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Discussing Fly!2K

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Hi guys,how is fly!ing?Well, I am the guy with Fly!2 on Mac for almost 2 years now but I gave up on it some months ago. A lot of new enhancements won

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G'day Macflyer,When Fly! was originally released in 1999 I was using a Celeron 300A overclocked 50% to 450 Mhz and Fly! ran very well - I was however using a nVidia 32MB graphics card. The only problem I had was the infamous 4 FPS in heavily detailed scenery areas. BUT... this may well have been due to my slow processor and small/slow system ram.Upgrading ram to 512 MB is a good idea but I cant comment on the 8 MB ATI card - which I feel might be the weakest link in your system. It may run OK but don't expect too much. I've been with the Fly! series from day one and after spending a small fortune on hardware it is my firm belief that the computer processor and system ram do more for Fly! than the graphics card.With the HITW , Fly! 2k has argueably the best clouds simulation of any flight sim yet produced and with the beautifully detailed cockpits can still provide an excellent flight simulation.Graphics - eye candy - was perhaps the achilles heel of Fly! and to some extent this was rectified with Fly! II.EDIT: Pentium II 333MHz was the RECOMMENDED/NOT MINIMUM processor so anything better should do just fine.I hope you enjoy Fly! 2K. It's a great simCheers,Roger

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Thanks Roger for your answer.I think I will give it a try because their is much to like about Fly!, like you mentioned the great panels and clouds, something FS2002 is lacking of (clouds look good but are not 3D).On this system (I got at least for free) really the good thing is the proc. I hope it turns out that Fly! can take advantage of it and it equalizes the weak ATI.It will take me another 2 years before I commit buying a new system, so I hope it can be good for some flightsimming with Fly! rather Fly!2.I also have the FU series from old days but sometimes it is not enough to just fly in the 2 limited areas of FU.I will post my experience and questions with Fly! after installation.Have a nice Sunday!

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Well, my order of Fly!2k arrived today and I enjoyed opening original retail packaging rather than those DVD-style boxes of nowaday.A nice quick reference card and the thick manual are already a big plus (compared from what I got with Fly!2).About the rest Im gonna talk after tweaking everything to my system and likes.

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I really hope this works for you, but I have my doubts. Roger is correct when he states that system RAM and processor have the largest impact on Fly! performance, but it still requires a lot of video memory to operate.As I recall, Fly! was designed to run on a minimum of 16MB Video, with 32MB being recommended. Seeing that you have 1/2 the minimum, this may be a lost cause. I ran Fly!2K with great success and tweaking of the VCF (Video Card File) on a 500 PIII and 32MB video card. Switching to a 64MB card later really brought her out. I think you're going to have to really work your VCF and reduce the texture slots, etc. to a very low level.

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G'day Randall,Thanks for helping. The original release box (both Fly! and Fly!2k)don't quote a video memory requirement - just a minimum resolution of 800 x 600. However in the fine print hardware accelleration is highly reccommended ( does that mean an AGP card? ).I'm way out of my depth when it comes to technical issues. :-)cheers,Roger

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G'day Roger,I believe the 16MB minimum was mentioned to me by Rich when we were exchanging messages a few years ago. I also believe that the term hardware acceleration simply means a 3D Video Card, whereby separate hardware video processors drive the video output, not the CPU. I produce broadcast television, where the speed of my video editing processing is achieved with hardware acceleration (on separate hardware boards with instant response (no rendering time needed for many functions).Fly! was also designed to take advantage of AGP video, accessing some of the system memory to store textures. That was always a fine line to walk, as the system memory was slow in comparison to the video processors and VRAM, so if you assigned too much to the AGP bus, you bogged down.You're correct about the box listings, though the Fly!2K Addendum booklet goes a little further:--Minimum: 3D Accelerator card; video card capable of 800x600 res. at 16-bit depth--Recommended: 3D Accelerator card; video card capable of 1024x768 res. at 32-bit depth

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Good day Roger and Randall,I am really glad for your support on Fly!2K. My installation can only benefit from your knowledge and I am happy to get support for a quite old sim.Well, the box only mentions a basic video card requirement and the appendix lists all kind of chipsets with the lowest being 4 MB of VRAM.I installed btw a different ground textures set by HITW. The improvement is really huge.Okay, talking FPS now:Fly!2K really shines so far on my system.I run in 800*600 32-bit, cause 1024*768 would only allow 16-bit and Fly! doesn

