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Guest Ken_Salter

FSAutoStart and RadLinker - A Solution!

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Hi,In the past I have imposed system wide 3D driver settings which has been ok, but the settings I use for FS2004 does have an impact on the performance of some other games unless you can be bothered changing to preferred specific settings prior to launching each game. When I read about RadLinker being included with Omega's latest driver set I thought this seemed to be the perfect solution in that I can now leave the driver installation at Omega's default settings and instead set up the driver easily prior to launching a game by the creation of a unique configuration with a RadLink for each game. This works well but not, apparently, via FSAutoStart. When you hit the 'Start' button the behaviour is similar to closing down a program via RadLinker, i.e. it resets the driver to the original settings. This would seem to suggest that FSAutoStart is closing after launching the batch file that runs to stop Programs and Services and executes any chosen configuration items in the chosen Profile. I was hoping for some input from Ken on this one as his clarification on this point might help my understanding of what is in fact going on. I suspect that FSAutoStart closes at the point the batch file is opened in a Command Window and that is when the driver settings are restored to their defaults.If I double click the FSAutoStart RadLink shortcut the screen blanks once and the FSAutoStart GUI window opens. If I then start FS9 I find that AA and AF is in place as expected. Unfortunately, this is without having closed any background Programs and Services or, indeed, referencing a configuration file pointed to by a Profile which, in my case, determines my chosen mesh resolution and/or whether or not I want Printer services.I've been playing around with this over the past day or two and realizing that a RadLink can only be created for an executable have now cobbled together a solution/workaround. Not very elegant, I grant you, but it works and it's simple to implement!Enter NOTEPAD!Notepad is, of course, an executable and can be launched by double clicking the .exe file or shortcut to the executable. A Notepad RadLink, when executed by double-clicking, opens an instance of Notepad on your Desktop and in Task Manager. When this instance of Notepad is minimized the memory usage drops to 412K in Task Manager which is acceptable by any standards and there is no CPU overhead.So, the first thing to do is create a NOTEPAD RadLink and configure your preferred 3D settings by right clicking the NOTEPAD RadLink icon and selecting Properties. Once you are happy, be sure to click the 'Mode Change' box before clicking on the 'Apply' button.Now, all you have to do before firing up FS9 is to double-click the NOTEPAD RadLink icon, or select it if you have incorporated it in the START-Programs Menu structure. This will set up the Omega Driver. Now minimize the open NOTEPAD to the Task Bar. Then fire up FSAutoStart as normal, make your profile selection and hit the 'Start' button. NOTEPAD will remain open and your driver settings will remain active until you decide to close NOTEPAD...and all this is independent of FSAutoStart activity. I have confirmed that this works even if you have opted to 'Stop & Restart' Explorer.exe in FSAutoStart, you won't lose the minimized NOTEPAD on the Task Bar. Incidentally, if you have more than one instance of NOTEPAD running I have noted that the restoration of the driver settings to their defaults only occurs on closing the LAST instance of NOTEPAD.Sorry if all this has seemed a bit long winded but, as ever, it is difficult to know at what level to pitch something like this in order to cater for as wide a readership as possible. Anyway, I hope some of you with ATI cards and, having successfully waded through all the foregoing, may find this tip useful. It does, of course, all depend on an installation of a recent release of Omega's drivers. I've only tried it with the 2.5.90 set where RadLinker has been integrated into the package.MikeP4 2.4GHz (400FSB), 1Gig PC2100 DDR Crucial, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB (Omega 2.5.90), SB Audigy (5.12.0001.0443), Hyundai ImageQuest Q17 17" TFT LCD 20ms Monitor (1280x1024x32), Gigabyte GA-8IRXP MoBo, Ultra-Quiet PSU 400W, WinXP Home (SP2), DirectX 9.0c, AGP Aperture = 128MB

