Originally Web posted 4 January 2004.
Content last modified Friday, 25 January 2008 .
External links last verified Thursday, 27 January 2005.

Macintosh Weather Software Review

by

Sonic Purity

Summary

Product Name/Version Source Price System Requirements Development Status Sonic’s Rating
Earth Browser 1.7.1 http://www.earthbrowser.com/ US$20 Shareware PowerPC Processor, Macintosh OS 8.6 or higher, Quicktime 4.0 or higher, 32 MB RAM, 90 MB Disk space. See review below for OS X information. Active Excellent (for fast machines)
Simple Weather 1.75 Colourfull Creations Shareware (too difficult to navigate poor website to find out price) Macintosh 9.0 or higher; Macintosh OS X 10.0 or higher Active Fair
Son Of Weather Grok 4.2.2 Bains Software US$10 Donationware PPC Macintosh, 4 MB Ram, Mac OS 8.6 or higher or Mac OS X 10.1.x, Carbon Lib 1.2 or higher. One Carbonized version for OS X and the Vintage Mac OS. Active Would be at least Good if stable
WeatherCenter 1.6.1 Smashin Software US$10 shareware Not explicitly listed. Guessing OS 7.x and newer, plus a separate version for OS X 10.0.4 and newer. Moribund and unknown Flaky
WeatherChecker 1.0 Gavin Shapiro Freeware System 8.1 or Later with CarbonLib (Or Mac OS X) ???? Poor
Weather Grok 3.6.9 StimpSoft™, Inc. Freeware Weather Grok can be run on any Macintosh with OS 8.0 or higher and 3 MB free RAM. Open Transport is required. Separate versions for OS X and the Vintage Mac OS. Dead and Unsupported. See Son Of Weather Grok. Good
WeatherMac 2.0 Scott Norris Freeware System 7.1 or later and Open Transport. Moribund Fair
WeatherMan v1.8.12 After Ten Software US$10 shareware
  • WeatherMan runs on any classic Mac with Open Transport installed. Avoid QuickTime 4.1.2 if you can.
  • Having AppleScript installed would be nice but not required.
  • WeatherMan runs on OS 9.x. There are some known bugs on OS 8.x but nothing too serious. Separate versions for OS X and the Vintage Mac OS.
  • An internet connection.
Active Very Good
WeatherTracker™ 3.0.7 Aladdin Systems Discontinued Payware N.A. stone cold Dead Poor
WeatherWatch 1.0 Domain Softworx US$12 shareware A Macintosh computer with any PowerPC processor; Mac OS 8 or later (Mac OS 9 compatible); QuickTime 4.0 or later for satellite graphics; An Internet connection, dialup or fixed. Not compatible with proxies. Dead Poor

Earth Browser 1.7.1

From the Author:

Earth Browser is a three dimensional model of the Earth that is constantly monitoring conditions around the globe. It will keep you informed on the latest weather forecasts, earthquakes, volcanoes and webcams from all over the world. It also becomes a beautiful screen saver when your computer is idle.

Sonic’s review:

Earth Browser is a very comprehensive program that goes well beyond just weather forecasts. Version 1.7.1 appears to be the final version for the Vintage Mac OS (to 9.2.2). As of the date this page was last revised, Earth Browser is currently supported for OS X and is at version 2.5.1, costing up to US$30. It was pretty slow on my 9600/350 running 9.2.2, though it was stable and doing an awful lot of processing (bumping up the RAM allocation did not seem to help much). Forecast data in v. 1.7.1 appears limited to a “5-day forecast”, and lacks the extended forecast, warnings, and other NOAA information products like WeatherMan provide. Still, the other products don’t cover the world as well as Earth Browser, are not as intuitive, and don’t touch things like earthquakes and volcanic activity. Very well documented, and appears to be well supported. Folks with fast Macs and especially those running OS X should take a serious look at this program.


Simple Weather 1.7.5

From the Author:

Simple Weather 1.7 is an easy to use and understand weather program that updates the weather for you when you specify. Keep up to date on what the weather is like even if you can’t see the outside. Simply open Simple Weather and read the easy instructions and you are ready to go.

Sonic’s review:

Very limited display. Smaller and maybe faster than WeatherMan, though far less informative. The OS 9 version of this product seems to have actually gotten worse from 1.7 to 1.7.5: text is cut off, does not sort when field heads are clicked. Then again, the documentation is sufficiently poor that it is hard to tell what is supposed to happen.


