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Cactus521

Got to enjoy FS2 for the Atari ST again

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I have an Atari ST emulator, Hatari and FS2 for the ST (which really was FS3).  I have enjoyed flying it and remembering what I used to accept as state of the art back then.  Hatari lets you up the cpu speed of the 68000 processor all the way up to 32 MHZ, which makes FS2 much more fluid than it was on my original ST, the 1040.  The 68000 was an amazing processor which allowed for programs with a very small footprint, due to the way it addressed memory vs. Intel chips.  I used to play around in Assembler for the 68000, I wrote code that slowed FS2 somewhat since I found a bug in it--aircraft flew faster than the indicated airspeed which I could measure simply by using my watch and flying from destination to destination.  I wrote a loop in Assembly that ran in the background and slowed the sim (and other apps) to real life timing, essentially I wrote a virus to help the sim be more realistic.  I also used the ST as a midi interface to my Casio Synth, and wrote songs for the synth, and patches for the various instruments I created, quite a bit of fun.  The ST was arguably more advanced than the Mac though not quite like the Amiga.  It could only display 16 of its 512 colors unless one used a program called "Spectrum 512", which allowed more realistic photos with 512 colors by retooling the screen refresh.  I miss the ST but having an emulator is quite nice.

John

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I ran FS on an Amiga back in the day. I remember going to a friends house who had FS on his ST, I was struck by how good the engine sounds were on the Atari.

On a similar note, I found an online C64 emulator that allowed me to ‘fly’ microprose solo flight. I soon got bored after a few minutes though, I used to spend hours delivering the mail in that sim as a young teenager in the 80s.

 

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Just last week I took a little time to view the FS3 demo in FS4.0b, took over the controls on final and landed on RWY 18 at Meigs...great stuff!😁 

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47 minutes ago, jon b said:

I ran FS on an Amiga back in the day. I remember going to a friends house who had FS on his ST, I was struck by how good the engine sounds were on the Atari.

On a similar note, I found an online C64 emulator that allowed me to ‘fly’ microprose solo flight. I soon got bored after a few minutes though, I used to spend hours delivering the mail in that sim as a young teenager in the 80s.

 

Yes, I have used that emulator too, although FS2 on that emulator is a bit too choppy and I do not remember the key commands.  Still it is a good emulator, and online as well.  I have played the old game Omega Race on it which is quite fun, I used to play it at arcade kiosks at 7-11 near my home back in the 80's.  It was a 2-d shoot em up.  Finally with DOS Box I can play old sixteen bit titles under Windows 10, like Wing Commander, my favorite space game. 

Emulators run so well on our fast cpu's of today, they did not run well a decade ago but times have changed.  Today I installed GFA Basic for the PC to fiddle around with.  It is a good, structured version of basic that I first used on the Atari ST.  I wrote a program that solved single variable algebra equations just for fun, it was the perfect language for it, pity I did not have it in grammar school when I was first introduced to algebra.  At first I hated learning Algebra but grew to love it later, and rather than calculus I took trig to satisfy my college math requirement, which used a beautiful combination of Algebra. 

However having not ever taken Calculus I could still tutor my friends in it, over the phone, just using my computer to enter their problems.  My program Landclass Assistant uses trig and Calculus, so do my art programs MirrorArt and Spirapaint, they also use a lot of trig.  Trig is what makes our sims possible, the ability to mathematically plot the movement of an object like an aircraft thru space.  Calculus is also used.  I wrote a simple flightsim, on par with FS2, using C as my language but first writing it in GFA Basic for the Atari ST.  I ported it to C mostly using search and replace until I had the code looking C like.  It ran in what was called "giffies", 18.7 fps, the limit until I figured out a way to make it go faster. 

I miss the program, I modeled things like the thinning atmosphere as one climbed, the 767 was my aircraft.  My scenery was roughly 200 miles wide extending from Frisco to New York, with roads, lakes and 3d wire frame mountains.  I was amazed I could write it but used the help of several books on computer flight simulation, which talked about matrices for manipulating 3D objects in virtual space.  One had to deal with clipping--in other words not drawing objects off the screen. It became so complicated for me I could not understand what I had written going to look back on it, which was the case with all my programs.  I wrote them modular and once a module was perfected I just moved on.  Quite fun but no one could decompile my programs and understand them, good since they were and still are freeware.

John

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Omega Race !!! Wow.

That name just triggered a long forgotten memory for me. I knew it sounded familiar, just looked it up and realised it was one of my all time favourites as a kid, I had it on a ROM cartridge for the VIC20.

I remember at the time thinking it was a poor man’s asteroids, but in hindsight I think it was probably far superior !

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I have often thought about finding an Apple //e emulator and re-creating my SubLogic FSII days.  It would be a novelty for me now though.  I'm spoiled by what we have today.  I still have my 5 1/4 floppies somewhere -- Scenery Disks (Japan, and the east coast of the U.S.)

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3 hours ago, Mace said:

I have often thought about finding an Apple //e emulator and re-creating my SubLogic FSII days.  It would be a novelty for me now though.  I'm spoiled by what we have today.  I still have my 5 1/4 floppies somewhere -- Scenery Disks (Japan, and the east coast of the U.S.)

On my first gig with a software company, a hotel software company in Pleasant Hill California, we had a company picnic in a park surrounded by homes on one side and downtown Concord on the other.  Our hotel system was a System 36 which used 8 inch floppies for backing up the hotel's database, no cloud then (I think it should have stayed that way).  During the picnic, instead of a Frisbee throwing competition, we had a throwing competition for scratched floppy discs.

I could throw a Frisbee a country mile and with a certain twist of my arm, a floppy too.  We threw them so far that they sailed over the fence into people's yards.  And during the picnic, USAir's only flight from Buchanan Field to LA took off, a BAE 146.  The route did not work out, they wanted Buchanan in the east bay to be a reliever airport for SFO and Oakland, instead Santa Rosa in the North Bay took its place.

John

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Ah Buchanan Field.  That's near Concord.  It has the distinction of being the first concrete textured runway I ever saw in flight sim, I think in the San Fran Scenery Disk.  I was amazed to see a whitish-looking runway there.  

I have some pretty strong negative opinions about "the cloud" (I've seen too much), but this isn't the time or place for that. heh.

 

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