FAQ

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How is Meteoplug related to Meteohub?

To say it a bit simplified in just one sentence: Meteoplug is a cloud-based version of Meteohub.

Meteohub has a focus to integrate a complete weather server including interface to weather stations, storage of data and computation of derived weather data and graph drawing into one single computing device that consumes below 10 watts. The challenge for a Meteohub system is to find a cheap and low power demanding hardware setup that provides 4GB storage and enough processing power to handle data computation and graph generation. All Meteohub platforms do somehow fit into this but we reached something like a roadblock here, that prevents going significantly down in hardware costs and power demand, the two most important cost drivers when running such a system.

Meteoplug goes a step further by splitting the universal weather server approach of Meteohub into a client that just needs minimal computing power without need of permanent storage and an application server in the internet that receives logged data from the client and does all the computation and graphing requested by the user. While the client is an individual piece of hardware, the server gets shared by all users, although it provides separate individual services to each user.

When you look at the web interfaces of Meteohub and Meteoplug you will find that they are quite similar. This is because the applications share a lot of code which allows to more easy maintain both software development paths. A positive side effect is for example, that Meteoplug can handle all the weather stations that are compatible with Meteohub. So you have a lot of weather station support right on from the beginning. It is planned that future weather stations will also be available for both development paths.

Can I feed weather data from a Meteohub or Meteobridge to Meteoplug server?

Yes. By selecting corresponding data upload option on Meteohub's settings page or Meteobridge's weather network page. Data upload bound to a fixed schedule (every 10 minutes). You also need to create an account at https://www.meteoplug.com/cgi-bin/meteoplug.cgi to have data logged.

Meteohub:
File:Meteohub-data-upload.png

Meteobridge:
File:meteobridge.png

Can I import data from my Meteohub to Meteoplug server?

Yes, it is possible to upload Meteohub logged raw data (to be found as files named "/public/weather/YYYYMM/raw") to Meteoplug server. You need to have an account at Meteoplug server. Upload of data can be done as text or in a compressed format (.gz, .zip, .bz2). Import feature is located on "Inspect Data" tab of Meteoplug.

File:Meteohub-import-data.png‎

Where can I buy a Meteoplug client?

Most users buy hardware as lined out in hardware section themself and flash the Meteoplug image onto it. If you don't want to do that (because you will not like using warranty by flashing a device), you can check with "swisswetter.com" who sell Meteoplug clients including a one yoear license as "weatherBoxx Light".

Once you have this piece of client hardware you can test Meteoplug 30 days without a license for free. For operation past this demo period you will have to purchase a Meteoplug license.

Is my weather data save on Meteoplug?

Meteoplug does not guarantee that data will not be lost and/or will not be copied by any third party. That sounds poor, but please realize that it is "just" weather data, not your bank account. Therefore, resilience and data security are handled at a reasonable level for that purpose.

In regard to data security and privacy Meteoplug protects your personal data and weather data by a password you define when creating an account. Password can be changed by you, any time you like. Your account password will be stored as a hash in the database. In case of a security breech that might grant access to the database, just these hashes are stolen and your password is not compromised in general. Meteoplug web interface makes use of HHTPS, which gives additional security by preventing that netto data gets inspected on its way through the internet. Meteoplug is hosted on a dedicated root server, which also reduces chances of being hacked. However, this all just reduces risks but does not eliminate these. When you put it to the yes-or-no question if Meteoplug can guarantee data security, the answer is NO. Don't use Meteoplug when your data is vital in any purpose.

In regard to availability Meteoplug also cannot guarantee that server outages won't happen. Meteoplug server runs on mirrored (Raid 1) disks, which might reduce risk of down time by disk failure but other system faults might bring the system to a stand still at anytime. There is no backup system jumping in when Meteoplug server has died. Repair times can vary, no promises on services levels according availability can be given. This also might sound poor, but Meteoplug clients will do local storage of weather data for a couple of days until internal buffers wrap around and data is finally lost. When Meteoplug server is back online, clients will report buffered data. As a result there is a good chance that no data is lost due to a limited server outage.

In regard to protection against data loss Meteoplug also cannot guarantee anything (as you might have already expected). Apart from Raid 1 which covers data loss caused by single disk failures Meteoplug does a backup of a day's logged raw data onto a separate backup server every night. These incremental backups allow for reconstruction and rebuilding of derived data. However, shit can happen and these backup mechanisms are far from being perfect. Meteoplug will also drop raw data (because of space limitations) after two years, but you will get notice about that and you can download raw data and store it locally on your PC. All derived data used for computation and graphing will not be deleted at all (not reflecting the risk of loosing data by accident). Meteoplug allows to download logged raw data to your PC (on "Inspect Data" tab), so you can do your own data backup.

