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I am a meteorologist on TV. I work in front of a chroma key wall. I would love to have a simulator like this where I could swap in the background image... well, you get the idea.

This would especially be good for me as I do the weather in Nebraska from a studio I built at home in SoCal. As far as I know I'm the only regularly scheduled TV news anchor to work from home in the US and possibly the world.

Do the people in Nebraska know you’re in California? Is that disclosed or simply not mentioned, hoping nobody catches on?

Do you have any problems with this remote setup like Sinclair has with “Centralcasting” local news from far away? (Graphics and visuals for the wrong station showing up, talent’s obvious lack of knowledge of local events and terminology, etc...)

What happens in the event of a California-centric disaster like an earthquake or wildfire, and you’re not available? Or if there’s a major weather event in Nebraska and you’re not there, or not able to feed into Nebraska because Vyvx/internet goes down or the satellite dish freezes over?

We don't mention it on-the-air, but it's not hidden. You don't want to lie about something like this (or anything, actually). When you're caught you'll pay.

It's difficult to explain but what I do is designed for me. There's a lot I do because I understand both sides of the equation which means my studio isn't a turnkey solution anyone could walk into. You need to be able to understand 'why' when something doesn't work.

That being said, IMHO Sinclair did it the wrong way. The weather unit should be an autonomous production, not dependent on the regular studio being free. My all-in studio cost is around Hyundai money. It removes complexity and allows live production where needed and closer to air always.

I had a trip from SoCal to Milwaukee cancelled because a few guys who robbed a gas station decided to drive the getaway car to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix -- where my first flight was headed. Random shit happens.

In three years of doing this what you describe hasn't ever happened.

We use the Internet for data. I have fiber to the wall.

Sorry but what is "Hyundai money"? Like, the cost of a Hyundai?

For anyone else wondering, a Hyundai costs anywhere between $15000 and $30000: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/build-your-hyundai/index.aspx?int...

Thanks for doing the math


Scoggs knows.

How do you handle holidays?

I work. That's common.

Sorry perhaps I was unclear. Given that you provide your own studio. What do the station do when you're absent?


Curiosity and persuit of knowledge are what drives many people. I would like to believe that HN is a place where these traits are encouraged and not looked down upon as you seem to do with your comment. If I could down vote your comment I would.

How many do you have time to answer?

Football Sunday. I'm multitasking.

WOW this is a surprise... What a small world! I used to watch you and Dr. Mel on WTNH Ch 8 many years ago when I lived in CT. I still think of you guys every time I'm back in CT and turn on the 11pm news. You are fantastic and always entertaining. I always looked forward to watching you predict whether I'd have school the next day. Thank you for the memories.

I am blushing. The people of Connecticut were very kind to me and I will be forever grateful.

The Geoff Fox? You came to my house in Durham when I was a kid and interviewed my mom for some moon landing story. I think we saved a seltzer can you drank for a few months.

It is very cool for me to hear that something I did years ago was memorable for your family. Thanks for saying hi.

That sounds really cool actually!

How did you end up building such a studio at home etc? Sounds like a lot of work to me!

(Always cool to see what kind of people hang around here on HN as well!)

I am very unusual in that I'm comfortable on both sides of the camera. What I learned is building a studio is an IT project!

Maybe the most unusual part is, none of this would work unless I could run the show by myself. My TriCaster is programmable with macros which is what I've done. I am my own director while on the air.

Oh -- with a friend I created a map making system which runs on an i5 and produces ~ 40,000 maps a day. Here are some samples I threw together a few months ago. These are 100% produced using FOSS including the map databases and fonts! https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/172O4Xl35np8RnbRi07PD...

My last computer class was as a senior in high school, 1967-68 semester. This was BEFORE computers had screens.

Wow this is super interesting, you should do an AMA!

This doesn't look like any map system I've seen - can you share details on your renderer?

There's a lot of untapped potential in geospatial (even with Google taking most of the mindshare)

Sure -- It's a multistage process making a graphics sandwich. The meteo data is done by GrADS. I render these at full HD resolution-- 1920x1080.

The base map and overlay are both produced in QGIS using the NaturalEarth database. Because GrADS can't read geographical info from graphics they are built by hand and the parameters are entered into GrADS by hand.

Animations are made from still png frames using ffmpeg.

OpenSans is my font.

All of this runs on an i5 with 8Gb of RAM under CentOS7. I make around 40,000 maps a day (one per frame in the animations).

I am 68 years old. My only computer training came 51 years ago. This is all self taught.

AMA on Reddit please?

That is really amazing! My hat off to you!

I agree with the others here that an AMA might be worth it :)

I would be thrilled to see some of the code for your map system, if you feel like open sourcing it on Github or the like. Even a verbal description of it would be great. It looks really great!

If you wrote code like mine you wouldn't want it seen. I have borrowed freely from others, especially the College of DuPage whose entire site (except satellites) is on github. Their code is well written and documented.

Not meaning to be rude, it sounds like you're going strong and providing a great service. But if you retire in future do you plan on handing down your code and setup to someone?

I haven't thought about it. I have a business in mind for the maps which would keep them in demand. More about that in my AMA I suppose.

