“How much rain did you get?,” drawled the leathery-skinned old farmer.
Viktor gritted his teeth and said, “1.43 inches.”
“Ha! I got 2.5 inches! Haw haw haw!”
“How in tarnation can you possibly have gotten an inch more of rain, when your rain gauge is less than fifty feet away from mine?”
Such was the ongoing feud into which SFAQT personnel found themselves embroiled.The farmer that grazed his cows on the Lab’s land always managed to report an inch more than anyone else after a rainstorm. This was a problem, since the Lab was engaged in an in-depth study of local and regional weather patterns. The Lab tracked hurricanes, rainfall, average wind speeds, lightning frequencies, and all the other nifty weather-related occurrences that can be tracked, followed, quantified, recorded, or measured.
The farmer’s reported extra inch of rain was destroying our data set.
“That weather-hating curmudgeon is destroying my scientific survey! I will bury that mocking rustic! I will show him! I will show them all! I will buy the most sophisticated weather station I can find, and prove to him and all the mocking mockers and lying liars that his data-collecting is flawed!,” proclaimed Viktor, sounding more than a little like the raving mad scientist Bela Lugosi played in “Bride of the Monster.”
But the years years went by, and Viktor seemed no closer to having his revenge.
Finally, one day, a kind associate, who knew of the rain gauge contretemps, called with important news. He had found a fantastically sophisticated, reasonably-priced weather station: the Davis Instruments Vantage Vue® Wireless Station (DIVVW Station).
It was and is perfect. A truly great investment. The DIVVW Station is an incredible weather-collecting machine that collects weather-related data in both wide varieties and impressive amounts.
No doubt, Gentle Reader, you know that SFAQT Laboratories lives and breathes data. It is the cream to our coffee, the butter to our bread, the AC to our DC. It is vital to our mission, viz, to know the secrets of the Universe, and to smite without mercy the enemies of Science. And how, we ask you, can we smite down the ill-conceived arguments of our enemies without without first collecting quivers full, nay, formidable arsenals full, of data?
And so, to return to our narrative, it was with great anticipation that we set up our weather station. The sensors were placed on a hill on the Lab’s campus, and the receiver was placed in the window of one of the Lab’s buildings.
The installation proved to be so easy, I was sure that the station couldn’t possibly work when powered up. But I was wrong–the data poured in like a mighty river after the spring thaw.
After a quick celebration to welcome the new data-collecting unit to our scientific family, Viktor decided that the unit was worthy of being connected to what he so charmingly still calls “The Internets.” Not all data collecting units get that honor, but the DIVVW Station had already proved itself special.
Now Davis, the company that sells this unit, already has modules for connecting to the Internet.
And it has helpfully included software, as well.
Viktor wanted to see if we could get the data in the SFAQT way, according to that saying we have around here, “There’s the right way, the wrong way, and the SFAQT way.”
But could we connect the weather station without using the commercially available product?
After making a few online searches, Viktor stumbled across this inspiring article:
Once we learned that we could hack this machine, our excitement could not be contained. The mere thought that every employee at the Lab would soon have weather data streaming into his or her consoles made my heart flutter.
Now the data can be used to to make charts, graphs, and it becomes accessible to the people with whom you want to share it.
This data is extremely useful in convincing the enemies of Science that they are absolutely wrong.
“Ha-ha-ha! I showed them.” crowed Viktor with a gleam in his eye. “Just wait until the next rain, I will crush that mocking farmer with my pure data set.”
He was warmed with the glow of the smug satisfaction he was feeling. Victory, after so many years tasted very sweet, like tears in rain.
For the technical details on how to hack your DIVVW Station, complete with schematics, project notes and source code, please go here.