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Rafal

Active Sky Advanced

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Active Sky Advanced has been released.I know it's very fresh but has anyone tried it?http://www.hifisim.com/asa.phpI've been a longtime user of ASv65 and wonder if it is worth upgrading.It's not an easy decision whether to buy or not since December is a credit card killer, especially with PMDG MD-11 to come next days hopefully.And I've already bought FSDT LSGG and an AES credit pack this month.I will be very grateful to any ASA buyer who shares his impressions here.Thanks in advance!Best regards,Rafal

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I'd also be grateful!Rafal - zycie cie najlepszego z anglii :-)

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Very nice. I purchased the upgrade version to FS9 AS6.5. Download and installation very easy and intuitive. I recommend reading the documentation as it will provide insight on all the capabilities the advanced version provides--which are numerous. It also allows the same level of integration with other addons--GE PRO/Flight Environment etc. I did several test flights--following the same habit pattern when loading FS9. Build the flightplan in FSBuild, click on ASA icon, wait about a minute for the weather to synthesize and build around user selected home drone, then import my route, and get a weather breifing--this is where there are significant improvements--you can select a map version with your route overlayed and get all the weather you need, or have it in METAR/TAF format. After the briefing, I integrate GE PRO textures with a click on GE icon that's provided--GE PRO loads as before--then I minimize ASA to the desktop tray and start FS9...so no changes in my startup sequence required.I loaded the test flight and was on the active at KMEM--the weather took just a hair longer to load but it was far more comprehensive--if I can use that term--since ASA draws from more stations--it fills in more gaps--I noticed this especially when airborne--with the old AS6.5, weather was pretty much limited to the draw distance within certain parameters of your route of flight and station locations--ASA (with the same draw distance in FS9) fills in much more.I did not see any FPS difference at all from what AS6.5 had.So for a quick review, the new menu and interface options is very intuitive and taps into lots of capability (which I have not explored to the fullest yet). No FPS hit. Weather is "fuller" and more comprehensive and appears to extend to far more distances.One area I haven't tapped into (Since I have Flight Environment for Cloud textures etc) is the ASA graphics--using the "snapshot" methodology. If anyone could offer a comparison between FE and ASA graphics/textures, that would be useful.Mudhendriver

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I don't have it yet but will probably purchase it tonight and give it a try. I am reading through the manual. Everyone should definitely read through the manual first. It probably answers most of the questions you have:http://www.hifisim.com/ASAUserHome/Documentation/ASA.pdfI'll post impressions later tonight, but by the time I get into it I probably won't have a lot of time.

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I don't have it yet but will probably purchase it tonight and give it a try. I am reading through the manual. Everyone should definitely read through the manual first. It probably answers most of the questions you have:http://www.hifisim.com/ASAUserHome/Documentation/ASA.pdfI'll post impressions later tonight, but by the time I get into it I probably won't have a lot of time.
Thanks MudHenDriver,Wow, I have to plead ignorance on this one. I did not even consider for a minute that the team at HiFi would come back to us FSniners ;) From my perspective, I am certainly ready for an ASV6.5 update but thought it would never happen. By not forgetting about us, HiFi automatically gets my business!! Knowing I will get a great product and phenomenal support if needed is just a bonus...I will try to provide an update later as well but from just reading the admin guide I am very excited (within the limits of FS9 of course)Cheers,-Paul

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Thanks everyone for the input!Mudhendriver, your short preview-review is very convincing. I guess I'll be putting ASA on my shopping list.Paul, that really is good news for FS9ers as well as the 3-head quuen to come within a few days.By the way I hope your back is fine now!Gavin, ja tez zycze cie wszystkiego najpszego z polskich gor i wspanialego roku MD-11-kowego!Best regards,Rafal

