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Fall_guy

Requesting APPLE's support for FLYII

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This was mailed as a responce to Jim's post on the OLD forum.Hi Jim,.....not sure if this is practicle, but how about writing a couple of paragraphs highlighting the unique opportinity, Apple have in capturing a sector of the gaming market and of course how dissatisfied we are with the lack of support. Followed by a list of names and country of origin (Important to highlight the fact its a global concern). Hopefully if we can generate enough interest and concern......and possibly a little help from our PC friends??.... we should be able to saturate Apples various Sites by emailing the listings. If we can send the listings to as many Apple addresses as possible, its bound to draw attention to our cause somewhere within the Apple community.I'm not saying for one second that we will get results, but if we can get our message accross to APPLE we can certainly start a fire.I for one think its time to fight for what we enjoy.Regards JohnDC-10 Project

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This is exactly what I meant with my posting below: I think the only hope we have to get some positive evolution is to get together and start a common action (e-mails, letters ..).Unfortunately my English is not very good, but I could write something in French or German to show the global concern smilie(';)');) Max

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Back in November, I emailed Apple's game group (using the address on Apple's game page), and pointed out several discrepancies. For example, their Fly! Ii page says the following:"If you choose to fly in Mac OS X, you

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Hi Franklin, thanks for the input...........I know flight sims don't account for a whole lot of sales, where Macs are concerned, so perhaps we should stress the fact that we are the gaming community and we want to purchase FLYII and therefore increase Flight Sim sales. I also think one of our strongest points maybe to emphasize the fact that due to Apples poor gaming support for FLYII......... Apple is leaving us with no alternative, but to purchase PC's in order for us to continue enjoying our hobby. After all!..... Apple are in the business of selling computers and if we can stress the point that sales may be affected it may add fuel to our cause.Only a suggestion,......but I think if Rich can spare us five minutes and list the main drawbacks and perhaps suggest what Apple could do in order to make FLYII more playable on the MAC, then I think we should pursue this support . Afterall we can only make Apple aware of our dissatisfaction........and if Apple decline in someway then at least we know where we all stand.If anyone has any suggestions......please respond and get involved.....if you think its a lost cause, then let us all know......on the other hand do you think this is a cause worth fighting for??Thanks for your time JohnDC-10 Project:-roll

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Hello Johnmaybe that Frank is right, but I would prefer too to fight and then, as you say, really "know where we all stand". But I have no idea where to send our complaints and reflexions.To be successful,it might be crucial to place our mails at the "right place" ...Max

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Hi, John.Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that we don't do this... I'm only trying to be realistic.As I see it, the only circumstance under which Apple would consider changing its OpenGL implementation would be if the change could benefit other games as well as Fly! II. Apple is a large company with a bureaucracy to match, and decisions are often driven by the bottom line.Another possibility would be for someone at Apple (or elsewhere) to do this on their own and release an unsupported patch, but that would be less desirable, since it could "break" with the next OS revision.Still another question to ponder: Should this change be done for OS 9 or OS X? I think that we're less likely to meet with success if we request the change be made for OS 9. OS X is Apple's future, and that's where resources are going. At some point, I suspect that Apple will release a version of OS 9 that only runs in Classic compatibility mode, which probably wouldn't be a good gaming environment.Meanwhile, I can check around and see who in particular we can write to - having a specific contact is always better.-Franklin ------------------------------Franklin TesslerG4/500Fly! for Mac Forum Co-moderator

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Thanks Franklin for your info......I have to agree entirely, that if we decide to contact Apple we should attempt to get any development changes implemented for Mac OSX. With this in mind, may I suggest that before we consider how to go about attracting Apples attention, we can draft up some kind of list indicating the MAIN faults and problems and how they can be resolved.Just for your info Franklin, the reason I started this in the first place, was because I cannot get hold of a copy of FLYII(Mac) here in the U.K. Having had it on back order for over eight months with several distributors, they have finally withdrawn distribution of FLYII(Mac) in Europe and Australia. They say that there currently in talks with Take 2 on how to implement changes, in order to make FLYII more playable on a wider range of Macs, although Rich has said, to the best of his knowledge, that he knows nothing about this and know one has approached TRI regarding redevelopment.Any suggestions how to proceed Franklin??Cheers JohnDC-10 Project

