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Bartbear

A warm tribute to Bruce Artwick and a 30 years old Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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For me i all started on a day in 1981 when i found this 'personal computer' on a shelf of a local store: the Sinclair ZX81.

It had a Ram memory of 1 (one!) Kb. I didn't even know what ram or kb meant at first, but i discovered soon that the memory was already full after entering 20 lines of code in Basic. Yes the manual did teach me to program in Basic !

So, soon i added a expensive module with a total amount of 16 Kb of Ram. (Kilobytes, not Megabytes, let alone Gigabytes ! )

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX81

 

1 year later i considered myself as a skilled Basic programmer, and i bought a Sinclair Spectrum 48 Kb.

It was the opponent of the Commodore 64 and the Texas Instruments TI-99.

 

http://en.wikipedia....iki/ZX_Spectrum

 

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Commodore_64

 

http://en.wikipedia....uments_TI-99/4A

 

I started buying some games (on cassette tape) and later on 'microdrive' (sort of tapebased diskdrive).

I wrote some 'text adventures' in Basic. My favorite was "The Mist of Orthal", kind of Hobbit (Tolkien) like adventure.

 

But then i discovered a program that would change my life for ever:

the PSION Flight Simulator game for ZX Spectrum 48K !

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Psion_Flight_Simulation_cover.jpg

 

 

Fantastic isn't it? The 'scenery' was 3 lakes and 2 runways on a darkblue terrain, and look what a framerate for a Z80 processor at only 3.5 Mhz and all this functional cockpit instruments !

 

But then i discovered the existence of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2.1 for IBM PC, i could 'play' it at my dad's Schneider Euro PC already with 512 Kb Ram and two 360 Kb floppy disk drives. This was 'real' flying with an amazing 320 at 200 pixel (!) resolution but only in 4 colours.

 

http://www.volny.cz/...oryenglish5.htm

 

Then the Commodore Amiga 500 came out. I bought it specially together with my first joystick for Flight Simulator 2 because it could display the sim in an incredible 16 coulours with a 640 at 256 resolution !

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_500

 

http://www.volny.cz/...toryenglish.htm

 

The rest is history, after the MS DOS computers Windows 95 was born, then 98 ...... Computers became faster, processors started running at several Gigaherz in stead of Megaherz, more Ram, harddisks, fast graphics, .....

So after Flight Simulator 2.1 i had FS4 - FS5.1 - FS98 - FS2002 - FS2004 and finally FSX: the queen.

subLOGIC, later BAO,

And never forget it all started in 1977 (1980?) with this man: BRUCE ARTWICK ( company: subLOGIC, later Bruce Artwick Corporation or BAO ), he continued on programming and developping Flight Simulator until 1996 when they were finally taken over by Microsoft.usubLOGIC, later BAO,bLOGIC, later BAO,

His name is rarely mentioned in flightsim articles or forums but this is thé man who made it all possible before the Microsoft ACES team took it over.

 

http://www.volny.cz/...toryenglish.htm

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FUCT0MobR6E

 

I still have my 30 year old ZX Spectrum ('Speccy'), it has a special place in my living room.

After all it learned me some of the the very first basics of flying.

 

And a everlasting THANK YOU to you mr. Bruce Artwick, i am sure thousands of flightsimmers in the whole world will agree with me.

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A great tribute. I have also followed Flight Sim from the days of the Spectrum. The graphics were shocking but when you think back, considering the lack of power in the CPU it still had a functioning ILS system and rudimentary physics. I followed the MS Flightsim path, trying Fly and several minor sims but always came back to MS FlightSim all the way to FSX.

 

We owe this man a debt of gratitude for all that hard work all those years ago.

 

Dave

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I wholeheartedly agree. Very well said Bart. Of course, Bruce has a permanent stamp on the files we use. BGL stands for Bruce's Graphics Library.

 

Frank

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Hi Bart,

 

His name is rarely mentioned in flightsim articles or forums

 

Well, i payed my respects to our 'godfather' a week or two ago. It was instigated by a chart i coincidently stumble over. It encompasses the 'Golden Triangle' that our wonderful virtual flying world started with : Champaign,Bloomington, Kankakee, Danville. I suppose these names must say something to *you*, right ? ( just about everyone that replied to my post was wondering what the heck i was talking about... ) They will always remain magical names to me because that's were i 'learned to fly' all thanks to Bruce Artwick.

 

I'm sure that, would you have stumbled over my post, you would've been the one to ' unveil the riddle ' that it, undoubtedly, proved to be. Nobody else did.... Looks like we may have to come to the conclusion that we are some of the real FS dinosaurs around here... :smile2:

 

If you want to have a look at my tribute to Bruce Artwick :

 

http://forum.avsim.n...6733__hl__javiz

 

Btw, my virtual flying career started 30 years ago with a ZX Spectrum as well. The program was called ' Nightflite' . A perfectly chosen name and subject because 'the scenery' consisted of nothing more than two rows of twelve white dots which depicted the runway. The rest was black as the night...