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Hi All,For a bit more reading:http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=237941Just remember that X Pax will also work with FS9! If you are in the market for a "fun" type add-on.
I absolutely always trust Jure so you couldn't have pointed to a better review even though I was already convinced :)Jim, Can I ask you a quick question? I am currently running ASV local on my main FS box but I do have WideFS and with all the features of ASA I would like to move it to my WideFS box instead. Is there any way for me to migrate from one to the other? Thanks in advance!!Thanks Rafal!!! I wish it was :( I was actually back in hospital for some more work as recent as 3 or 4 weeks ago LOL... Hopefully one day ;) Thank you again though, i really appreciate it!!!Happy Holidays everyone.-PaulBTW, just wait until you see that Tri Jet Titan in FS9!! I am seeing about 40-45 FPS at the most dense locations and ridiculous FPS in the air so I just lock at 40 (the low) and holy cow it is unreal!!!

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Hi Paul,You would need to install ASv6.5 on the client, don't get things to even work, purchase the ASv6.5 upgrade version, install that on the client and then you can set up ASA for use across your network. Having a second screen is pretty sweet!

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Hi Paul,You would need to install ASv6.5 on the client, don't get things to even work, purchase the ASv6.5 upgrade version, install that on the client and then you can set up ASA for use across your network. Having a second screen is pretty sweet!
Awesome!Thanks Jim...Second screen :( Try 5th just for FS LOL... :( 3 for the FS rig, one laptop running FSEarth overlayed on top of Google Earth and now a WideFS box for ASA!I have no doubts I will be as pleased with ASA as I have been over the years with ASV. Thank Damian from all of us!!!Thanks for the time to answer,-Paul

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So how much has it been, with all of the upgrades, that you have all spent on this thing so far? Has it REALLY been worth it?

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So how much has it been, with all of the upgrades, that you have all spent on this thing so far? Has it REALLY been worth it?
hmmm...I'd say worth like art is in the eye of the beholder, very much an individual choice. FS9, with all its addons, and addons with upgrades, has been quite worth it to me.Cheers and Merry Christmas.Mudhendriver

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I finally got some time in the program! Oddly enough, real weather kept me from getting much time in this addon. I've spent most of my time shoveling out my driveway. Anyway this is only my impression after two very short flights. My first flight took off from KONT in Southern California. The weather there was pretty plain, so it didn't do much to show me what ASA can do! (I was hoping to catch some winds off the mountains, but I realized I only had that on 50% chance and I didn't seem to get them that moment). I'm in the middle of my 2nd flight now and it is much more interesting weather-wise. Buffalo, NY to Altoona, PA. I know for a fact that Buffalo is having interesting weather, because I've spend the better part of the last few days clearing that weather out of my driveway :)I'm flying in the Dreamfleet Dakota.-I was disappointed to see moderate snow falling at KBUF, when I know it changed over to rain very early this morning. Although I checked the metar and it still listed snow, so it was the weather reporting and not the program itself. -Wind gusts and turbulence are much more noticeable, at least on this flight. I don't remember getting many wind gusts in cruise with AS6, but this feels like much more is going on. The Dakota is getting shaken around much more. In real life, we have a high wind warning for later today, so it is probably very realistic that my Dakota is getting rocked with stronger winds. -There probably is a lot more going on with the weather engine that I haven't seen yet. I need to make more flights to really get into all the features. -The map option is very cool. You can get this data (at least for the US) from the web, but it is really nice to have your flightplan along with the current weather conditions for your route. -The graphic snapshots (to manage textures) seems really powerful. So far I just generated a bunch of sets from ASG, but I plan on including some Flight Environment textures. Overall there are a ton more options and you could really use any amount of freeware and payware textures. Overall I am impressed with the program and glad I made the upgrade. I do have a few negatives so far, although some of these may just be learning the program:-The program takes a long time to load. I don't think there is any way around this. The initial startup of the program is much slower compared with AS6. Not a huge deal considering how long my FS2004 takes to load, but it needs to be mentioned.-I'm getting some occasional flashes (possibly while weather updates). I don't remember that happening in AS6. Perhaps this is just something in my settings, although I think I have everything as I want it.

