Hobbyist Weather Project

The Weather Channel has been around since the beginning of cable television. One popular portion of their offerings has been Weatherscan channel. It's a 24/7 feed of local weather without any anchors, meteorologists, or interruptions. It's just weather set to jazz music. And now weather lovers are saving it before the official shutdown. Benj Edwards at Ars Technica has more.

The Weather Channel amassed a large fan following over the decades, and that community maintains a wiki filled with intricate details about beloved on-air talentdiscontinued programs, and the back-end tech that pulls it all together. It's that deep lore that inspires hobbyists like Bates to try to preserve the equipment. "At the end of the day, we are not only preserving the hardware and software that we are nostalgic for, but also that which made The Weather Channel what it once was."

Recently, during the pandemic, Bates reverse-engineered an earlier Weather Channel computer called the Weather Star 4000. During the 1990s, it provided on-screen computer forecasts until just before Weatherscan launched in 1999, although some units still hung on as late as 2014. The Weather Star software inspired its own wave of nostalgia, including simulators that mimic its distinct retro look.

Ars Technica

If you give any website, service, or offering enough of a lifetime online or on TV, you'll find people who latch onto it in the most loving ways. Weatherscan, of all things, has a following too. Many fan projects look to save and preserve things before they disappear forever. That is the entire point of the Internet Archive. In fact, before Yahoo shut down Geocities the IA put in a concerted effort to save everything first. That's how integral to the history of the internet Geocities was.