Welcome to the Cold Front.

The is a personal web page where I write about various projects and anything else that interests me. I registered this domain on a cold rainy day in the fall of 2006, mainly because I liked the name.

Some of the content here is a kind of old. Sometimes it's because I get to a good stopping point in whatever I happen to be working on. Sometimes it's because I move on to another project.


04-19-16: The embedded audio player on the weather radio page quit working. This is due to changes on the Weather Underground site. Unlike the issue in October 2014, there is no easy fix. Ultimately I ended up replacing it with JPlayer.

06-19-15: Installed the replacement weather radio. Organized the weather warning archives.

06-11-15: The weather radio stream was silent. Turns out that the weather radio quit working. Borrowed the weather radio from my bedroom to get the stream working again. The forum was dead too. Fixed a database error which was keeping the forum from working. Updated the forum software.

10-09-14: Fixed the embedded player on the weather radio page.

10-07-14: Weather Underground fixed their problems a few days after my last posting. The embedded player on my weather radio page doesn't work right now, but I plan on fixing it soon.

09-20-14: The weather radio stream is down. This time the probblem is on Weather Underground's system: http://www.wxforum.net/index.php?PHPSESSID=0913eddfe4bc075a2e4f88d5b3b86a62&topic=23896.0

02-17-14: Back online, after a 4-day ISP outage.

01-05-14: Re-enabled the forum. I had it offline for a while, until I had the chance to spend some more time dealing with spam issues.

12-21-13: De-spammed the forum.

07-23-13: Fixed some bugs in my S.A.M.E. parsing program.

06-27-12: The KGG95 weather radio transmitter is working again. Changed the weather radio stream back to the way it was.

06-27-12: Weather radio transmitter KGG95 is off the air. Temporarily streaming WXJ86 La Crosse instead. Since WXJ86 is much further away, the audio quality won't be as good.

04-27-12: Update the weather radio page.

02-06-12: Update the weather radio page.

06-01-11: Fixed garbled audio on the weather radio stream.

05-14-11: Found and fixed a really nasty software conflict which was causing the forum to hang whenever someone attempted to post a message.

05-12-11: Had to reinstall everything after upgrading the motherboard on the server. The server was down for about a day. I'll work out any issues I find during the next couple of days.

09-23-10: The weather radio stream had turned to static, due to a quirk/bug with my weather radio. Ended up having to power-cycle the weather radio, to bring the weather radio stream back to life.

06-18-10: The KGG95 weather radio transmitter is working again. Changed the weather radio stream back to the way it was.

06-17-10: Weather radio transmitter KGG95 is off the air. Temporarily streaming WXJ86 La Crosse instead. Since WXJ86 is much further away, the audio quality isn't the best.

03-27-10: The new forum is up and running. On the old forum, the "profanity filter" was the only spam-blocking tool available. I had a pretty decent list of prescription drugs in there. Still, you can only beat a dead horse for so long. The new forum software gives me a number of options that I never had before. While it did take a bit of manual intervention, I was able to convert all of the old messages from "Discusware" to the new "Simple Machines" forum.

03-22-10: Spambots have been hitting the forum at an ever-increasing rate. Becuase of this I had to temporarily disable posting in the forum. The forum will be back, once I find a more permanent solution to this problem. Since Discusware hasn't been actively developed for quite some time, I'll probably have to switch forum software too.

10-12-09: Updated the "Car Computer V2" section.

09-13-09: Making slow but steady progress on the car-computer project. Updated the "Car Computer V2" page.

06-13-09: Starting a new car-computer project, to replace the one that I built back in 2001.

02-11-09: Added a "weather radio" page to the site. About two weeks ago I bought another weather radio, plugged it into the computer's sound card, and began streaming the KGG95 broadcast to Weather Underground. On my weather radio page, there's an audio player that plays the Weather Underground stream, and table of recent S.A.M.E. messages. So after two years, thecoldfront.com finally has a weather-related page. Imagine that!

08-25-08: Fixed a minor bug in the VDIPTSR example program.

08-23-08: I finally found a way to get a USB gamepad working, in DOS. DOS doesn't come with a USB stack, but Vinculum's VDIP module does. I connected the VDIP module to a level converter, then connected the level converter to a serial port. From there, it's just a matter of sending and receiving data over the serial port. For more information, click on the "DOS USB Gamepad" link.

12-16-07: VCC 2.3 has been added to the download page. This version fixes a bug in the serial port initialization routine, fixes a problem with the track number display when used with MPXPlay 1.54 and later, and includes a better spectrum analyzer display routine.

12-31-06: Cut-over to the new domain and new webpages is planned for tomorrow.

10-31-06: I registered "thecoldfront.com" about a month ago. While it doesn't reflect the content of this site, I like the name, and it's easy to remember. Currently, I'm working on rewriting the web pages. When they're ready, "The Cold Front" will be born, and "Techworld" will be retired. Most of the old content will be transferred to the new site, along with a few updates here and there.

11-27-05: VCC 2.2 has been added to the download page. This version fixes a directory browsing bug and fixes some stability issues in the TSR.

10-08-05: Server died again. Restored from a backup, yet again. I think I've found the source of the data corruption. If it dies again, I'll transfer the site over to the old server.

10-05-05: The server was down for over two days, thanks to some massive data corruption. Restored the server using a recent backup image.

03-11-05: There will be some downtime this weekend, as I move everything over to a different server.

01-12-05: Fixed a couple of minor errors in the Win95b Boot CD documentation.

08-09-04: Added a link to Matthias's MpXT/MPXPlay installation guide.

08-01-04: Had some server issues over the weekend. Should be fixed now.

04-02-04: Posted VCC 2.12 and MpXT 1.49 Beta2 on the download page.

02-03-04: Expect a couple hours of downtime, this evening, when I replace server's hard drive.

01-28-04: Switched over to the new server. The discussion board has been turned back on. Everything *should* work.

01-24-04: Expect some downtime this weekend (minutes not hours) while I work on moving things to a different server.

01-15-04: The MpXT 1.49 Beta 1 is available on the download page.

01-03-04: Made some changes, in an effort to make this site a little more useful. Added a "Docs" section with a Windows 95b boot CD how-to, a link to the future MpXT software project, renamed the topic groups in the discussion forum, added screen shots for LcdEm, and even updated the "Links" page. VCC 2.11 and RealScan 0.96 are available on the download page. VCC 2.11 passes "-in 4" to MPXPlay. Newer releases of MPXPlay need the extra command parameter to tell it to give textfile-based track naming priority over ID3 tag track naming. RealScan 0.96 fixes a minor display glitch which occurs when using an LCD character display connected to COM2.

01-01-04: LcdEm beta 2 has been posted on the download page. In beta 2, the video performance has been improved considerably.

Last Update: 4-19-2016