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Hi,quite worth it, indeed! I can't see myself abandoning FS9 in the near future. Next flight sim will have to be quite special to convince me into shutting down FS9 for good! Exceptional, in fact! :( If you ask me, we never had it this good! Paul: thank you for a vote of confidence :( Just to let you know, my personal FS9 heaven is still running happily on the FX-57. Now back to our regular program... I tried the "Snapshot" thingie and find it to be quite a neat idea. What it does is simple: it copies cloud, water, lightning, rwys, fx and some other files from FS9 to a special folder called "Snapshots", nicely sorted in different categories. So, what does it mean?Well, for me it is actually a very handy feature. I usually set up FE and choose my clouds, then call on GEII Pro to select ground and sky textures according to weather along my route and last, I use ASG to "enhance" everything. Usually I copy dusk and dawn textures from ASG. It is all a bit of work and often I wonder, what textures I used the other day? Well, ASA will save the whole setup from the mentioned add-ons for later use. It's like saving favourites. With a twist. First, each and every snapshot can be selected as a "base" for ASA to automatically install weather influenced clouds, water, ground, etc...Second, each set belongs to a category of weather like sunny, cloudy, stormy, etc... if there is a particular combination of clouds, water, skies that I like, I can now "snapshot" it and use it again and again. ASA is a work of art. :(Merry Christmas and a happy 2009 to all of you. May you all spend more hours up there in our cyber skies than on the ground. :(Regards,Jure

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It looks nice, seems to render weather much more accurately than AS6.5 ever did (this is on FS9), all in all, I'm quite impressed, but...The startup routines take way too long. Almost as long as it takes for my FS9 to start (we're counting the time in minutes here).I'm getting a boatload of CTDs since I've started using it. Pretty much a 75% CTD rate in all my flights (3 out of the last 4), which is quite infuriating. I'm assuming these to be OOMs, since it's not limited to one module and unlike classic OOM crashes, which usually happen at the end of the flight, these are happening all over the place. So, right now, ASA has been relegated to a toy in my setup, hopefully these quirks will be worked out soon :)

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I noticed that 2 gigs ram is recommended. What if you only have 1 gig? I am planning to get another gig but was wondering.JimCYWG

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It looks nice, seems to render weather much more accurately than AS6.5 ever did (this is on FS9), all in all, I'm quite impressed, but...The startup routines take way too long. Almost as long as it takes for my FS9 to start (we're counting the time in minutes here).I'm getting a boatload of CTDs since I've started using it. Pretty much a 75% CTD rate in all my flights (3 out of the last 4), which is quite infuriating. I'm assuming these to be OOMs, since it's not limited to one module and unlike classic OOM crashes, which usually happen at the end of the flight, these are happening all over the place. So, right now, ASA has been relegated to a toy in my setup, hopefully these quirks will be worked out soon :)
That's pretty much a "deal breaker" for me.

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No CTD(s) here, but I'm running ASA on a client laptop via a WideFS network link, which allows me to conserve system and video memory on the FS9 (server) decreasing the chance of an OOM. The ASA user-interface presents excellent information, like the enhanced weather map. I've never been more aware of the weather (and indeed navigation) situation along my flight plan, but all that interesting graphical information uses memory. Best to keep it running on a laptop, where I can literally go crazy with it (e.g., zoom out on the weather map with all the information content selected) without taking one bit of RAM away from FS9. Another plus, no need to install the XGauge to the panel, thereby taking more memory from FS9. All the information is right there on the client laptop, which sits right next to the FS9 machine.

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Hi All,We are working to solve the OOM issues and the others. Please give us a chance!

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That's pretty much a "deal breaker" for me.
I'm running ASA via a Wideclient. I have one gig of ram in this machine and load times, etc., are fine. It does take a bit longer for the program to initially load than with AS6 but like just about any program, more ram might decrease load times. I was experiencing a CTD since installing this program but at this point, I "think" my problem may have been the "Render to texture" option that had been selected while troubleshooting some other issue. I've "deselected" this option and have not had a CTD since. Trust me, I've used Damian and Jim's Active Sky for several years now. They are great folks who will give you what you pay for +++. This program, in my book, is taking FS9 to a completely different level for me. Certainly as it relates to weather, the visuals are nothing short of jaw dropping. There are a few bugs to be worked out but the outlook is for some seriously clear skies with this program.Ed Lin, D.O.S.