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Hi Greg,"On my system the ATI Hotkey Poller sevice was the key. Without it being enabled in both the Services section and FSAutoStart the registry tweaks I set in Radlinker would NOT take affect. If I set it to "Automatic" in Services AND made sure that FSAutoStart left it alone then all was well and my settings were in effect in the sim."..........yes, I can confirm that that is indeed the case.Try the following:N.B. At each stage please check the 3D Settings in Display Properties.**I have mine set up as AA= Application Preference and AF= Application Preference, i.e. Omega's default settings.Configure 'Explorer.exe' under Programs in FSAutoStart as 'No Action' to ensure you have access to the Desktop.1. Create a RadLink for the FSAutoStart executable and place the icon on your Desktop. Right click this icon, select 'Properties' and Configure the 3D Settings as above (**). Uncheck 'Use Defaults', check 'Mode Change' and then hit the 'Apply' button.Now, double-click the newly configured FSAutoStart RadLink icon and the FSAutoStart GUI Window will open. Your screen may blank momentarily. Now open Display Properties and check the 3D settings and you will note they have changed to reflect the settings in the RadLink. Running FS at this point will confirm that AA and AF are operational.Exit the sim and close down FSAutoStart. Again, your screen may blank momentarily. Check the settings in Display Properties and you will see they have returned to their original default settings (**). This is expected behaviour.2. Double-click the FSAutoStart RadLink icon to apply the driver 3D changes as before and open the FSAutoStart GUI. Check Display Properties and you will note the changes are in place. Now, select one of your Profiles and hit the FSAutoStart 'Start' button. The GUI Window closes and your screen may blank momentarily twice as the Command Window opens and the execution of the batch file commands begins. Once this operation has completed and FS has/has not been started (depending on how you have configured FSAutoStart), check Display Properties again. This time you will observe that the AA and AF Settings have been returned to their defaults :( Exiting the sim and closing the FSAutoStart Command Window has no effect at this stage - again, confirm this by checking Display Properties.So, it would seem that unless Ken can change the behaviour of FSAutoStart by preventing the GUI Window from closing without user intervention (RadLink appears to see this as the cue to restore the 3D Settings), possibly the only way we can use RadLink with FSAutoStart is by using the suggested NOTEPAD RadLink method as detailed in my original post in this thread. In fact, if Ken could do this for us I believe the minimized FSAutoStart would occupy less memory than the minimized Notepad!! I imagine it would be fairly easy to provide an option in the program which can be selected should we favour that particular route.What do you think?Cheers!Mike

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Edit: I think I understand now.This RadLink software lets you specify 3D settings for a specific .exe file.So, if you use the FSAutoStart GUI to start a profile...yes the settings will be lost because I kill the GUI when I spawn off the batch process because I didn't think the GUI was required any more.Have you tried to create a shortcut to the profile and put this on your desktop, then open the properties of the shortcut? Maybe you can set the 3d settings like that? You can create a shortcut by using the FSAutoStart GUI, selecting your profile, then use the File->Create Shortcut menu item or right click on the profile and select the Create Shortcut option.If that doesn't work, then set the settings on teh fsasctl.exe program in the folder where you installed FSAutoStart. That is the program that actually does the batch process.

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Hi Ken,Thanks for chipping in :)"Have you tried to create a shortcut to the profile and put this on your desktop, then open the properties of the shortcut? Maybe you can set the 3d settings like that? You can create a shortcut by using the FSAutoStart GUI, selecting your profile, then use the File->Create Shortcut menu item or right click on the profile and select the Create Shortcut option."......unfortunately that won't work as you can only create RadLinks to executables. The profiles are .ini files. In any case my setup would make this somewhat impractical:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/94917.jpg"If that doesn't work, then set the settings on the fsasctl.exe program in the folder where you installed FSAutoStart. That is the program that actually does the batch process."......again, I am afraid this won't work either. The reason is that while you would be able to create a RadLink to 'fsasctl.exe', FSautoStart won't be able to find it. FSAutoStart looks for 'fsasctl.exe' and not 'fsasctl' the RadLink file. I doubt whether calling the RadLink would work as the file does not have an .exe extension. RadLink files only appear to execute by double clicking them. There may be another way but I am not aware of it.There is no problem about creating a RadLink to the FSAutoStart executable and since FSAutoStart is the common starting point before the sim is launched, it seems sensible to achieve what we want via this route. However, for the reasons already stated, this won't work unless I can twist your arm yet again (sorry!) to give us another build that includes the option to stop the GUI from terminating until the user deems it should.This is just a suggestion and I do appreciate that such a request would not be reasonable unless there was sufficient interest in the proposal. After all, my RadLinked Notepad workaround does accomplish what I want. It just seems to me to be an untidy solution.Best regards,MikeP.S. I would be very willing to act as Beta tester :)

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Thanks for the info. So Radlink creates a symbolic link to an exe file that you open rather than the exe itself. This way, Radlink can do whatever it needs to do on a per .exe basis.You are correct, FSAutoStart would not be able run using a link as opposed to the .exe file (I think).It is a rather simple change to make it so the GUI does not die when you click Start.I'll let you know when I have something ready.

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Hi Ken,"So Radlink creates a symbolic link to an exe file that you open rather than the exe itself. This way, Radlink can do whatever it needs to do on a per .exe basis.".....yes, that's my understanding too."It is a rather simple change to make it so the GUI does not die when you click Start.I'll let you know when I have something ready."......that is brilliant news!! Can I ask that you provide this capability as an option rather than as default behaviour? By doing so this will cater for those who do not wish to exploit the feature. I feel sure you were intending this to be the case, but I did not want to push my luck and risk causing you any irritation by coming back to you again on this subject ;)As it stands, FSAutoStart is wonderfully flexible in allowing us to use it in all manner of ways. For me, and hopefully many others with Radeons, this further addition will further complement an already great utility. Many, many thanks for listening!Best regards,Mike

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Of course it will be configurable! :-)Thanks for the kind words, and I'll let you all know when I have something ready.

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