(1) For direct access to the DrJack soaring forecast products — BLIPMAPs and BLIPSPOTs — you must "register" (which is free) by following the instructions at the Registration Sign-Up page. For more registration information, see the Registration Information webpage.
(2) At one time subscription was required to obtain access to many BLIPMAPs. Currently, the only advantage to being "subscribed", which requires a financial contribution, is that you would show your support for BLIPMAPs and also receive any mailings I send to subscirbers. Since subscribers have shown their support for BLIPMAPs in a tangible way and contributed to their development, I regard them as being the audience to which I should address myself and consider in any future BLIPMAP changes. The page below is largely a legacy describing the rationale behind subscriptions.
The rationale for BLIPMAPs to help promote enjoyable soaring by increasing one's chances of a good soaring flight through better weather information. The reason for subscriptions is to obtain financial support for the resources that BLIPMAP production requires, and for the value they provide, so their production can be maintained and improved. The necessity of subscriptions should not unduly detract from the BLIPMAPs rationale, so I am not requiring subscriptions for all forecast access. My expectation is that there will always be some pilots who are more interested in weather factors than are others, and those pilots are the ones I would expect to subscribe to help keep BLIPMAPs operating as a resource for the entire community. The "free" forecasts are intended primarily for those just interested in staying aloft in local flights near the launch site, while the "subscription-only" forecasts are more important to pilots planning longer flights.
What is "Registration"
I ask that website users of the BLIPMAP and BLIPSPOT forecast products be "registered". There is no charge for registration. Registered users have direct access to all BLIPMAP and BLIPSPOT forecasts. A user registers to establish a UserID, with access to the forecasts being obtained either through use of a registration "cookie" or through "cookieless" access. More information is provided on the Registration Information webpage. For information on registration concerns such as obtaining a new cookie or recovering lost UserID/Password information, please see that page.
What is "Subscription"
Subscription is an extension of the Registration system which allows subscribed users access to all BLIPMAP forecasts for a given model after payment of a subscription fee. Before subscribing, users must first register to create their UserID, A registration/subscription UserID is intended for use by a single individual, not by multiple individuals or a club.
Why isn't everything free ?
My thoughts on the whys and wherefores behind the decision to implement subscription payments in 2004 are given on the Subscription Decision webpage. Briefly, the free forecasts are primarily for those interested just in staying aloft near their airport - those interested in flying cross-country are more likely to desire additional forecast parameters.
The subscription forecast model choices are:
Those unfamiliar with the RAP and NAM models, the differences between them, and the advantages of each can find more information at the NAM vs RAP comparison page.
How to Subscribe
Before you can subscribe, you must first be registered, which can be done at the Registration Sign-Up webpage, and be "Logged On" (i.e. have a "DrJack Registration cookie" on your PC). You will then be able to subscribe by either:
Subscription Term and Status
Subscriptions are valid for 12 months, expiring on the last day of the subscription month. A courtesy notice will be sent to your subscribed email address on the first day of the month in which expiration is to take place. An expiration notice will be sent on the first day of the month following expiration. Users can check their individual subscription status and their subscription date by using the View/Change User Info webpage or the "View/Change User Info" link on any registration page.
Use of multiple computers is possible, but you must use the UserID associated with your subscription to create a "cookie" on each PC. This means that if a cookie associated with a non-subscribed account already exists on your computer, you must first Erase that cookie ("Logoff") and then Create a new cookie ("Logon") using the subscribed UserID - that can be done using the links on any registration page such as the User Info page. Please note that you do not have to "Logoff" when you change between, say, your PC at home and your PC at work. Since only a single email address can be associated with a UserID, this does mean that you must choose whether your home, work, etc. email address is to be the one associated with that UserID (I would suggest it be whichever is least likely to change!).
The intent of subscriptions is to obtain support for the value that BLIPMAPs provide, so that they can continue, and is not intended to unduly detract from the primary goal of BLIPMAPs, to help promote enjoyable soaring by increasing one's chances of a good soaring flight and promoting cross-country soaring. So I support the idea of printing a BLIPMAP at home and bringing it to the gliderport so that others can view it. I am not trying to create a system in which only "authorized" people are supposed to be allowed to look at a forecast! I expect available information to be shared by pilots, as is done by pilots exchanging in-flight reports over the radio. If others find that the forecasts have value, I expect they will want to also have access at locations other than the gliderport and will subscribe themselves.
For the same reason, I will also provide free unlimited access to all BLIPMAPs from a "public access" terminal at a club or commercial operation located on a gliderport/airport. For more information, see the "public access" section of the Registration Information page.
Also, if there is some "once-per-year" public event which affects a large group of people, for example a contest, I will provide an individual associated with that event free access for the purpose of forecasting for that event (for a temporary period of two weeks). For this option, that individual must send me an email request at the time when he wishes the temporary access to begin containing information about the event and the UserID for which temporary access is requested.
I recognize that these policies could allow abuse to occur, but I will put my faith in the basic integrity of soaring pilots. [Though I will also be running a few monitoring scripts to look for flagrant misuse.] I would rather that access be overly liberal than overly restrictive. If someone is poor-spirited and wants badly enough to get "free" access I am sure he can find an underhanded way to do so - my feeling about any such folks is expressed by the words of the Christmas caroling song, "if you haven't got a ha'penny, then god bless you".
Website "Hot Links"
Websites which contain "hot links" to those DrJack individual forecasts which require subscription-only access will be fully functional for those users who are subscribed at the appropriate level. For other users, however, only those forecasts which are freely provided - such as the "Thermal Velocity" and "Buoyancy/Shear Ratio" BLIPMAPs and BLIPSPOTs - will appear. I consider webpages containing multiple "hot link" forecasts to be providing a service to users by indicating which forecasts that webmaster feels are most useful for his site - but that should not be a means of allowing everyone to view any forecast that the webmaster chooses to post. Additional information about "Hot Links"
I will not be seeking or allowing any commercial advertisements to be displayed on the DrJack pages or forecasts. This website is sponsored by its users.
What is a "Cookie" ?
Upon "logging on", a "cookie" containing your UserID and password is sent to and saved on your computer, so it later can be sent upon request from your browser to the drjack.info website (and only to that website!) to identify the user. For normal access to DrJack forecasts a valid DrJack cookie must be found by your computer's browser (though more complex "cookieless" access is also available). Details are available in the More Information on Cookies section of the Registration Information webpage.
Other: Problems, subscription status, cookies, ...
If you are unsure of your subscription status or UserID or email, see the View/Change User Info webpage.
Obtaining a new "cookie" for your computer, recovering forgotten User Information (UserID/Password), changing one's User Information, "cookieless" access, and cookie-related access problems are all registration issues and are discussed in the Registration Information webpage.
Other problems are most likely registration problems, which are discussed in the "Problems" section of the Registration Information webpage.