 

http://www.worldofsp....cgi?id=0003418

 

I knew nothing what so ever about computers but got hooked instantly. You can imagine the overwhelming joy when i found out about Flight Simulator II for the Commodore 64 just a while later...

 

As you say, the rest is history and what a history it has been !

 

Champagne for Champaign ! :drinks:

 

Cheers,

Jan

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I still have my original manuals for the subLocic II simulator as it taught me so much back in the day. I could never part with it. After my Commodore 64 I got the Amiga1000 and learnt Basic on it as it was cheaper to buy the full programming course than buy a game! The whole course came in two binders comprising of 6 cassettes each, and cost half the price of a game The early games cost £25-£35 for the Amiga which in today's currency is mega bucks. So i made my own games :)

 

But Bruce's flight sim was a MUST, even though I remember having to travel a huge distance, to a bigger city than the one i lived in, to a specialist computer store to buy it. There was no internet or concept of games shops in those days. I never really got into any other games after that, they have all been flight sims. That is Bruce's fault too lol. I guess in our small way we were early adopters and helped to grow the games industry to where it is today.

 

A great tribute to the father of flying on a PC Bart.

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Mr Artwick's SubLogic company and the subsequent Flight Simulator for the Commodore 64 was the ONLY reason I ever considered buying a "PC' which I did just to be able to fly in 3d and with color. I have mentioned Bruce Artwick in several posts on several sim sites and as others have mentioned used the sequential casette drives and later the 1541 Commodore 5 1/4" floppy drives. Later upgrading to the double-sided floppies in the new fangled 1581 Commodre drives. Then on to the Amiga 500 and 2000. I learned to program in ARexx. I programmed an online football game complete with half-time fireworks display. I recall Run magazine Ahoy! magazine and Compute's Gazette from which my oldest son and I would take turns "typing in progarms" and then a longer time debugging them from those magazines. 300 baud was the standard followed soon by 1200 and then US Robotics HST modems hit the consumer market and well the rest is history. BBS's were the 'internet' of sorts back then and quite the pirate's haven as well. Games were copy protected but programs like Mr Nibble and Fast Hack'em made short work of the copy protection schemes of that era, so I've been told. ^_^ Now any child with a cell phone has many many times the computing horespowewr we had back then. So.. to summarize because of Bruce Artwick I was introduced to the whole unfolding drama of home computing and especially flight simulators. haven't touched down since!! Thanks Bruce!!

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Bruce Artwick's FS2 was one of the reasons I bought my first IBM PCJr.

 

I also still have the manual and the single floppy disk, the program came on.

(Which included the WWI Sopwith Camel game..)

 

Wow, have we ever come a way since then!

 

ATP, Propilot, Fly!, and now: FSX with Reality-XP, Orbx, Carenado, RealAir, Flight1..

 

Amazing journey!

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I would also like to add an addition warm tribute to Tim Gregson's contribution to our FS Community.

 

Tim worked with Bruce Artwick, in the early days of Bruce's Flight Simulators, and then went on to join Microsoft when the simulator became Microsoft Flight Simulator.

 

Since then, he went on to work as a programmer on every version of Flight Simulator at Microsoft, including FSX and later ESP. When ESP was sold to Lockheed, Tim moved with the product to work on P3D at Lockheed.

 

While Tim's name is not as well know to the general public as Bruce, those that have worked on MS FS, and acted as 3rd Part developers, no doubt know of him, if not by the name Tim Gregson, but certainly as "Beatles".

 

I suspect that of all the people associated with MS FS, Tim has dedicated more years working on FS, than anyone else.

 

Thank you Tim for your Dedication and Contribution -- Your name is certainly be up there in good company with names such as with Bruce Artwick & Peter Dowson.

 

 

 

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I still have my 30 year old ZX Spectrum ('Speccy'), it has a special place in my living room.

After all it learned me some of the the very first basics of flying.

Well said Bart, you are so right to remind us of Bruce Artwick!

Me too I have kept my ZX Spectrum along with my ZX81 and some game cassettes amongst which Psion's Flight Simulator. The only Sinclair's products I don't have any more are the ZX80 (given to my son) and the Sinclair QL (Quantum Leap)

 

Bruce Artwick's FS2 was one of the reasons I bought my first IBM PCJr.

 

I also still have the manual and the single floppy disk, the program came on.

(Which included the WWI Sopwith Camel game..)

 

Last year, for the fun, I restarted my old Radio Schack LCD portable (two floppy drives), just to launch FS2.

I was overwhelmed by a flood of nice old memories.

 

Jean-Jacques

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