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Mac,It sounds like you haven't created an optimized VCF (Video Card File) for DX6 compatibility. Though you don't have an actual card, I'm guessing that the standard default DX6 isn't fully compatible with the video chip. Even if it was, you would still want your own optimized file. Let me know if you haven't created your custom VCF and/or you don't know how.Next, can you adjust the AGP in the BIOS settings, or is that not an option, considering you really don't have a video card? If so, what settings are available?Finally, once the VCF and AGP are set, you'll need to edit the Render.ini to provide the best texture handling and mip-mapping.Fog issues are simply due to the fact that you don't have enough video memory to handle it. Also, I doubt you'll ever be able to use TerraScenery below 16MB video RAM, but 32MB was normally needed to handle it well.Over-all, it sounds like you're having some success at 800x600 at 32 bits.

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I took some time today and I discovered the VCF folder and I opened different files in textedit. Of course, I have not much of an idea what improves graphics quality, fps, etc.I also found some other config files within Fly! for the texture slots, etc.I would love to get a step-by-step instruction.My "card" is 2xAGP. If any details are needed about the chip, etc. I found some stuff.Right now I booted up and entered the Bios. Display is set to AGP. But nothing to adjust here.

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Normally the BIOS with an AGP selection would include a setting called the AGP Aperture Gate. In the old days, you wanted to be sure this was set to at least half your system RAM, but as RAM amounts are much higher today, most users set it to 256MB. In your case, there may be no Aperture setting - if there were, I would recommend a low setting of 64MB.The following is an old instruction set I used to post for people having difficulty setting up their custom VCF. As the main video card in those days for advanced capabilities was the nVidia GeForce with DX6, you will see that card used as the example. Please follow these steps carefully, and you should be able to set up a VCF for your video chip. If you wish, you could try to make your VCF out of the DirectX 6 (AGP) file - if that doesn't work, use the DirectX 5. Here is the instruction set:===============================================Here are step-by-step procedures for setting up a custom video card file with a GeForce card and Fly! There is more you can do for optimizing textures, but these steps should help you start enjoying your card's capabilities within this great sim.1) Make sure that Fly! is recognizing your card as AGP - if it is, it will be using an AGP compatible selection, such as DirectX 6 (AGP). If not, you have a problem. Go to your BIOS and make certain that the AGP Aperture gate is set to 1/2 your RAM - 128MB RAM would be 64MB on the AGP Aperture, etc. Then, go to the Windows system information, Direct X and make sure Windows is using AGP. If it isn't, you need new drivers - go get the latest drivers, or at least updated drivers that are stable.2) Once Fly! offers an AGP compatible card selection, you're on your way! Run a video card test: Go to the Options - Graphics menu. Hold down the Shift key while clicking on the Auto Detect button. This will generate a video card report. Close Fly!3) Go to the Fly! root directory and open this file: Video Card Report.txt. Look under the heading DirectX6 - Card #1. Find the Vendor ID and the Device ID. These are the numbers you will need to place in your VCF for FLY! to properly identify it - write them down.4) Go to Fly's SystemVCF directory and find the VCF you are using now (such as DX6AGP.vcf). If you're not certain, open the fly.ini file and check under the UI section for the videoCardSetup= statement. Right-click the VCF file and turn off the Read Only attribute. Copy this file to a new file - maybe Geforce2.vcf. Then reset Read Only on the original.5) Go to your new VCF file and open it for editing. Check Properties to make sure Read-only is off. Open the file for editing in Notepad: select the file by left-clicking, then Shift-Right click to get the context menu. Choose Open with... Select Notepad. Change the name at the top to identify it as your card, such as My Geforce or GeForce2 (AGP). Place the Vendor ID # in place of 0 for Video Card ID #1 - place the Device ID # in place of 0 for Video Card ID#2. Your numbers will be different, but notice how I've placed the IDs in my VCF:---------------------------------------nVidia GeForce (AGP)tridx6.dll4318 // Video Card ID #1336 // Video Card ID #22 // AGP Flag (0=no AGP, 1=High Detail, 2=High Detail+Triple Buffer)1 // AGP Must Exist (if AGP is non-zero on previous line)0 // Mip mapping0 // Allow AutoMipMapping (Mip Mapping must be off)----------------------------------------Save the new file and reset the Read Only attribute. Start Fly! and see if it shows up as a choice. If it does, you've got a good start! Select that card.===========================================In your case, I would also set the AGP Flag to 1. You might also want to try turning on Mip Mapping. Anti-Aliasing would require a 64MB video card.