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Hi Max.....Hows the Snow Fall in Switzerland?.....I think you're right that we have to register our complaints at the place which will make the most impact. Ive posted a reply to Franklin, if you'd care to read it and forward any suggestions.Thanks for your support MaxJohnDC-10 Project

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Hello Johnfortunately there is still some snow in the mountains,- fortunately, because in a few days I'll have a ski and snowboard camp with my classin the Alps and I prefer skiing there than picking flowers ...smilie(':)')As English is not a language I speak and write fluently (German or French would be much better.. ) I'm afraid that my contribution will be limited to send letters others have prepared.I just realize that I'm unable to run Fly!II on my G4/400 with OSX...By the way: If you can't get a copy of FlyII because it has been withdrawn, I lend you my CDs to have a look, if you want.Max

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Hi Max,Thanks very much for the offer of viewing your CD's..but I'd be worried about you loosing them in the post!!..or them getting damaged!!......I really appreciate the offer though...its very kind of you. Sorry about the English Max, but its a long time since I spoke French..and my German is'nt up to much.Auf-Wiedersehen:-wave JohnDC-10 Project

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Hi John,I've been reading your posts and I think it's a marvellous idea to write to Apple (I agree you would need a specific inside contact to obtain the best result and to get an answer at all) to get their attention on the position of Fly!Secondly, I had ordered a copy of Fly!II for the Mac at Simware (http://www.simw.com/) and it arrived here about two weeks ago. So, perhaps you can check with them if there are still copies available.Best,Jeroen(EHAM)----------Fly! II 2.0.216 Mac versionOS 10.1.3,. 832 MB RAMG4/400

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Guys,I have sent Rich Harvey a message regarding the absence of support from TRI, and he put the ball back in Apple's court. Apparently there is a way to get things to work adequately on the Mac side (although it wasn't specified as to whether it would be using OS 9 or OS X).Bascially, the way I understand it is that there could be some major improvements if Apple would provide an OpenGL extension that would access the frame buffer.I understand that Apple is touting themselves as a "gaming platform", so let's see them back it up!I understand that flight sims are a small market, but they are still a viable market.Maybe I will try to put something together for a petition;after all, at this juncture what do we have to lose?Maybe I could get some help from someone who knows more about this stuff than I do.Best regards,Jim

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Hi Jim and everyone concerned,Are we ALL agreed that this Open GL extension should be the target of our concern.................Rich if your keeping track could you please clarify that this would help matters!OR is there something else we should make Apple aware of in our quest for a usable Flight Sim.Regards JohnDC-10 Project

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Hi Jeroen,Thanks for the info......I'll try and contact SimW and see if their still distributing copies.Thanks again for the interestJohnDC-10 Project

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Hi John, et al.;I wrote to Apple last fall and asked them to address the problems wth OpenGL and 2D rendering, based on a comment made by Rich about the slowness of rendering the instruments and gauges in 2D.Like Franklin, I received a form letter response with no detail or substance.One suggestion I have is to contact either MacNN or Macintouch about this problem. If they post these concerns and complaints on their web sites, it will get the attention of a lot of Mac users and may just get Apple to sit up and take notice.Another suggestion is that if anyone is a registered Mac developer, they may have access to feedback channels that we lowly customers are not privy to.My $0.02,John

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One would think that SOMEONE at Apple uses Fly! II in their leisure time. Com' on you Apple employee, lend a hand. Gives us a little help here, please.Pete

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It's a long shot, guys. Everyone I know who is part of the OpenGL forum does not believe it is worthwhile to add direct frame buffer access as a GL extension. The reason is two-fold, I believe:(1) Much of the PC/Mac OpenGL driver advancements in recent years really have been driven by id's Carmack, since he outright refuses to use "proprietary" systems. Since Quake is a benchmark product, driver makers have been catering their GL drivers to run Quake well so their performance numbers look well, regardless if they crater in other apps. OpenGL is really geared towards 3D-only applications.(2) Probably very soon you will see video cards where the frame buffer is not actually laid out in a logical manner. Many consoles already do this, by "swizzling" the pixels into blocks for quicker access. If we did get a GL extension today, I could fix problems on todays hardware, but it would probably break in the future on a swizzled frame buffer. Apple (or nVidia) may be unwilling to even consider a solution that is so short term.I'm looking at another alternative as well, which is rendering the entire cockpit offscreen in main memory, then slicing it into textures and drawing it in 3D. But, this will require constant texture swaps to the video card, which may in the end cause a worse frame rate hit even though the actual drawing will be much, much faster.Rich

