Just a little progress report on the code I’m writing for the Ambient Orb…
I have just finished the calculations needed to process the Clear Sky Clock. The orb will basically show a sky forecast for the next 48 hours (more details below for those interested). Right now that’s the only one I am playing with, but I’m also going to be creating a windows service wrapper with scheduling capabilities so I can have the orb, for instance, show sky data on nights and weekends while showing some other data during the day. That’ll all be pretty easy to do, and writing “plugin” data providers for the orb will be a piece of cake.
Back to the calculation… I take the data provided by that website, then calculate each hour’s weighted average (sky transparency, cloud cover, and ‘seeing’). Those values are then averaged over a configurable calculation window (hard coded to 3 hours right now) since I don’t want the orb to show me that the sky is fantastic when it is only going to be that way for an hour (setting up the scope and letting it cool down takes about an hour). The code then takes the calculation window with the greatest average as the one to report on. A window value of 100 is blue, 0 is red. I then take the forecast time of that window divided by the window size to determine the animation. Fast flashing would indicate the forecast is for the next 3 hours in my case. No flashing basically means that it’s 20 hours away or so.
Next step is to have all of the options and threshholds configurable, then move on to the windows service. I’m pretty excited about having it almost done, especially since I haven’t spent much time with it at all!