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Thanks Randall, I will do this step-by-step later tonight. I just have had enough time right now to download your TS tile of Knoxville.What shall I say: the up to 4000 ft I get 55-62 fps with the cessna ifr panel mainview, later it drops around 42.With external view the textures in the distance are less flickering, with cockpit few it is very visible although the closer textures are enjoyable without flickering from around 3000 ft.Let me report the differences once I set up the file.Side note: because you made me looking in my Bios, I saw, that it can be toggled between AGP and PCI.A short research reveiled that there is a docking station available for my ThinkPad (sometimes sold for around 50 dollars on ebay) which offers a PCI full height slot and many graphics cards are reported to work well with this setup.So, spending around 250 bucks should get me the port, a decent card for Fly! and MS2002 plus a TFT.Then again, memory is still not upgraded, another 100$$$, and for this money I already could get a naked basic DELL desktop which would run Fly! and FS2002 like a blast with my very old copy of Win98SE.Personally, if I could get Fly! to work at around 30 fps with sharp images, I would be pleased and just opting for the memory upgrade since it does good to Win XP anyway and with this plus my Mac I could stay happy for another 3 years or so. Then I could also abandon FS2002 because Fly! still offers more realism (engine start, flight model, aircraft weight & balance editor, c4to).I will report back later.

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Good luck! Be sure to reset Fly! to the DX6(AGP) mode before beginning the VCF set-up process so you end up with a user VCF based on that mode of operation. When you record your test to the text file, Fly!2K needs to be operating in that environment.You can always revert to one of the DX5 modes and start over if DirectX 6 (AGP) doesn't work for you.

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That's good news! However, considering the texture-slot loading, I can't imagine that you could run above 800x600 at 32 bits with less than a 32 MB video card.When I get home this evening, I'll check my records for VCF settings that may help your texture-loading. It's not going to be easy, as I believe there were no recommendations below 32MB of video, and many recommendations were for 64MB cards.One of the original Fly! video gurus, Elrond Elvish, created a VCF for a 16MB card once - don't know if I have a record, though.

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The only thing left that may help you performance-wise (outside of a new computer with a real video card) :-) is to adjust your texture slots. Try the following settings within your VCF (you'll need to turn-off read-only, change your settings, then reset read-only whenever you make changes to the file):====================================0 // Texture Count 32 (0=default)0 // Texture Count 64 (0=default)999 // Texture Count 128 (0=default)0 // Texture Count 256 (0=default)====================================This places three of the texture slots to their absolute minimum. The "0" settings force default minimums that are actually:--32 for 32x32 textures = 128kb--48 for 64x64 textures = 768kb--224 for 128x128 textures = 14.3MB--32 for 256x256 textures = 8MBThis means that at the bare minimums, you would need about 23MB of video memory to get off the ground to handle most of the types of scenery and graphics in Fly! With your AGP bus hopefully loading some of those textures into system RAM, in this case, almost 15 MB, you are able to Fly! Normally this would be a bad trade-off, as you want most of the graphics running out of the video card with a minor amount running through the AGP Aperture Gate, which by comparison, is slow. The only thing that may be helping you here, is that because you don't have a video card to begin with, the video chip is probably accessing the system RAM for video to begin with, so there may be no lag.You'll note that I've recommended a setting of 999 for the 128 texture slot. This is a special setting that takes whatever video memory is left, and applies it to one of the most important areas.If these settings make things worse rather than better, reset to your original settings and let me know what they were. I'll post one more group to try, but you may be maxed out right now. I will follow this post with another to list software and patches you should get (some of which you appear to already have) to maximize your Fly!2K experience.