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Rich... we certainly appreciate your efforts to on your own personal time make Fly! II more useable for us Mac folks. The OpenGL issue doesn't sound very promising for the future of Fly! for the Mac. I hope this doesn't deter us from at least getting it patched up to what the PC guys have now. That might hold us over for awhile until the next version of Fly!... if there is one. Again, thanks for your effort!!! Rich@LEWBeige G3 233 MHz DT rev.1 G4 400 MHz NewerTech upgrade OS 9.2.2 384 MB RAM ATI Radeon Mac (PCI) Thrustmaster FCS/WCS

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Hey Rich,I don't know much at all about OpenGL or programming graphics applications, but ...If 2D rendering is so slow, why aren't both PCs and Macs equally affected? Why do the Macs have such pathetic frame rates when compared to PC?John

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Hi Rich,Thanks for the explanation regarding the Open GL issue....I really do appreciate your time. Bottom line......Its becoming clear that there does'nt appear to be much point in pursuing Apple as regards changes to their OpenGL. Therefore in your professional opinion is there anything you think we could take up with Apple, which may instigate change and improvement to the existing FlyII performance.If for example many of us complained directly to Apple regarding the performance issue of FlyII, is there something Apple could actually do...... to help performance issues, or are they likely to hold TRI responsible.Conclusion: Is there anything, we could ask Apple to correct or help with, which will go someway to making FlyII more playable.Thanks again Rich for your dedication and devotion.John and all other Mac users concerned

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John,For now, I'll leave it at this: somebody at Apple is reading this thread, because we were contacted today at the office. I don't know if anything will come of it, but we'll see who gets involved to see if we can brainstorm some ideas with them.Rich

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John,There are a few reasons. First, many higher end PC's today are running 266Mhz motherboards with 266DDR RAM. Even the dual PowerPC G4 machines only run 133Mhz with PC133 SDRAM, so data paths across the bus can be affected. Second, higher end video cards on the PC currently support AGP 4X for faster texture uploading from system memory. I know the dual G4 says it has AGP 4X; I'm not sure about other Apple models (I know the iMac only has 2X). But, the overwhelming reason probably boils down to drivers. Sometimes on the PC you'll see nVidia release a driver update, and framerates will almost double. Obviously the hardware was not the issue, simply a refinement found in the software. But, on the PC you might have a whole team of folks constantly working on drivers.Many years ago when I was working with ATI (through Apple) on some Mac related video issues, there seemed to be only one guy at ATI that maintained their drivers for the Mac. This poor guy had the weight of the world on him, and everyone was relying on him to pull miracles out of his hat to improve framerates. Whether this still exists or not, I don't know, but I would expect there are probably fewer people maintaining Apple's OpenGL than their PC counterparts. Also, you'll notice we no longer support OpenGL on the PC (as we did with Fly! 2K), simply because DirectX has reached the point of maturity that it generally offers us the better frame rate vs. features we need for Fly!, particularly in the areas of direct frame buffer access. I pointed it out earlier, but it is worth repeating: using MMX, in many cases I can blit up to 4 pixels to the frame buffer in a single instruction. On the Mac with OpenGL, I have to make a function call to set each pixel. Each function call has the overhead of many individual PowerPC instructions, then the actual pixel setting operation. I may get a 6:1 or 8:1 blit ration of PC over Mac simply because of the bottleneck imposed by using SetPixel.The overall motherboard, video, and processor design and equipment of the Mac is not really a problem. Particularly in the CPU department (where we are very floating point dependent), the PowerPC absolutely kicks butt. And now that some configurations are coming with "modern" cards like the GeForce 3 & 4, the video subsystem is not an issue. But, the middleware concerns me, and in many ways the RAVE support under OS 8/9 was a better system for what Fly! was designed for.Rich

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Hey Rich,Thanks for the explanation! It's at least encouraging that someone at Apple appears to be paying attention. Maybe there isn't much they can do, but the absolute worst is just being ignored! ;-)Again, I appreciate your efforts and patience.JR (there are too many Johns in this thread!)

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>Sometimes on the PC you'll >see nVidia release a driver update, and framerates will >almost double. Hi Rich,Just posted a thread : "New NVIDIA Driver" on this Mac forum.Unfortunately, the framerates are far from being doubled

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