I am very happy with my life and where we live. I really don't want develop a big business. Can I just be an artisinal meteorologist?

Heck yes you can, you do you, friend.

Who is John Galt?

Your location is embedded in the photos you shared on drive. Scarlett Irvine.

OK. I can put on coffee.

Seriously, I was on TV in Connecticut for nearly 30 years. Where I lived was common knowledge. I'd often meet someone whose friend had told them I lived in their neighborhood.

Only once did someone knock on my door just to say hello. Most people are respectful and there are dozens of other clues to where I live since I run a business there.

I appreciate your concern, really.

Just Google Geoff Fox, it's not like he's trying to be secretive.

(author) Hey, I could help with that. I was beginning to work on a better version of it a while ago, but haven't gotten around finishing it.

I made exactly what you're asking for: https://rainpaper.com

Why is it rated Mature?!

This is required for any apps that offer user-configurable reddit integration.

Fascinating. How’d you land that gig?

I've been doing this over 35 years and have seven Emmys. They got someone they shouldn't be able to afford and working from home I could afford to accept it. I'm a pancreatic cancer survivor (Whipple) and this flexibility helps.

I am a professional. My job is to forecast their weather and I am diligent in that pursuit. Windows are overrated.

In response to Lane -- Pancreatic cancer is the worst. It is incurable in 2018! I was very lucky that it was found before it spread.

It was removed in a six hour, two surgeon operation called a Whipple. It was pioneered in the 1930s. Back then they lost about 1/3 on the table. Only about 1/3 of pancreatic patients can receive a Whipple and only about a third of those have my result. Only 9% live beyond five years.

The Whipple is considered the most difficult operation a surgeon can perform. The docs who do this are hospital all-stars.

On day one I told my doctors (with cancer you get an army of doctors) I wanted to aggressively go at it.

I had a catheter port inserted in my chest for IVs (like chemo or with my CTscans). It's been used over thirty times. When I take a blood test it's commonly a dozen vials or more.

My treatment ended around a year and a half ago. I am certifiably cancer free, though my body knows how to make pancreatic cancer and could do it again.

I am missing a few internal parts. Whipple surgery reconnects some parts of the digestive system differently than original factory specs. With half a pancreas I shoot insulin 4-5 times a day (no big deal). My right pinkie will be tapped for blood drops around 1,500 times this year.

I am the luckiest person you will meet today. And, it's a kickass diet. I lost 35 pounds.

Because I am old I am on Medicare. I subscribe to a Medicare Advantage program, which means I limit myself to an HMO's doctors in return for paying less for services. I would think my medical care had to cost over $500,000. I paid ZERO. I do pay for some drugs -- thousands a year -- but my army of doctors were paid by the government.

People shouldn't go broke or need GoFundMe because they get sick. The US needs Medicare for all. Insurance just means we all share the risk for the few that need it.

The republicunts don't believe in healthcare for sick people.

We've banned this account.

The fact that we need GoFundMe campaigns for people who get sick or that veterans beg for charity through Wounded Warriors upsets me to no end. A modern, successful democracy should take care of its people.

Wounded Warriors and DAV are not about veterans begging for money. They are parasites stretching the definition of a charity to its limit to rake in as much money for the admin staff as possible (60% overhead). Please don't donate to these crooks.

Did not know this, can you share some more info to expose how they are crooks?

“Crooks” might be more than supported by this, but they do seem to have grown into a group existing for the well-being of staff as much or more than their intended recipients.


this is simply not true.

give.org provides charity information. WV spends just 4% on administrative costs... https://www.give.org/charity-reviews/national/veterans-and-m...

Now they do, as a result of significant negative media coverage from a few years ago when their administrative costs reached as much as 90% of their total donation revenue.

>* modern, successful democracy should take care of its people.*

Good thing we live in an oligarchy then, otherwise, we would be upset.

Wow, this is such a fascinating story. I'd totally subscribe to an AMA.

Glad to hear you've kicked cancer's ass.

Point me in the right direction. I'd love to do an AMA -- except I'd take questions on the site and answer via YouTube live or something similar. That way I could demo any studio questions live.

Where can I get info on doing one?

Also, sneakily, I have other ideas for where my studio can be used beside traditional outlets, especially since I make a full suite of weather maps. This would give me a chance to explain.

With your setup, Twitch or YouTube Live would work. Take the questions on Reddit or similar beforehand (with an established channel you've got other ways of taking questions, but for a new set up it's a bit trickier).

I think typically they're done on Reddit these days, but I bet you could do this kind of questions post you refer to on HN and then follow up with a link to a video or stream.

Already found a great article on 'how-to.' I will.

It's second nature to me, but most people are sort of stunned when they see a broadcast quality studio in my (former) garage.

I think that's pretty awesome myself. Closest I've been to that kind of setup is back in.. either middle or high school tech class. We had a separate indoor sound-proofed "room" used for a broadcast channel just for school. Cool stuff.

This is impressive and cool, I really would like to read more about it. You should write a blog!

https://www.geofffox.com/ -- Since July 4, 2003.

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