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Yeah, please don't take my post the wrong way. For the time being, ASA has some growing pains, it's what most early adopters are used to and most of us tend to offer our initial impressions when asked, but make no mistake, ASA is the best thing since sliced bread. I have never seen a more realistic weather environment in FS9. Once HiFi iron out most of the early bugs (and they have never let us down before), this is going to be an amazing product.

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Just to echo some of the comments already made, I've been using Active Sky Wx engines since FS2002 and they've always been the best at providing bug fixes and answering support questions. They've never been rude or treated anyone like they were at fault for their problems. HiFi is really the model of FS payware add-ons, so everyone with concerns should be patient and give them a chance, you won't regret it in the end, I'm sure. :(

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Thanks Jim:By all means!Please post a reply when you "solve the OOM issues and the others", as some of us are waiting in the wings until this is accomplished.Respectfully:RTH

Hi All,We are working to solve the OOM issues and the others. Please give us a chance!

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I've been a ActiveSky user for years...but the harsh truth is that ASX never really lived up to it's predecessor's (AS 6.5) reputation, and ASA now appears to be considerably worse...really most reports I have say it's proving to be a real disaster so far. Who wants to buy a product that will bring back the combined headaches of OOM errors, CTDs, massive uncontrollable wind shifts, and clouds popping in and out like a jack-in-the box?? Many of us have already spent several years exorcizing those very demons out of an otherwise stable FS2004 platform...now we're supposed to pay to bring all the old gremlins back--in the name of "progress" towards a "new" version of FS (FSX) that has been out two years already??I do hope Damian and company can quickly fix this...but I sense that their reputation is rapidly flagging as this second failure since AS6.5 continues to disappoint, and I observe that they are keeping their customers increasingly in the dark on specifics as this debacle unfolds.HiFiSim appears to have lost their "mojo."Sorry, but I call 'em as I see 'em. But I'll be tickled pink if they prove me wrong.Bob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO

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I've been a ActiveSky user for years...but the harsh truth is that ASX never really lived up to it's predecessor's (AS 6.5) reputation, and ASA now appears to be considerably worse...really most reports I have say it's proving to be a real disaster so far. Who wants to buy a product that will bring back the combined headaches of OOM errors, CTDs, massive uncontrollable wind shifts, and clouds popping in and out like a jack-in-the box?? Many of us have already spent several years exorcizing those very demons out of an otherwise stable FS2004 platform...now we're supposed to pay to bring all the old gremlins back--in the name of "progress" towards a "new" version of FS (FSX) that has been out two years already??I do hope Damian and company can quickly fix this...but I sense that their reputation is rapidly flagging as this second failure since AS6.5 continues to disappoint, and I observe that they are keeping their customers increasingly in the dark on specifics as this debacle unfolds.HiFiSim appears to have lost their "mojo."Sorry, but I call 'em as I see 'em. But I'll be tickled pink if they prove me wrong.Bob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO
Bob, I have to harshly contradict you on this one. I am yet to see an OOM with ASA. After many years of AS6.5 usage, I have been really pleasently surprised by this product. Not only it brings much better weather envrionment, but it also introduces some really nice drafts, and I am yet to see some sudden wind changes. It's only better than AS6.5 in my eyes. Also GUI-wise :)Now, about OOMs, my personal opinion is people should stop whining about it, because FS9 with its current available addons (=UT, MD-11, ASA, addon airports ala Mega Airports etc...) has grown OVER the 2GB limit, and that is not FS9's or Addon Developer's fault, but rather all together, which uses so much memory. I have recently switched to XP64, and got rid of ALL OOM errors I had in one shot. I tested all my OOM marked flights, and none of them crashed. I am now even contemplating, if it proves needed, to insert 2 memory sticks more, to get 8GB of RAM and to be calm for another couple of years with this machine.

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