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Automatic Profile Retrieval

Using the BufGet Utility

24 June 2004



Summary: 

    The BufGet utility allows you to download a list of BUFKIT profiles from any site using any protocol with a single click of a button.

Graphic of the Bufget 4 application window

Background:

     Downloading BUFKIT profiles from Internet locations can be challenging.  Netscape tends to corrupt profiles sent via http protocol, Internet Explorer wants to rename the files by adding ".txt" to the end of the file names.  If you pull profiles from different sites, you have to jump from web page to web page.  Finally you have to remember the correct directory to save the appropriate profile.

Installation:
  • BufGet is written in a language called TCL/TK, so you must install TCK/TK on your computer first.  TCL/TK is available at no cost.
  • Download and install the TCK/TK package.  One way to do this to to do a Internet "Google  Search" and seach for the phrase "active tcl download" and select the first returned site.
  • Once TCL/TK is installed, the Bufget program will work properly.
Running BufGet
  • To run BufGet, just click on the Windows START button and then select Programs ->  Bufkit -> Bufget
  • For each profile you want to retrieve, enter the full URL of the profile in the "Profile List" text box.  One profile per line.

  • Graphic of the Bufget window with profile list shown
    What is the the URL for a profile?  You can find this out by using Netscape or Internet Explorer to view a profile by LEFT CLICKING on the profile link.  Instead of a pop-up menu asking where you want to save the file, your browser will display the profile.  The browser's URL line will now contain the URL you need to enter into BufGet. 
    For example, the first entry in the profile list shown above was copied from Netscape's URL entry:
    URL highlighted for a specific BufGet profile
    Note that BufGet will support http: and ftp: protocols.  Just make sure you include this initial part of the URL.
  • Click on the "Get Profiles" Button.  A status display will open up at the bottom of BufGet showing the progress of the profile retrievals.

  • Screen grab of the status window of a BufGet profile download
  • BufGet uses your existing BUFKIT configuration files to determine what directories to save the etakit, metakit, and ngmkit profiles.
  • Before exiting BufGet, save your profile list by clicking on one of the four "Save Profile List" buttons:Screen grab of the 'Save Profile List' buttons  List "A" is loaded automatically when BufGet starts up.  You might want to assign one list for your etakit profiles (00z and 12z) and another list for your midpoint eta or metakit profiles (06z and 18z).
  • Once a profile is successfully retrieved, you can fire up BUFKIT to examine that profile.  You don't have to wait for BufGet to complete its entire list before you start your analysis.
 You can download data even if you are behind a firewall or use a proxy server.

Several sites provided feedback on problems they had retrieving profiles when their PC was either behind a firewall or access the Internet through a proxy server. The current version (release 2.2) provides the capability to get profiles in these cases.

-  Install BufGet using the procedures listed above.

-  Using an ASCII editor (Wordpad will do, just be sure to save as Text), edit one or two lines at the top of the file as follows:

##################################################################
#  Set Your Three Internet Access Options here:
#
# 1.  Do you want passive FTP transfers?
#      1  means TRUE
#      0  means FALSE
#    Normally you would PASSIVE to No (i.e. 0).
#    However, if you are behind a firewall, or have a problem 
#    getting any FTP connection, then set PASSIVE to TRUE (i.e. 1)

set PASSIVE 0
#
# 2.  Do you have Internet assess through a proxy server?
#      1  means TRUE
#      0  means FALSE
#    Most sites do not go through a Proxy server to gain Internet access.
#    In this case set PROXY to No (i.e. 0) and you can ignore 
#    the PROXYSERVER setting.
#    However, if you have to go through a proxy server, 
#    set PROXY to TRUE (i.e. 1) AND set PROXYSERVER to the name 
#    (or IP Number) of the proxy server,

set PROXY 0
set PROXYSERVER  192.168.0.1
#################################################################
 

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