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Macflyer,It sounds like you've already found some of the good add-ons and enhancements - here's the old list I used to recommend, which may include some items you weren't aware of. Whatever you do, be sure to get the patch and update the default aircraft!Here's the old list:==========================Fly! comes with some of the patches and updates built-in. With that in mind, remember that you are at the version 1.01.87 level.Included with Fly! 2K are the following items: Sky! and Infometar. Load these programs - they are excellent! Both Sky! and Infometar have new versions out - you'll find them right here at Avsim.com. When you install Sky!, you also add new textures to all the runways and taxiways in Fly!, so one thing you definitely won't need is the update: Runways.Next I would download the following:--Ground Control. Replaces the Fly! generic scenery with far better generic scenery.--Sky! updates and additions - check the File Library--Patch (VERY IMPORTANT) - the SDK 1.01.88 (User) or (Developer) upgrade. Without this patch, you won't be able to enjoy many of the latest and greatest add-ons for Fly!, including the following:--ALL of Rob Young's fantastic flight models and updates to the default Fly! aircraft. Want your flying to feel and perform like the real thing? Get all of these, and make certain they're the latest versions.--Flyscripts! This scripting program opens up all kinds of possibilities for adventuring, ATC, you name it - in fact, it spawned:--C4TO (Cleared 4 Take Off). This great program has changed the rather bad ATC of Fly! (at least it had one) to a very liveable one. In order to have the latest combo do the following: Install the first versions of Flyscripts! and C4TO. Then install the update for Flyscripts! followed by the update for C4TO and you'll be in business!--Download all of the great scenery (geographic and some airports). The majority of these are on Avsim. Great stuff here, whether satellite or Terrascene.--Check out some of the other aircraft! Because of the complexity (and accuracy) of Fly!, aircraft are not easy to make. I would give special mention to: the Embraer 120, Rob's Learjet, a fantastic Mooney Ovation and Citabria, etc.Even with the advent of Fly II, there's great stuff for the original Fly!.========================================I Hope that some of this is helpful.

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Thanks for the list Randall,I only updated the Cessna so far, I got .88 and I updated some of the other stuff.Let me tell you:the feeling of flight is back again!!!The air is moving, the plane is riding on it; it is fantastic.There is a lot of potential in Fly2k and I am digging for it.But I have to optimize my texture slots still to see if it makes a difference.Thanks so far for your help

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>Included with Fly! 2K are the following items: Sky! and>Infometar. Load these programs - they are excellent! Both Sky!>and Infometar have new versions out - you'll find them right>here at Avsim.com.I would be remiss not to mention that NOAA apparently changed their FTP site address recently, which unfortunately has broken the automatic METAR download feature in InfoMETAR. I have not yet been able to do any work on an update to address this, although I intend to. The current version of InfoMETAR can still be used for now, if one is willing to take the extra step of downloading METAR files manually.David Sandberg

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Thanks for that reminder, David. Manual downloading works fine - before you fly, go to http://weather.noaa.gov/weather/metar.shtml and download from the "Files" section in the middle of the page. Open the file in Infometar to set your flight path and parameters, then save it in the Metar folder for Fly! to use.Also, considering your texture slot situation, you needed a minimum of 23 MB to use the defaults. If the "999" parameter is to have any value, try increasing your cache above 23MB to see if you get better performance.

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>>Included with Fly! 2K are the following items: Sky! and>>Infometar. Load these programs - they are excellent! Both>Sky!>>and Infometar have new versions out - you'll find them right>>here at Avsim.com.>>I would be remiss not to mention that NOAA apparently changed>their FTP site address recently, which unfortunately has>broken the automatic METAR download feature in InfoMETAR. I>have not yet been able to do any work on an update to address>this, although I intend to. The current version of InfoMETAR>can still be used for now, if one is willing to take the extra>step of downloading METAR files manually.>>David SandbergWow, good to see that a developer of a great tool is still around. I immed. fell in love with infometar and its random feature. Therefor I am not missing much the download function for now. I also like to be able to thin out the data to not have too drastical changes every few miles.To Randall: I set the cache to 32 MB. I don

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another observation:whenever I enter default scenery during a flight, I freeze after a short while.I had this test flight, KSFO-KLAX. I am using a terrascene file around the Bay I rendered myself 2 days ago with terrascene. No probs here. but when I leave tthe terrascene file during flight I had said problem.Trial & error showed that I have no problems with freezing anymore when I turn off mipmapping in the vcf file.While terrascene doesn

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>Wow, good to see that a developer of a great tool is still>around. I immed. fell in love with infometar and its random>feature. Therefor I am not missing much the download function>for now. I also like to be able to thin out the data to not>have too drastical changes every few miles.Awesome - I'm glad you're enjoying using it!David Sandberg

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