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Meteorology FAQ Part 1/7: Intro

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Archive-name: meteorology/faq-intro
Last-modified: 1 March 2000

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This article is copyright (c) 2000 by Tom Berg. It may be freely
distributed for non-commercial purposes only, provided that this copyright notice and the instructions on retrieving a current copy are not removed. 

With special honor given to Ilana Stern who conceived of this FAQ and
maintained it with the greatest of professionalism and care until the torch was passed to me.  

If you would like to put this article in an archive and want to receive
a new copy automatically at every update, please send me email.  I DO NOT
MAINTAIN A MAILING LIST SO PLEASE DON'T ASK FOR ME TO SEND YOU COPIES
AT EACH UPDATE UNLESS YOU ARE ARCHIVING IT FOR PUBLIC USAGE OR FURTHER
REDISTRIBUTION!

Corrections, additions, and comments should be sent to Tom Berg at
hcane@mobile.gulf.net.  Please include in your message where you read
this document.  Note that if I know about it, it's in this document.

If the date in the headers of the document you're reading
is more than a month old, you should retrieve a current copy.
Current copies of this FAQ series can be obtained in hypertext form via WWW at <URL:http://www.mobile.gulf.net/~hcane/met/scigeo.html> These faqs are also stored in the general USENET FAQ repositories, for example <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/meteorology/>
and <URL:http://www.faqs.org/>.


Subject: 1) Table of contents 1) Table of contents 2) Overview 3) Where to find the FAQs 4) How to use the file retrieval methods Each (major) section has a "Subject:" line, so you can search on the subject title above to find the section quickly.
Subject: 2) Overview This is the introduction to a series of FAQ postings for the Usenet newsgroup sci.geo.meteorology. "FAQ" stands for Frequently Asked Questions: these postings are intended to answer the general question, "Where can I get <X>?" for just about any value of <X> which has anything to do with meteorology. This FAQ series grew out of a FAQ which was much smaller in scope, the "Sources of Meteorological Data FAQ" which identified Internet and other sources of meteorological data for both the hobbyist and the researcher. The bulk of this FAQ series is still about data sources, but a lot of other information has been added. The following postings comprise the FAQ series: Subject: Meteorology FAQ Part 1/7: Intro Summary: Introduction to the sci.geo.meteorology FAQs Archive-name: meteorology/faq-intro 1. Table of contents 2. Overview 3. Where to find the FAQs 4. How to use the file retrieval methods Subject: Meteorology FAQ Part 2/7: Sources of weather data Summary: Weather data available via the Internet Archive-name: meteorology/weather-data 1. Table of contents 2. Overview 3. Collections of weather data links 4. US Regional Climate Centers 5. US State Climatologists Subject: Meteorology FAQ Part 3/7: Sources of research data Summary: Research and miscellaneous data available via the Internet Archive-name: meteorology/research-data 1. Table of contents 2. Overview 3. Multidisciplinary Data Centers 4. Climate and weather 5. Satellite data 6. Hydrology and glaciology 7. Environmental chemistry 8. Geophysical and mapping data 9. Instruments and field experiments 10. Oceanography 11. Miscellaneous data 12. Software and documentation Subject: Meteorology FAQ Part 4/6: Sources of CD-ROMs Summary: Weather and research data available via CD-ROM Archive-name: meteorology/cdroms 1. Table of contents 2. Overview 3. Weather data 4. Research data 5. Miscellaneous CDs Subject: Meteorology FAQ Part 5/7: Internet resources Summary: Mailing lists, newsgroups, institutional home pages etc. Archive-name: meteorology/net-resources 1. Table of contents 2. Overview 3. Newsgroups and WWW bulletin boards 4. Mailing lists 5. Institutional home pages -- non-US 6. Institutional home pages -- US 7. Employment resources 8. Educational resources for teachers 9. Information on meteorology topics Subject: Meteorology FAQ Part 6/7: Print and other resources Summary: Books for scientists and laymen, journals, societies etc. Archive-name: meteorology/print-resources 1. Table of contents 2. Overview 3. Books readable by English-reading nonprofessionals 4. Books readable by French-reading nonprofessionals 5. Magazines readable by nonprofessionals 6. Scientific Texts 7. Meteorological History 8. Journals 9. Professional Societies Subject: Meteorology FAQ Part 7/7: List of U.S. State Climatologists Summary: List of U.S. State Climatologist Archive-name: meteorology/state-climatologists 1. Table of contents 2. Overview 3. State Climatologists 4. Regional Climate Centers
Subject: 3) Where to find the FAQs This FAQ series is posted to sci.geo.meteorology, news.answers, and sci.answers every two weeks; it also appears on the mailing lists CLIMLIST and met-stud. Current copies of this FAQ series can be obtained in hypertext form via WWW at <URL:http://www.mobile.gulf.net/~hcane/met/scigeo.html> These faqs are also stored in the general USENET FAQ repositories, for example <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/meteorology/>. This information, particularly the internet resources lists, changes rapidly. If the date in the headers of the document you're reading is more than a month old, you should retrieve a more current copy.
Subject: 4) How to use the file retrieval methods This section only describes FTP and telnet in any detail; for other methods, FTP sites are given, so you can get information on them yourself. How to use FTP FTP (File Transfer Protocol) allows transfer of files between two computers which are on the Internet. To access the FTP areas listed here, at your system prompt type "ftp" followed by the name of the desired system. For example, to access ncardata.ucar.edu you'd type ftp ncardata.ucar.edu Use "anonymous" as your login and your email address as the password (if requested). [Note: quotes ("like this") are used to set off names of directories and files, or commands you'd type, and are not part of these names.] Not all FTP systems accept the same commands, but here's a list of the most useful: ls: list files in the current directory. cd: change directory, e.g. "cd wx" changes to the wx directory. binary: sets binary mode ascii: sets ascii mode (the default). Use for retrieving text. get: retrieves a file, e.g. "get readme" gets a file called readme. bye: exits FTP. If you can't seem to connect to the site, check to see if it is a telnet site. If it is, follow the instructions in the following section instead. If you can't FTP from your site, use one of the following ftp-by-mail servers: ftpmail@decwrl.dec.com ftpmail@src.doc.ic.ac.uk ftpmail@cs.uow.edu.au ftpmail@ftp.uni-stuttgart.de Send an e-mail message to the closest address, with the lines: reply your_address@some.where <- with your email address connect ncardata.ucar.edu <- for example cd datasets/ds111.2/software get access_sun.f quit For complete instructions, send a one-line message reading "help" to the server. Please don't ask me for help! How to use telnet Type "telnet" followed by the name or IP number of the desired system. These publicly accessible systems generally allow you to log in but put you in a restricted shell, from which only a certain menu of commands is available. The description for the site will include the login to use. If you can't seem to connect to the site, re-check its description in the document; if it's an FTP site, follow the instructions in the previous section instead. Gopher information Available by ftp at <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/>. Wais information Available by ftp at <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/wais-faq/>. WWW information Available by ftp at <URL:ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/www/>. WWW is so easy to use that you might as well just hop in and try it, so ask your sysadmin if you have a WWW browser such as NCSA Mosaic Netscape or Explorer.

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