Version 25 of JStrack

Updated 2006-07-31 01:01:56

JStrack is a freeware hurricane tracking program written entirely with Tcl/Tk.

Link: .

NOTE: JStrack's author has been diagnosed with cancer, and the JStrack site is offline until he can get his own Internet service again. This may be a while.

I said when I first wrote JStrack (even before I announced the idea to a few folks and asked for their opinions) that JStrack would always be free. This has not changed. HOWEVER.... Financial considerations at this time (bills I have no way of paying, total lack of income, etc.) require that I at least give people the chance to send donations, if they so desire.

   If you would care to donate, see for the PayPal link.

I can be reached at j88aggie AT (will update info here if/when it changes) for further contact info.

Sorry folks, but the next release might be a lot further off than I'd hoped. Here's hoping everyone is using the latest "snapshot" release from the former site....

16Jul06 UPDATE: First, JStrack is about to have a web page again. I will stress RIGHT NOW that if you are linked to anything other than the PURL ( that you are WRONG. The JStrack page may very well move several times in the near future...I'll update the PURL, but I won't (can't) update your bookmarks. :-) Depending on how various things work out in the next few weeks, I may be spending some time working on JStrack (*IF* I'm up to it), but with cancer that's metasticised to my brain, triple brain surgery just three weeks ago, and given that I'm undergoing radiation therapy (they're nuking my brain ... anyone who saw the "they's" that was there before....I probably did that, but didn't mean to, and didn't know about it until just now, four days later...that should tell you something), no promises. The pain from the surgery alone is currently enough to keep me from working on anything as serious as JStrack.....

22Jul06 UPDATES (with further updates on 24Jul06):

1) The NHC changed their data format on me (the date/time in the headers of the forecast/advisory (and I haven't even checked the other products yet) ... basically, they changed from (for example) "2100Z" to "2100 UTC"). This broke the filter (filt.tcl and/or read_fc.tcl). 24Jul06: I've fixed it, and have a temporary site online (only the downloads section, and only a limited subset of that) at .

2) EVERYONE WHO WAS ON THE JStrack E-MAIL DISTRIBUTION LIST, PLEASE NOTE: When I was admitted to the hospital after the Grand Mal seizure at work, my family moved me out of the place I'd just moved into (for various reasons, mostly distance from the hospital and suddenly being out of work, with some serious questions as to whether or not I'll ever be able to return to work, I could no longer live there). In the process of doing so, they had to move my FreeBSD machine without knowing the root password. Fellow Unix admins know where I'm headed with this: they had no way of doing a proper shutdown, and had to pull the rug out from under the machine. Now, we all know that you can usually get away with this, as fsck [1] will usually repair the filesystem(s)...and we also all know that, if you just happen to hit it at just the right (errr, wrong) moment, you can totally devastate the system.... Unfortunately, they just happened to hit it at exactly that worst possible instant, and the devastation was beyond belief in /usr (includes /home) and, to a lesser degree, in / (only MOST of the files are in lost+found (which, btw, had to be created for /usr, as the original was trashed along with the rest of the system), as opposed to ALL files (including directories---all of which are now zero-size).

Result: I've lost all of my old e-mail, including JStrack e-mail and the JStrack e-mail list that was in /etc/aliases ... which no longer exists (unless I get really lucky and manage to find its remains in the smoking crater that was once my old FreeBSD machine (a new one shall arise from the ashes of the first). IF YOU WANT TO BE ON THE NEW JStrack E-MAIL LIST, send me e-mail at j88aggie AT And keep in mind that it may be a while....

3) If you would like to help with the development of JStrack, given my new disability, I could really use the help. E-mail me......

Now....because someone already missed the point above, let me make it once more: JStrack is now, has always been, and SHALL ALWAYS BE FREE SOFTWARE. To the person who offered to help me set it up as commercially-available software, thanks, but no thanks. If I have to, I will contact a lawyer to make sure that, in the event of my death, JStrack will remain freeware forever...but I would hope that this wouldn't be needed (I'm sure the person who contacted me meant well...they just didn't understand my intentions clearly enough---thus this paragraph to make them more clear).

Btw, here's an update on the cancer: it started out lower, but ended up in the lungs and in the lymph nodes. Chemotherapy took care of the bulk of that. Now, two months after the end of chemo, I'm back in the hospital with a new nightmare: triple brain surgery, seizures, and arms that have run completely out of workable I/V sites and are black and blue from previous sites (and attempts at sites). I'm now facing the possibility (or certainty, if you ask my doctors) of permanent disability---both my oncologist and neurosurgeon have said I'll never be able to return to work, but then, my current employer says they're waiting for me (but do they know what they'll be getting back? for that matter, do I?).... I suppose only time will tell.... Stress is tearing me apart right now---that much, I do know....

If all goes well, I should have a JStrack site again before too much longer. Per orders of both the neurosurgeon and the speach therapists, I'm to spend a good amount of time each day playing computer games (both the hand/eye and mental type) and goofing around on the Internet...all of which is intended to help rebuild mental pathways disrupted by 3X brain surgery last week. In other words, high speed Internet is no longer just a nice thing to have for me---it's doctor's orders...and arrangements are already being made for a place for said Internet to be hooked up, too.... Now, if I could just see clearly (spots, gaps, ghosts, you name it...after having a 2.5cm tumor removed from the occipital of three total tumors....).

The Wayback Machine contains the following snapshot of JStack, in case anyone needs it: It's a 1.6MB download (unpacks to 15MB) though, so go easy on the WBM.

Thanks! --jdg Except, uhhh, it's a dead link. No JStrack. If anyone has the latest version, and wouldn't mind making it available, please put the link here. I have, in a storage locker I can't get to, an even more up-to-date version with some rather major updates from last hurricane season (if I remember correctly---combine the "fog" from chemotherapy and the anti-stress medication they've got me on and my memory isn't so great) and...if I haven't lost the locker and everything in it due to financial problems by then, I'll try to dig out the FreeBSD machine and make a new release with the *REAL* latest version.....

update: Here is a link for JSTrack I removed all the storm data to make the download smaller(~700k). The current timestamp files will not collect any old storm data, if you would like to retrieve old storm data, you can run "wish initial_timestamps.tcl" in the ftpfilt directory to reset them to Jims latest settings(Sep 2004 I think). In any case, I hope you are doing well Jim. You are in my prayers. Paul Stroud

Also, anyone interested in how I'm doing in my fight against cancer should look at my atspace page, which, as I type this, I'm working on setting up as a central point for distributing information to friends/family. The link is . Also check out my myspace page (which I don't check very often), at .

(Note to Wiki admins---please advise if you disapprove of this being on the Wiki...just e-mail me with the info. The lack of a response to this so far leads me to believe that there are no objections, but I'll still keep this here, just in case---I do NOT want to be seen as abusing/mis-using the site.)

[1] Note to the non-Unix types: fsck is short for filesystem check. It checks/repairs damage to Unix filesystems after improper shutdowns, after the filesystem has been mounted a certain number of times without being checked (just in case), etc...... In the hands of an experienced admin, it can be dangerous (depending on the damage being repaired). In the hands of a novice, well, fsck itself can trash the filesystem if, for example, said novice runs it on a mounted filesystem. fsck has two pronunciations...the polite one (pronounced like "fisk") or the more usual one (rhymes with "tuck" or "muck" or "suck" or ... see where this is headed...basically, the second letter is different).

Category Application