Son Of Weather Grok 4.2.2

From the Author:

Son of Weather Grok is an application that displays weather conditions and forecasts for cities from around the world. Son of Grok will show the temperature, sky conditions, humidity, wind speed, pressure, ceiling, visibility, and much more. Weather data is usually updated hourly from NOAA, and you can set Son of Grok to get this data at specified time intervals. The data is then displayed in an easy to read format using fancy-schmancy sky condition illustrations like you see on the news, along with the details in a small scrolling ticker and drop down list.

Sonic’s review:

Son of Weather Grok is the currently-supported replacement for the older Weather Grok program. I had previously tested version 4.2.1, which showed quite a bit of promise, and some competition for WeatherMan. 4.2.2 has proven to be an unstable crashy mess on my system, so i cannot currently revisit SWG’s merits. I have submitted a bug report to the author and will update this review if i can get a version that runs stably for me.


WeatherCenter 1.6.1

From the Author:

WeatherCenter is designed to keep you updated on current weather conditions, as well as providing a simple way to get weather outlook information, all in a TV Weather-style format.

Sonic’s review:

Fails to work correctly in substantial ways (missing information). Seems less complete than WeatherMan, and definitely more modal. Smashin Software appears to be shuffling its product offerings. There appears to have been a successor to WeatherChecker called iWeather. iWeather appears to have ceased development at prerelease version 3 (PR 3). WeatherCenter is listed as “Coming Soon…” on a page with a copyright date of 1999. Appears to be limited to only one city at a time. Promising, yet very unfinished product.


WeatherChecker 1.0

From the Author:

WeatherChecker is a program that you can use to check the weather. The first time you run it, it will ask you for your zip code. Once you enter it, it will give you the weather for that zip code at weather.com. From then on, whenever you run the program it will give you the weather for that zip code and you will not have to enter it again. If you ever want to change the zip code, just hold down the Command key while starting the program and you will be prompted to enter the zip code again.

Sonic’s review:

WeatherChecker does nothing more than launch a web browser and find the correct weather.com link. Not that useful IMO.


Weather Grok 3.6.9

From the Author:

Weather Grok is a simple application used to grab the latest weather conditions from NOAA. Weather Grok uses NOAA's ICAO codes to lookup the weather conditions for your area. Weather Grok provides a simple, easy-to-use interface to the information on local weather provided by NOAA. Weather Grok can get this data at specified time intervals or whenever you wish.

Sonic’s review:

Well made, and decently documented. Price cannot be beat. No forecast, yet very good and flexible for the basic current information. Has been superceded by Son Of Weather Grok.


WeatherMac 2.0

From the Author:

WeatherMac lets you call up the weather in your area. You can even have it read to you.

Sonic’s review:

Very fast. Supports multiple cities, but only displays one at a time. Nice automation feature (untested) to have it auto-save a text file for printing. Updates every hour; not adjustable. As with most of these products, the documentation is sparse, and there are no recent signs of ongoing development. If all you want is current temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and wind speed,and you don’t mind being stuck with only U.S. units (no metric), the price is right and you may want to check it out. I usually want some kind of forecast.


WeatherMan v1.8.12

From the Author:

WeatherMan downloads current weather conditions, current weather forecast, severe weather statements and Nexrad radar images from the National Weather Service.

Sonic’s review:

I have been using WeatherMan since version 1.8.3b2. It does enough of what i want well enough that i have long been a registered user. Takes up more screen real estate than other choices, yet uses it well: it is very complete. The biggest problem has been documentation: the author readily admits preferring spending time improving the program over creating and maintaining documentation. At least in recent versions there is a Quick Start guide! The scrolling bug still occasionally pops up (intermittent lack of scroll bars), otherwise WeatherMan has evolved to become pretty stable. Hint: double-click on the radar image to open it in a bigger window where its contents can actually be seen.


WeatherTracker™ 3.0.7

From the Author:

Aladdin Systems has removed WeatherTracker, and instead has links to other weather software.

Sonic’s review:

WeatherTracker is obsolete payware, for which serial #s are no longer available. In previous unregistered testing under OS 8.1, it tended to crash.


WeatherWatch 1.0

From the Author:

WeatherWatch downloads and displays satellite graphics for all the regions of the world, plus temperature, humidity, visibility, and more.

Sonic’s review:

What is it about weather software that causes developers to abandon the projects so early and so often? This appears to be another dead product, not even listed on the company’s website. There are better choices, though the display of the Weather Underground national temp. map is nice, and other products could learn from it.


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