streaming camera work better on these pages, it disappeared. Don't know if it got turned off, or how long it'll stay off or if they just changed the URL to keep people like me out. Oh, well.

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Some Site Changes

I've changes a couple of items on this page.

First, the "Current Geyser Activity" has been removed because there's no current information to report. During the past couple of months Mary Beth Schwarz allowed me to keep it fairly current by reporting activity of Grand, Beehive, Fan & Mortar and Giant, but with the end of the season, so have those reports.

But I've also added the new streaming video webcam. In order to view it, you will need to download the Silverlight plugin from Microsoft. Once you do that,you will see a small thumbnail of the realtime video direct from the broadcast server. If you click on the image, you will be taken to a full image page, which also show the old static webcam images. Clicking on the blue dot will zoom out to full screen mode, while the red/green will start and stop the broadcast. Unfortunately, because of network latencies and buffering, it doesn't stop or restart immediately. But it will allow screen captures. I'm hoping to add some other new features, like zooming the staic camera and a "bozo blocker" once I figure out how.

Why am I using a new proprietary technology from the Evil Software Empire? For two reasons. One is that it quickly allowed me to create the code necessary for these pages, since the Mac doesn't seem to have native support for the protocol used, and I wanted to see it. The other reason is that I've been the "Mac Guy" on this project for the last year and a half, and I think it's nice demonstration of its capabilities and what we've done. It took me only 20 minutes to get the basic display working. And since it's not using Flash, people who block out all those annoying and stupid twitching ads can still see this. (Off the record, as far as we're concerned, Adobe's welcome to that market.)

If anyone wants to add this sort of thing to their website, contact me if you can't figure out the code. It's easy, and the network load is entirely on the video server. Just make sure you credit me.

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Today's Activity List

I've made a change to the GeyserLog page, so that now at the top will be displayed a list of "Today's Activity", with the latest eruption at the top. (Actually, it's the last 36 hours, so it'll usually show yesterday evening's eruptions, too.

Now that I've figured out that I can make such changes on the fly, I'll probably be making other little improvments or modifications.