As you see, Meteoplug is not a suitable solution for handling mission critical data. You are explicitly not allowed to use Meteoplug in any high risk situations or environments, where malfunction can have a noticeable impact, because it is not designed for scenarios like that.

Is my weather data visible for all Internet users?

You decide on that. In general your administration account is locked by a password und not public available. Access to your data can only be realized by graphing or other display functions. When designing these display functions you get an URL that shows the graph/data. This URL does not have your user name or graph name in it but is encoded in a certain way. Now it depends on you, if you publish this URL (for example by placing this inside an IFRAME on your home page) or if you just keep that in the bookmarks of your browser, just for your personal use. You can also send the URL to friends via email to give them a look at this one graph. Each graph has a unique and encrypted URL.

How long will Meteoplug be offered as a service?

We don't plan to quit Meteoplug any time soon, but as all things in life Meteoplug will come to an end, might be replaced by a more advanced concept or might be quit because of technical problems (what we don't believe at the moment) or because it does not make sense anymore from an economical point of view. I can't look into the future, so I cannot foresee what will happen. At the moment it is my strong intent to have this service up and running and I am very optimistic that it will find a sufficient user base to cover costs in short- and midterm. I am also convinced that Meteoplug will be a success in the market, as it provides unique features and addresses coming demands of environmental friendly computing in an unmatched way so far. However, when it comes to a situation where shutting down the services is inevitable, users will get notice at least 3 months before quitting service. A refund of license fees will not be done, but honestly we are speaking about a quite unlikely situation at all. I am sure Meteoplug will make it's way. Please use the free trial period to convince yourself.

How can I login to my Meteoplug client?

There should be no need to login to the Meteoplug client as it gets completely managed by Meteoplug server application. However, if you like you can browse to LAN IP of Meteoplug client and you will find something like the screen dump below. If you don't know your client's IP, you can consult your DHCP server (mostly your router) which might have a list of requested IPs. You can also consult Meteoplug server application. At tab "System Information" you will find the client's LAN IP.

Meteoplug client's web interface provides some status information. You can see system load, up-time, last update to Meteoplug server, actual sensor readings etc.

FILE:client-webinterface.png

What happens to my data when license expires?

I general Meteoplug purges data of not licensed accounts after 30 days. This is necessary to keep storage demand on Meteoplug server at a reasonable level. When you create a Meteoplug account for the first time, you are granted a free 30 day evaluation period. If you have had a Meteohub system running in a mode on settings page that already does upload to Meteoplug server, you will find weather data of last 30 days already being available for evaluation on Meteoplug. During 30 days evaluation period incoming data will be logged and evaluated. one or two days before license expires you will get a notification email, which tells you that evaluation period is going to expire. When you purchase additional usage time, logging and evaluation of data will go on until Meteoplug license expiration date. Once license period has expired, data will be kept in Meteoplug storage for another 30 days and your user account can be reactivated by purchasing a license. This gives you the chance to continue working with your account although you have passed license expiration date. 30 days after license expiration, all you weather and account data will be deleted from Meteoplug server. You will receive an email on this about 10 days before data will be finally removed. When 30 days reactivation period after license expiration has passed, your data has been gone and there is no way to get it back.

Meteoplug provides you an easy feature to download logged weather data of any month. It is highly recommended that you download these monthly data from time to time as this makes you independent from Meteoplug's necessary data removal features after license expiration.

Can I pay without using PayPal?

Renewal of licenses is handled 100% automatically with the PayPal purchase function in Meteoplug. This includes calculating VAT, sending an invoice and payment confirmation via email to you and prolongation of the license period. All this frees me from a lot of administrative work, time I can better spend on functional enhancements of Meteoplug.

If you don't have a PayPal account and you don't want to register one, you still can use the guest function of PayPal to pay via credit card or may be wire transfer. Just click on the PayPal "buy" button when being logged-in on the start page of your Meteoplug account and choose the guest function provided on the appearing PayPal site. Please don't insist on manual money transfers, as this will drive unneccessary effort on my side. Thanks.

This page was last modified on 1 August 2013, at 08:42. This page has been accessed 25,783 times.